HBO Max's 'Legendary' Is The Ballroom Competition You've Been Waiting For

by Ani Bundel

HBO Max has arrived with several brand new series along with its launch. For the rom-com crowd, there's Love Life with Anna Kendrick, for the muppet-lovers, there's The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo. But this being the year of our lord 2020, reality competition fare is also on the streaming menu, ad HBO Max has brought the next generation of competition to viewers for their delight. HBO Max's Legendary is Dancing With The Stars for the ballroom world, starring eight Houses from the New York scene ready to out-vogue each other.

For those who are expecting the reality show version of Pose, this is not quite so real-world. The competition is all about the ballroom and therefore stays in it. All the interview slips are more in the style of American Idol or The Voice, as the members of the houses give glimpses of their backstory and talk trash.

Still, there are nods to Pose, as Dashaun Wesley, who guest-starred on Ryan Murphy's series, serves as the show's MC. The judges are a mix of mainstream faces and ballroom legends with Jameela Jamil and Megan Thee Stallion in the former category and Law Roach and Leiomy Maldonado in the latter. But the magic really begins when the Houses (St. Laurent, Balmain, Ebony, Gucci, Lanvin, Escada, and Ninja) hit the runway and start voguing.

Here's the synopsis:

If you slay, you stay. In Legendary, a new HBO Max competition series that pulls from the underground ballroom community, voguing teams (aka "houses") must compete in unbelievable balls and showcase sickening fashion in order to achieve "legendary" status.

Perhaps the most interesting part is that Legendary practices what it preaches when it comes to diversity. Though most of the groups competing are made up of transgender women and gay men of color, House of Ninja, for instance, is made up of cisgender women, of Asian and European descent, and they are given as much love as anyone else for their performances. As Leiomy Maldonado points out, the ballroom was created for everyone, and as long as you bring respect and hard work, it will accept you.

Legendary Season 1 debuts Wednesday, May 27, along with the rest of HBO Max, with one episode a week going forward. For how to sign up (or sign in) to HBO Max, check the website.