Dickinson: A Review

Words are such funny things. They hold so much power. They can inspire, they can devastate, they can transport a person, they can easily be destroyed or they can live for years. Perhaps that is why we love writers so much. They can harness words and use them to create. Emily Dickinson is one such wordsmith and people have been fascinated by her for years.

In 2019 a new series started to stream on Appletv. The series centered around the life of one of America’s prolific poets, Emily Dickinson. Dickenson creator Alena Smith had a vision for the show and it clearly works. We know a lot about Emily’s life through letters, but only to a certain point. What the show does is weave together a story from letters, historical documents and her own poetry to tell a story of the poet’s life.

Emily Dickinson is a young woman who lives with her family in New England. In the years leading up to the American Civil War Emily has great aspirations to become a famous poet. There is one problem though, her father and the publishing industry at large frown upon female writers. Emily also faces the prospect of unwanted suitors that her mother continues to force on her. One of the few people whose company she enjoys is her best friend Sue, whose engagement to her brother makes their relationship all the more complicated. 

Dickinson has a phenomenal soundtrack. By using modern music the show reminds the viewers just how young Emily and so many of the other characters are. The use of modern slang also adds a relatable element to the show. These are young people, being young and dealing with a lot of the same problems that modern audiences are also dealing with. The costumes and sets are absolutely amazing. The costumes let you know about each character, from what they value to what their financial position they are in. The Dickinson home is almost a character itself, showing us the lives of those who live there. 

Dickinson also doesn’t shy away from tough topics. From immigration, racism, voter rights, environmentalism to domestic issues. Once again showing the similarities between then and now. 

I would highly recommend Dickinson. It is just a highly entertaining show. The poetry of Emily Dickinson is beautiful, dark and complex. Dickinson does a great job of weaving together a story that is just as beautiful and complex as the poet herself. It really is a total package of cinematography, costumes, storyline and humor. Season two has just started so this is a great time to get caught up!



Published by thiathebard

Lover of games, writer of articles and member of Real Women of Gaming. Thia the Bard has been writing from a young age and has always been a fan of the fantastic. She grew up playing video and board games. She loves trying different table top and role playing games. Thia is a proud geek and member of many fandoms. She is also interested in cosplay and Steampunk. Thia is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Time not spent gaming or running around in garb is usually spent writing. Always keep sparkling!

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