Hailee Steinfeld stars as Emily Dickinson in this coming-of-age story, “Dickinson,“ created by Alena Smith and produced for Apple+TV.
Based on real life events, the series is centered around the famous poet Emily Dickinson and her evolution of becoming her most authentic self while dealing with society restricting females from having rights.
The series also stars Toby Huss as Edward Dickinson, who can be seen as the villain, yet he has a true love for his daughter Emily. He has some views on women that Emily makes her mission to challenge and attempt to change. Jane Krakowski stars as Emily Dickinson’s mother, Emily Norcross Dickinson, whose own views on women continue to jeopardize her relationship with her daughter.
Wiz Khalifa also stars in the series as Death, who frequently shows up to Emily throughout the series to encourage her to continue being the talented poet she is. Adrian Enscoe and Anna Baryshnikov both star as Emily’s brother and sister, Austin and Lavinia Vinnie Dickinson, respectively. Ella Hunt stars as Sue Gilbert, a love interest for Emily as well as her brother, Austin.
Emily and Sue’s relationship in the series is told in a very complex and careful way, considering the time the series is set: Homosexuality was condemned. The relationship is something that holds Emily together in many ways, as she feels Sue is the only one who truly understands her.
Throughout it all, Emily just wants to become a great poet, and while her family does not believe in her, Sue does. With this being said, the series starts off on a unique note as Austin proposes to Sue, setting off a love triangle that continues throughout the season.
The series does a great job with showcasing how times were in the era that Emily Dickinson lived in while still incorporating modern-day tones. The soundtrack is what really completed the series for me.
The show also pushes the narrative of Emily becoming an independent woman. Even though Emily is met with adversary at every corner while trying to do what she wants, she pushes through. She continues to do what she wants in each episode. And that empowerment is the reason you keep watching. Even though you know how the true story ends, you watch and root for this girl in her coming-of-age story as she fights for her own independence and finds her true voice.
The writing also does a great job with its individual character development, especially with Emily’s little sister, Vinnie. As she starts the series off as a lost woman, she finds herself a little more as the season goes on. Matt Lauria also stars in the series as Ben Newton, who plays another love interest for Emily and comes at a time in the series when Emily really needs that understanding he provides for her.
Although the ending was not of my liking, it was truthful to what really happened, which overall made me respect it on another level. The series was renewed for a second season, and I still find myself invested in the characters and enjoyment of watching another season.
With a show centered on a young Emily Dickinson and showcasing her talent in a modern way, you find that there is something for numerous people to relate to. Regardless of it being set in the mid-1800s, it was an amazing watch. Take a blast to the past and sink your eyes into the world of one of the greatest poets, Emily Dickinson.
Echo Grade: A-