|Created by||Alena Smith|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Running time||26–34 minutes|
|Original network||Apple TV+|
|Original release||November 1, 2019 –|
|Infobox instructions (only shown in preview)|
Dickinson is an American comedy streaming television series about Emily Dickinson, created by Alena Smith and produced for Apple TV+. Starring Hailee Steinfeld as Dickinson, the first season was released on November 1, 2019, when Apple TV+ debuted. A second season was renewed in October 2019, and a third and final season was renewed in October 2020, prior to the second season's release. The second season premiered on January 8, 2021. The third and final season is scheduled to premiere on November 5, 2021.
Dickinson takes place "during Emily Dickinson's era with a modern sensibility and tone. It takes viewers into the world of Emily, audaciously exploring the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn't fit in to her own time through her imaginative point of view. Dickinson is Emily's coming-of-age story – one woman's fight to get her voice heard."
Cast and characters
- Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson, an aspiring poet who is in love with her best friend, and her brother's fiancée, Sue. She pushes back against her parents' attempts to find her a suitor.
- Toby Huss as Edward Dickinson, the father of Emily, Austin, and Lavinia who holds traditional views and disapproves of Emily's writing. He later runs for Congress.
- Adrian Blake Enscoe as Austin Dickinson, Emily and Lavinia's older brother, recently out of college. He is engaged to Sue Gilbert.
- Anna Baryshnikov as Lavinia "Vinnie" Dickinson, the youngest of the Dickinson siblings; she is upset that her parents are not attempting to find her a suitor. She has her eyes on Joseph Lyman.
- Ella Hunt as Sue Gilbert, Emily's best friend and Austin's fiancée. She is recently orphaned and lived at a boarding house before moving in with Emily's family.
- Jane Krakowski as Emily Norcross Dickinson, the mother of Emily, Austin, and Lavinia. She is a traditional housewife and is upset when her husband hires a maid.
- Wiz Khalifa as Death
- Samuel Farnsworth as George Gould, a friend of Austin who is romantically interested in Emily
- Chinaza Uche as Henry, an African-American hired hand of the Dickinson family
- Darlene Hunt as Maggie, a maid hired by Edward at the request of Emily
- Amanda Warren as Betty, a local dressmaker and Henry's wife with whom she has a daughter
- Gus Birney as Jane Humphrey, the most popular girl in town
- Sophie Zucker as Abby Wood, one of Jane's minions
- Allegra Heart as Abiah Root, one of Jane's minions
- Kevin Yee as Toshiaki, a friend of Jane's
- Gus Halper as Joseph Lyman (season 1), the young man in whom Lavinia is interested
- Jason Mantzoukas as Bee (voice; season 1), one of Emily's hallucinations
- Robert Picardo as Ithamar Conkey, a townsperson
- Matt Lauria as Ben Newton (season 1), a law clerk for Mr. Dickinson
- Jessica Hecht as Aunt Lavinia, Emily Norcross Dickinson's sister, and the world-traveling widowed aunt of Emily, Austin, and Lavinia
- Finn Jones as Samuel Bowles (season 2), the editor of the local paper, the Springfield Republican
- Pico Alexander as Henry Shipley (season 2), a new lodger at the Dickinson residence, and a former boyfriend of Lavinia's
- Will Pullen as Nobody, and as Frazar Stearns (season 2), a school chum of Austin's now enrolled at West Point
- Ayo Edebiri as Hattie (season 2), a Dickinson family maid and a spiritual medium
Notable guest stars
- John Mulaney as Henry David Thoreau (in "Alone, I cannot be", "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain")
- Zosia Mamet as Louisa May Alcott (in "There's a certain Slant of light")
- Timothy Simons as Frederick Law Olmsted (in "The Daisy follows soft the Sun")
- Kelli Barrett as Adelaide May (in "Split the Lark")
- Nick Kroll as Edgar Allan Poe (in "I'm Nobody! Who are you?")
