Trailer for Apple TVs ‘Dickinson’ Promises an Unorthodox Take on the Famous Poet

Hailee Steinfeld in "Dickinson" (Photo: Apple TV)

Apple TV released its first trailer for its upcoming period comedy Dickinson and it may not be precisely what most people expect.

In one of the first offerings from the tech giant’s upcoming streaming platform, Hailee Stanfield stars as renowned poet Emily Dickinson, and though the series is firmly set in the 19th century its attitude is anything but.

Touted as a coming of age story that positions Dickinson as a sort of millennial hero figure, the series will examine issues of gender, family and society through the story of her life. The trailer shows a young Emily rebelling against the life she’s supposed to be living and dreaming of the “wild nights” she’ll subsequently immortalize in her poetry.

Its notable however that this series appears to be the antithesis of a traditional British period series, with bold colors, bright lighting and anachronistic touches a la Oscar-winning film The Favourite. The trailer is scored by aggressively modern music and features scenes of Emily and her friends dancing more in the vein of a frat party than a ball.

It’s certainly different – but definitely intriguing.

Watch for yourselves below:

The show is apparently going to be more of a comedy than a drama, but either way, its irreverent attitude is fascinating. The world of period-set series has been evolving rapidly in recent years, and embracing more modern and interesting ways of telling historical stories.

Recent series like Harlots, Gentleman Jack and The Spanish Princess are all putting new spins on traditional period stories by focusing on women, LGBT characters and people of color, who have been left out of these narratives for far too long. Perhaps Dickinson aims to do something similar by examining the ways in which history has rewritten the story of this famous poet to make itself feel more comfortable for whatever reason.  (The depiction of Emily Dickinson as a vibrant young woman is particularly interesting given that she’s often culturally remembered as a reclusive spinster – which may or may not have been actually true.)

Dickinson doesn’t have an official airdate as yet, though Variety reports it will be available to stream when Apple TV+ launches this Fall.

What do you think of the look of Dickinson? Interesting or inspid? Is it something you’d watch?

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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