A Modern and Millennial Emily Dickinson?

I recently read about Dickinson, a 30 minute web TV series available on Apple TV Plus, Apple’s $5 per month streaming service. The series is based on the life of the prolific 19th century American poet, Emily Dickinson, with an eponymous protagonist who aims to become the world’s greatest poet.

Dickinson aims at showing what it’s like being a teenager and a millennial, one that is rebellious, and fighting against the patriarchal world of writing. This confident character contrasts the more common perception of a more reclusive and fragile real-life Dickinson.

So far, the series has had a mostly positive reception, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 74% and an audience score of 95%.

The Verge’s Julia Alexander said that the show borders on “absurdity” as the costumes are accurate for the period but the characters speak using modern language and colloquialism.

Once again artistic and creative endeavour faces off against historical accuracy. I’d like to say that I’d prefer a more historically accurate approach, but I haven’t watched the show yet, so I can’t make a reasonable conclusion about the shows merits.

However, Alexander said, “Dickinson feels like it’s nearing disaster at times” but its “absurdity” does work, including its “twerking” teenagers and “pulsating trap music.” I guess that makes sense given that Apple appears to be targeting teenagers with it. I couldn’t imagine teenagers watching a historically accurate depiction of Emily Dickinson every Friday night, could you?

You can read more about the series here: 

And you can watch it here: Dickinson.

On one had, I find it ironic that Dickinson would be put on display like this given her life of isolation. But reviving historical characters through modern interpretations could inspire viewers to seek the truth about Dickinson themselves and further their knowledge, though I highly doubt that. I hope I’m wrong though.

Image credit: Michael Parmelee/Apple

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.