|First released||Last released|
|1||10||November 1, 2019|
|2||10||January 8, 2021||February 26, 2021|
Season 1 (2019)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Because I could not stop"||David Gordon Green||Alena Smith||November 1, 2019|
In 19th century Amherst, Massachusetts, a young Emily Dickinson is tired of her family's attempts to find her a suitor. The latest is a friend of hers, George, who agrees to publish one of Emily's poems. Emily then finds out that her brother Austin proposed to her best friend, Sue. Austin tells his parents his plans to move himself and Sue to Detroit, however his dad wants him to remain in Amherst. Afterwards, Emily and Sue meet and Emily asks Sue to always love her more than Austin and they kiss. George then tells Emily that her poem will be published in the next edition of the magazine, but Emily is afraid of her father's reaction. At dinner, Emily's father announces he plans to run for Congress, Austin announces he and Sue will remain in Amherst, and Emily tells her family about her poem being published. At the latter, Emily's father yells at her about ruining the family name. In her mind, Emily meets with Death and discusses her poems. That night, Emily's father talks about how he doesn't want to lose her and asks her not to marry and move away.
Episode title and themes based on "Because I could not stop for Death".[b]
|2||2||"I have never seen 'Volcanoes'"||David Gordon Green||Alena Smith & Rachel Axler||November 1, 2019|
Emily and Sue lie in bed and discuss the idea of running away together. Emily discovers a lecturer is due to give a presentation on volcanoes but her father is against women getting a higher education. Later, Emily's mother is angry at her husband's decision to get a maid and reveals she feels useless. While shopping for dresses with her sister Vinnie, Emily accidentally spills that Sue got engaged. Afterwards, Emily and Sue decide to dress as men and sneak into the lecture themselves. At the college, George spots them, but agrees to keep their secret. However, partway through the lecture, Emily accidentally gives away that they are there. Her father is angry to discover Emily's actions and tells her to stop her antics. Emily's mother then accuses her of being selfish and not thinking of her father. Emily then asks the maid, Maggie, to teach her to make bread. That night, Emily tells Sue she feels trapped, like the people in Pompeii. Sue then tells her she knows what volcanoes feel like and they proceed to have sex.
Episode title and themes based on "I have never seen Volcanoes".[b]
|3||3||"Wild nights"||Lynn Shelton||Alena Smith & Ali Waller||November 1, 2019|
Emily awakens after having a nightmare about losing Sue. Meanwhile, her parents go to Boston for the night and the kids decide to throw a party. Sue is hesitant about announcing her and Austin's engagement because of her lack of money, but Austin insists on paying all her debts. Vinnie's crush, Joseph, attends, as well as Jane, a former classmate of Emily's who's interested in Austin. George brings opium to the party and Emily shares it with the guests. George asks Emily to dance and talks about marrying Emily, but she tells him to marry a normal girl and they kiss before she runs away with stomach pains. Austin then announces his engagement to Sue before she runs after Emily, who reveals the pains were period pains. Jane reveals her feelings for Austin and questions his marriage to Sue because of Sue and Emily's relationship. Austin walks in on Emily and Sue kissing and Sue reveals she feels suffocated by both of them and intends to go to Boston.
Episode title and themes based on "Wild Nights — Wild Nights!".[b]
|4||4||"Alone, I cannot be"||Lynn Shelton||Alena Smith||November 1, 2019|
With Sue gone to Boston, Emily and Austin are distraught. The town plans to build railroads through Amherst and Emily discovers that her favorite tree is going to be chopped down. After reading Walden, she and George seek out Henry David Thoreau for help. Emily is disappointed to find that he is disinterested in her cause, but her father nevertheless decides to protect her tree on her behalf.
Episode title and themes based on "Alone, I cannot be".[b]
|5||5||"I am afraid to own a Body"||Silas Howard||Alena Smith & Ken Greller||November 1, 2019|
George asks Edward's permission for Emily's hand in marriage and is disappointed when Edward seems to suggest that George is too lenient with Emily. As Emily prepares to act out Othello with her Shakespeare club, George tries to strongarm her into behaving more obediently, first by attempting to censor the play and later by refusing to let Henry, one of the Dickinson's hired hands who is Black, play the title role. Though George later tries to explain his actions, Emily is angered and rejects his marriage proposal outright.
