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Dickinson Season 1

With the majority of the new Apple TV+ shows being released weekly (See, The Morning Show) it was left to Alena Smith’s comedy/drama show Dickinson to fill the bingeworthy void. And I’m happy to note that it did that job extremely well!

Dickinson takes the viewer back to the days of a teenage Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld) as she grows up and strives to write and publish her poetry in a very patriarchal society, at the same time as being somewhat of an outsider (even if it is in her own head at times). However, this isn’t all period drama sensibilities and norms as Smith’s vision of Dickinson includes bringing the young poet, and everyone else, into a modern-day tone and sprinkling it with some very up-to-date vocabulary and some really inappropriate (but really rather good) tunes.


With a great supporting cast of Toby Huss (Edward Dickinson), Jane Krakowski (Emily Norcross Dickinson), Adrian Enscoe (Austin Dickinson), Anna Baryshnikov (Livinia Dickinson) and Ella Hunt (Sue Gilbert), they all blend really well together and, by the end of the season, have completely inhabited their characters and appear very comfortable in their roles and costumes. Livinia, particularly, grows from being the light-hearted comedy character into someone far more rounded and central by the end of this first season. But this is Hailee Steinfeld’s show and she shows once again that she has the ability to hold her own against anyone and has such energy that comes across really well.

The one minor issue I had with the show is that, as the season progressed, the audacity and verve that the early episodes had seemed to be pushed more to the back as the storyline and some heavier moments took to the fore. But, even with this shift in tone and style it remains hugely entertaining, and with only having 30 minute episodes they all fairly fly by as Emily and her family grow and change.

I have just read that it has been renewed for a second season so when that drops I will no doubt be binge-watching that one as well!


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