Dickinson (TV series)

Dickinson is an American historical period comedy-drama web 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. A second season was ordered in October 2019, before the series premiered.

GenrePeriod comedy
Black comedy
Historical drama
Created byAlena Smith
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time26–34 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorApple Inc.
Original networkApple TV+
Original releaseNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01) –
External links


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."[1]

Cast and charactersEdit


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Adrian 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 aren't 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's recently orphaned and lived at a boarding house before moving in with Emily's family.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [2]
1"Because I Could Not Stop"David Gordon GreenAlena SmithNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
In 19th century 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 him 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.
2"I Have Never Seen 'Volcanoes'"David Gordon GreenAlena Smith & Rachel AxlerNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
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 volcanos 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 volcanos feel like and they proceed to have sex.
3"Wild Nights"Lynn SheltonAlena Smith & Ali WallerNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
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 her 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.
4"Alone, I Cannot Be"Lynn SheltonAlena SmithNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
With Sue gone to Boston, Emily and Austin are distraught. The town plans to build railroads through Amherst and Emily discovers that her favourite 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.
5"I Am Afraid to Own a Body"Silas HowardAlena Smith & Ken GrellerNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
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 acting more obedient, 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.
6"A Brief, but Patient Illness"Silas HowardRachel AxlerNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)

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.
7"We Lose - Because We Win"Stacie PassonRobbie Macdonald and Alena SmithNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
Edward prepares for local elections and is surprised when his supposedly safe seat becomes embroiled in a virtual tie. 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.
8"There's a Certain Slant of Light"Stacie PassonHayes DavenportNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)
Edward is gone for Christmas and the Dickinsons host a dinner party. 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 please 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.
9"'Faith' Is a Fine Invention"Patrick NorrisDarlene HuntNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)

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.
10"I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain"Patrick NorrisAlena Smith & Ali WallerNovember 1, 2019 (2019-11-01)

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 who bans her from the wedding and tells the family that it was Emily who decided not to go.

George leaves town to seek his fortune in California and offers to take Emily with him. Emily refuses, citing her desire to remain with Sue. Edward finally returns.



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.[1][3][4][5] In October 2019, The Hollywood Reporter reported Dickinson had been renewed for a second season.[6]


Alongside the initial series announcement, it was confirmed that Hailee Steinfeld would star as Emily Dickinson.[1] On August 29, 2018, it was announced that Jane Krakowski had been cast in a starring role.[7] On September 26, 2018, it was announced that Toby Huss, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt and Adrian Enscoe had been cast as series regulars.[8] On January 29, 2019, it was reported that Matt Lauria had joined the cast in a recurring capacity.[9] In September 2019, it was announced Wiz Khalifa and John Mulaney had joined the cast of the series.[10][11] In December 2019, it was announced that Finn Jones and Pico Alexander had been cast in the series. Jones will play Samuel Bowles, a newspaper editor, while Alexander will play Henry “Ship” Shipley, a dropout and boarder of the Dickinson's.[12]


Principal photography for the series commenced on January 7, 2019, in Old Bethpage, New York.[13][unreliable source?] In March 2019, it was reported by The New York Times that filming has been concluded.[14] In November 2019, Steinfeld confirmed that filming for season two was underway and had been for a several months.[15]

Critical responseEdit

Critical receptionEdit

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 75% approval rating with an average rating of 6.45/10, based on 61 reviews. 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."[16] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 66 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[17]


The show has been nominated at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series.[18]


  1. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (May 30, 2018). "Apple Orders Emily Dickinson Comedy Series Starring Hailee Steinfeld". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Dickinson– Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 30, 2018). "Hailee Steinfeld to Star in Emily Dickinson Comedy Series for Apple". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  4. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (May 30, 2018). "Hailee Steinfeld to Play Emily Dickinson in Just-Ordered Apple Comedy Series". TVLine. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  5. ^ Otterson, Joe (May 30, 2018). "Apple Orders Emily Dickinson Series With Hailee Steinfeld Set to Star". Variety. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Goldbery, Lesley; Jarvey, Natalie (October 15, 2019). "Inside Apple's Long, Bumpy Road to Hollywood". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 29, 2018). "'Dickinson': Jane Krakowski To Co-Star In Apple Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (September 26, 2018). "'Dickinson': Toby Huss, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt & Adrian Enscoe Cast In Apple Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  9. ^ Petski, Denise (January 30, 2019). "Matt Lauria Joins Apple's 'Dickinson', Ali Ahn In Netflix's 'Raising Dion'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  10. ^ Yaoo, Noah (September 13, 2019). "Wiz Khalifa to Portray Death in New Emily Dickinson Apple TV+ Series". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  11. ^ Yang, Rachel (September 15, 2019). "John Mulaney will play Henry David Thoreau in Apple TV+'s Dickinson". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Otterson, Joe (December 6, 2019). "'Dickinson' Season 2 Adds Finn Jones, Pico Alexander". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "Monday, Jan 7 Filming Locations for The Rookie, Manifest, Billions, & more!". On Location Vacations. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  14. ^ Koblin, John (March 17, 2019). "Apple's Big Spending Plan to Challenge Netflix Takes Shape". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  15. ^ "Hailee Steinfeld Explains Why She's Bad at Dating". Youtube. November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019. Timestamp is 2:40
  16. ^ "Dickinson: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  17. ^ "Dickinson: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  18. ^ Gardner, Chris; Howard, Annie (January 8, 2020). "Outstanding Film - Limited Release - GLAAD Media Awards: 'Booksmart,' 'Bombshell,' 'Rocketman' Among Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2020.

External linksEdit