Episode title and themes based on "I am afraid to own a Body".[b]
|6||6||"A brief, but patient illness"||Silas Howard||Rachel Axler||November 1, 2019|
The entire family believes that Emily is on her deathbed, leading both her father and mother to issue gruesome confessions. However, Emily is only feigning sickness in order to stay in her room to read and write poetry. Leaving her room in search of a book she meets her father's clerk, Ben Newton, who is also an avid fan of poetry. After finishing her poem and giving it to Ben, Emily pretends to make a miraculous recovery. She is surprised to encounter Sue, who returned after hearing Emily was on her deathbed. Emily urges Sue to go forward with her marriage to Austin. Lavinia hires an artist to paint a portrait of her. When she is displeased with the results she makes her own attempts to sketch herself.
Episode title and themes based on "A brief but patient illness".[b]
|7||7||"We lose – because we win"||Stacie Passon||Robbie Macdonald & Alena Smith||November 1, 2019|
Edward prepares for election day and is surprised when his supposedly safe seat Congressional seat becomes embroiled in an unexpectedly close race. Ben urges Emily to enter a local poetry contest but Emily refuses, knowing that doing so will embarrass her father. As a compromise, Emily asks Austin to submit Nobody knows this little Rose under his name. He does so and wins the contest. Edward realizes that the poem is Emily's and the two have a violent confrontation. Edward finally wins his seat but his entire family is too depressed and angry to celebrate his win.
Episode title and themes based on "We lose — because we win".[b]
|8||8||"There's a certain Slant of light"||Stacie Passon||Hayes Davenport||November 1, 2019|
Edward is gone for Christmas and the Dickinsons host a dinner party. Depressed by Edward departure, Emily's mother takes to her bed leaving the children to act as hosts. Emily invites Ben and Sue is surprised and jealous as Emily takes up domestic work in order to impress him. On Christmas morning Emily is surprised to learn that her father is building her a conservatory so that she can enjoy flowers year round.
Episode title and themes based on "There's a certain Slant of light".[b]
|9||9||"'Faith' is a fine invention"||Patrick Norris||Darlene Hunt||November 1, 2019|
Emily makes plans to go see a solar eclipse with Ben, who is very sick. During the eclipse the two "anti-marry" each other, promising to remain unwed for as long as they live. When his coughing grows worse Emily nurses him at the Dickinson family home and is disturbed when he begins to hallucinate. Sue is fitted for her wedding dress and discovers she is pregnant, much to her chagrin. Lavinia gives Joseph a nude sketch of herself.
Episode title and themes based on "Faith is a fine invention".[b]
|10||10||"I felt a Funeral, in my Brain"||Patrick Norris||Alena Smith & Ali Waller||November 1, 2019|
Austin and Sue's marriage day arrives. Emily is still in mourning over Ben's death but tries to make Sue's wedding day special by writing her a love poem and gathering a bouquet for her. Her actions reignite Austin's jealousy, and he bans her from the wedding and tells the family that it was Emily who decided not to come. George leaves town to seek his fortune in California and offers to take Emily with him, but she refuses citing her desire to remain with Sue. Edward finally returns.
Episode title and themes based on "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain".[b]
Season 2 (2021)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|11||1||"Before I got my eye put out"||Christopher Storer||Alena Smith||January 8, 2021|
Emily experiences hallucinations and struggles with her vision though she is more inspired than ever. The Dickinsons struggle with their finances as Emily's father tries to support Austin and Sue's lavish spending. Sue, after suffering through a miscarriage, loses herself in becoming a well to do influencer. Hoping to help Emily be published she introduces her to editor Samuel Bowles. When Emily is called upon to recite a poem for Bowles she hallucinates instead and is unable to do so. Bowles is not put off and is instead intrigued.
