If Bridgerton tickled your historically-inaccurate-period-drama fancy, then this Apple TV+ offering might be worth a go. It follows the 19th century poet, Emily Dickinson – hence the show title – on her mission to dodge marriage, kiss girls and write poems.
Ok, we’ve simplified that. But she is avoiding a husband at all cost, thinking that to wed would hinder her dream of becoming an esteemed writer. Of course, this being 200 years ago, neither her Mum nor Dad are convinced by this aspiration, and her parent-induced melancholy is accompanied by dramatic power ballads to really up the ante on the teenage angst.
If that wasn’t enough melodrama, she’s also secretly in love with her best friend Susie, who happens to be engaged to her brother, but this doesn’t stop them from enjoying the odd secretive smooch – an apparent real life occurrence, according to Dickinson’s letters to Susie. This, the ballads and the mega modern lingo, make for a thoroughly 21st century series.
But it’s brilliant. Whilst admittedly ridiculous, the series is playful and fun, and Hailee Steinfeld who plays Dickinson herself, is perfectly suited to the role in this anachronistic adventure.
The Independent’s Alexandra Pollard says the modernisation of the tale “makes a kind of sense, given that its hero was out of step with the order of the day,” and makes for a “peculiar, messy….delight.” Linda Maleh in Forbes agrees, calling it “wildly funny, and also heartbreaking,” and saying, “the series is full of life, bursting at the seams with creative high jinks for its characters to get up to.”
And season two has got more of this out-of-the-box fun, with The New York Times’ James Poniewozik calling it “raucously funny” with “more serious and spooky” occurrences.
First shown November 2019. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here: