Dickinson: Season Three Premiere Review

Ashley takes a look at the third and final season premiere of Dickinson from Apple TV+!

It’s safe to say Dickinson on Apple TV+ is probably one of the best shows you’re not watching. Its third and final season begins Friday, November 5th, so this is the prime opportunity for you to catch up with the two earlier seasons and join in on this wickedly funny period dramady that isn’t afraid to push boundaries.

If you’re unfamiliar, Dickinson is a *semi* biographical take on the life of famed poet Emily Dickinson during the most formative years of her life. Hailee Steinfeld is at the helm of this ensemble cast portraying the gifted poet and triumphs bringing Dickinson’s enigmatic existence to life. The cast is rounded out with the likes of Jane Krakowski, Toby Huss, and Finn Jones with guest appearances by Zosia Mamet, John Mulaney, Wiz Khalifa, and Nick Kroll to name a few.

What sets Dickinson apart from every other period piece out there is its absolute refusal to play by the rules. Does the cast dress in period-appropriate costumes and hairstyles? Yes. Does the cast rave at house parties and frequently express themselves with modern dialogue and music? Also yes. Prior shows and films that have employed this straddling of past and present have had a polarizing effect on viewers (I’m looking at you Reign and A Knight’s Tale). But Dickson transcends critiques of those examples; presenting the life of a reclusive woman with very few real facts available in regards to her day-to-day with a frenzied modernity that still upholds the integrity of the past it inhabits.

No specific spoilers for the new season will be revealed here, but I will be recapping a bit of Season 2. If you’re not caught up, head to Apple TV+ now and indulge in the reimagined life of Emily Dickinson.

Season 2 for the Dickinson clan was a wild ride. We ended the finale finally discovering the identity of the haunting “Nobody.” There were also relationship revelations that continue to plague the family into the season opener. Emily finally confronted newspaper editor Samuel Bowles about her conflicted feelings regarding publishing, and Henry was faced with difficult choices after his support of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry does not go as planned. Tensions are high in the Dickinson house, but the United States sits on a precipice, and life in Massachusetts will change in Season 3 as the Civil War begins.

In the season opener, Emily is in unusually chipper spirits as the townspeople of Amhurst all try to adjust to their new normal. This first episode does not miss the opportunity to echo the grief and entitlement modern audiences have experienced with the pandemic through the lens of the Civil War. We encounter a funeral, pregnancy, and a final scene so charged that there are heartbreaking results. Akin to the first line of Emily’s poems, this first episode is just a taste of things to come. Check back with us weekly as we discuss the final nine episodes in this innovative and eccentric piece of not-to-be-missed television from Apple TV+.

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