Episode title and themes based on "Before I got my eye put out".[b]
|12||2||"Fame is a fickle food"||Christopher Storer||Rachel Axler||January 8, 2021|
After coming in second in the baking contest the previous year Emily is obsessed with winning the Amherst Cattle Show Baking Contest. After she wins she learns her recipe will be published in the newspaper. Sue uses the win to push Emily further towards the publication of her poems. Samuel Bowles and Emily start an intriguing friendship and she shares a poem with him. Austin, unaware of Sue's previous miscarriage, asks her to consider having a child with him.
Episode title and themes based on "Fame is a fickle food".[b]
|13||3||"The only Ghost I ever saw"||Rosemary Rodriguez||Alena Smith & Sophie Zucker||January 8, 2021|
Conflicted over whether to publish or not Emily has a seance and then hallucinates once more over a man who calls himself "Nobody". She makes a final decision over whether to publish or not. To fix their money problems Emily's father has his wealthy orphaned nieces come to live with him much to his wife's chagrin.
Episode title and themes based on "The only Ghost I ever saw".[b]
|14||4||"The Daisy follows soft the Sun"||Rosemary Rodriguez||Robbie Macdonald||January 15, 2021|
Emily fears she may have lost her artistic vision and become over reliant on Samuel Bowles' opinion of her work. Lavinia is pressured into accepting an offer of marriage. Austin, desperate to be a father, adopts the Newton girls, much to Sue's displeasure.
Episode title and themes based on "The Daisy follows soft the Sun".[b]
|15||5||"Forbidden Fruit a flavor has"||Silas Howard||Ken Greller||January 22, 2021|
As Emily prepares for publication she learns that Samuel has a reputation for seducing the women he publishes and that everyone believes they have been intimate.
Episode title and themes based on "Forbidden Fruit a flavor has".[b]
|16||6||"Split the lark"||Silas Howard||Alena Smith||January 29, 2021|
The Dickinsons attend the opera where Emily, nursing a budding crush on Samuel, is excited to end up in his private box. However her dreams are dashed when Samuel confronts her over an offensive letter she wrote his wife.
Episode title and themes based on "Split the Lark — and you'll find the Music".[b]
|17||7||"Forever – is composed of Nows"||Stacie Passon||Yael Green||February 5, 2021|
The Dickinson women head to a spa for water treatment. Emily, still distressed over Samuel, finds comfort in a surprising source.
Episode title and themes based on "Forever — is composed of Nows".[b]
|18||8||"I'm Nobody! Who are you?"||Stacie Passon||Alena Smith & Ayo Edebiri||February 12, 2021|
Emily's poem is finally published in The Springfield Republican. However she realizes that she's invisible and spends the day spying on people's reactions to her work. Depressed with what she finds Emily skips Sue's salon celebrating her publication and instead finds comfort witnessing Henry's celebration of his efforts with the abolitionist paper The Constellation. Later, returning to Sue and Austin's home she makes a horrific discovery.
Episode title and themes based on "I'm Nobody! Who are you?".[b]
|19||9||"I Like a Look of Agony"||Silas Howard||Robbie Macdonald||February 19, 2021|
Sue goes to visit her old friend Mary Bowles, Sam's wife. Austin holds a tea party in the meantime, gathering his friends for one last hurrah as rumours of a civil war begin. After the publication of her poem Emily finally decides to make herself known and is disturbed when she meets one of Austin's guests.
Episode title and themes based on "I like a look of Agony".[b]
|20||10||"You cannot put a Fire out"||Silas Howard||Alena Smith||February 26, 2021|
Emily tries to retrieve her poems from Sam but hits a snag when she finds out he is determined to publish them and make her a literary star. Sue returns from her visit to Mary Bowles and with new clarity makes a confession to Emily.
