P-Valley Is The Best Show You're Not Watching, And It's Time To Fix That

There have been rumors swirling for a while now that Lionsgate Entertainment's premium cable and satellite television network, Starz, is heading toward a possible sale. The channel has been delivering fantastic series and specials as of late, like "Gaslit," the Watergate drama starring Julia Roberts, and the upcoming return of the Hollywood catering comedy, "Party Down." Starz doesn't often get the spotlight compared to its contemporaries like HBO and Showtime, but the channel is home to one of the best shows in television history, and the fact the entire world isn't constantly running personal Emmy campaigns at all times for it is a crime ... especially when the show is heading into its third season.

"'P-Valley' continues to keep viewers on the edge of their seats as it captures the nuances of the Mississippi Delta with an unprecedented level of humanity and artistry," said Kathryn Busby, President of Original Programming at Starz. "This layered drama gets beyond the glitz through authentic and complex characters that have captured the hearts of critics and audiences alike."

Created and executive produced by Pulitzer Prize winner Katori Hall, the critically acclaimed "P-Valley" was given the green light for season 3 today. According to the press release sent out today by Starz, the second season of "P-Valley" currently averages nearly 10.3M viewers across linear, VOD, and streaming platforms domestically, over a 23% jump compared to the first season. As of publication, "P-Valley" is the biggest show for the network — so why doesn't the show have the mainstream awareness of its contemporaries?

'Down in the valley where the girls get naked'

"P-Valley" is based on Hall's groundbreaking stage play "Pussy Valley," and centers on the lives of several people working at The Pynk strip club owned by the no-nonsense and non-binary Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan) in the Mississippi Delta. Brandee Evans stars as Mercedes, the club's most seasoned dancer, Elarica Johnson as Autumn/Hailey, a hurricane survivor looking for a fresh start, and J. Alphonse Nicholson as Lil' Murda, an up-and-coming rapper with a complicated relationship with Uncle Clifford. The cast and stories of "P-Valley" are queer as hell, Southern as all get out, pro-sex work, and unapologetically Black, making the show unlike anything else currently on TV.

"I am blessed beyond measure for this opportunity to write the next chapter of 'P-Valley.' With its complex, dynamic, and beautifully flawed characters, this show is a love letter to marginalized communities in the American South who rarely see themselves reflected on screen, and it brings me immense joy to know that it has been embraced by folx worldwide," said Katori Hall in a statement. "We wouldn't be getting back up on that pony, without our fiercely devoted Pynk Posse — y'all are our fire."

The first season of the drama introduced us to the little-strip-club-that-could and the larger-than-life personalities that keep The Pynk a sanctuary for, as Starz perfectly describes it, "the hopeful, the lost, the broken, the ballers, the beautiful, and the damned." "P-Valley" season 2 saw The Pynk struggling to survive in the pandemic, and zoomed in even deeper on the personal lives and issues beyond the pole.

'If you throwin' bands then you know she gon' shake it'

"P-Valley" is messy, heartbreaking, beautiful, and exhilarating, and every actor on the screen should be in the Emmy conversation. "From the writers and producers to the cast to the crew to the executives, this show is made with great love, grit, and glitter," continued Hall. "It's gonna take us a Mississippi minute before we're back on your screens again, but best believe it'll be well worth the wait." Without spoiling things, season 3 will also be the first without a major character from the first two seasons, and it'll be fascinating to see how things shake loose.

At its core, "P-Valley" is a story about survival, chosen family, and daring to dream beyond the systemic circumstances invented to keep people trapped. Starz calls it "where trap music meets film noir," and someone needs to give their marketing copywriter a raise because there's no better way to describe the show's enigmatic flavor. "P-Valley" offers a painfully humanistic look at the lives of people that mainstream society devalues, and does so without ever martyring its characters or forcing them into model minority boxes. Trust and believe you've never seen stripping until you've seen the formidable power of the ladies of The Pynk. 

As season 3 hasn't begun production yet, now is the perfect time to catch up on "P-Valley" and see just what you've been missing. The first two seasons of "P-Valley" are available on the Starz app and on-demand platforms in both the U.S. and Canada, and on the Lionsgate+ streaming service internationally.