Episode title and themes based on "You cannot put a Fire out".[b]
On May 30, 2018, it was announced that Apple had given the production a straight-to-series order. The series is written by Alena Smith who is also set to executive produce alongside Paul Lee, David Gordon Green, Michael Sugar, Ashley Zalta, Alex Goldstone, and Darlene Hunt. Green is also expected to direct as well. Production companies involved with the series include wiip and Anonymous Content. In October 2019, The Hollywood Reporter reported Dickinson had been renewed for a second season. In October 2020, the series was renewed for a third and final season, ahead of the premiere of the second season. In September 2021, it was announced that the third and final season would premiere on November 5, 2021.
Alongside the initial series announcement, it was confirmed that Hailee Steinfeld would star as Emily Dickinson. On August 29, 2018, it was announced that Jane Krakowski had been cast in a starring role. On September 26, 2018, it was announced that Toby Huss, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt and Adrian Enscoe had been cast as series regulars. On January 29, 2019, it was reported that Matt Lauria had joined the cast in a recurring capacity. In September 2019, it was announced Wiz Khalifa and John Mulaney had joined the cast of the series. In December 2019, it was announced that Finn Jones and Pico Alexander had been cast in the series. Jones plays Samuel Bowles, a newspaper editor, while Alexander plays Henry "Ship" Shipley, a dropout and boarder of the Dickinson's.
Principal photography for the series commenced on January 7, 2019, in Old Bethpage, New York.[unreliable source?] In March 2019, it was reported by The New York Times that filming had concluded. In November 2019, Steinfeld confirmed that filming for season two was underway and had been for several months. Filming for season three began on March 17, 2021 and concluded on June 15, 2021
|1||75% (65 reviews)||66 (29 reviews)|
|2||100% (24 reviews)||81 (9 reviews)|
The first season of Dickinson received generally positive reviews. It holds an approval rating of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 65 reviews, and an average rating of 6.52/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Audacious and aspirational, Dickinson's bold blend of period-drama and millennial milieu definitely won't be for all, but those looking to break free from the doldrums of their viewing life may find some kind of hope in its singular vision." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the first season has a score of 66 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
The second season has been universally acclaimed. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a "Certified Fresh" 100% approval rating based on 24 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "With stronger writing and a never-better Hailee Steinfeld, Dickinson finds surer footing in its second season without losing any of its strange delights." On Metacritic, the second season has a score of 81 out of 100 based on 9 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
|2020||GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|2021||Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards||Best Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy||Hailee Steinfeld||Nominated|||
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- Peter White (October 8, 2020). "'Dickinson' Renewed For Season 3 At Apple As Streamer Plots Early 2021 Launch For Season 2". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 8, 2020. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
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- Andreeva, Nellie (August 29, 2018). "'Dickinson': Jane Krakowski To Co-Star In Apple Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 30, 2018. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (September 26, 2018). "'Dickinson': Toby Huss, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt & Adrian Enscoe Cast In Apple Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 26, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (January 30, 2019). "Matt Lauria Joins Apple's 'Dickinson', Ali Ahn In Netflix's 'Raising Dion'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- Yaoo, Noah (September 13, 2019). "Wiz Khalifa to Portray Death in New Emily Dickinson Apple TV+ Series". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
- Yang, Rachel (September 15, 2019). "John Mulaney will play Henry David Thoreau in Apple TV+'s Dickinson". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
- Otterson, Joe (December 6, 2019). "'Dickinson' Season 2 Adds Finn Jones, Pico Alexander". Variety. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
- "Monday, Jan 7 Filming Locations for The Rookie, Manifest, Billions, & more!". On Location Vacations. January 7, 2019. Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
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Timestamp is 2:40
- Alena Smith [@internetalena] (March 17, 2021). "Well, our first day of shooting was today..." (Tweet). Archived from the original on March 18, 2021 – via Twitter.
- Alena Smith [@internetalena] (June 15, 2021). "*LAST DAY OF SEASON 3!!!* love u guys" (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 16, 2021 – via Twitter.
- "At Kaufman". Kaufman Astoria Studios. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
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