Um, so the Trailer for Dickinson Literally Made Me Gayer, Thank You Hailee Steinfeld
To loosely quote a Mary Sue writer, Rachel Leishman: finally content for me. While I was watching Magic the Gathering videos, the algorithm remembered that I’d been looking up scenes from Howard’s End, and showed me the trailer for the Apple TV show Dickinson, an upcoming American comedy web television series starring Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld as American poet Emily Dickinson.
“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.”
The trailer definitely touches on the comedy and it certainly helps to cast Jane Krakowski as Mrs. Dickinson. But we also see Emily writing and doing the most erotic thing you can do in a period drama … intense eye contact. With a woman who we can assume to be Susan Gilbert, her sister-in-law, and one of Dickinson’s closest relationships even when she was deep in her isolationist period. Modern critics have speculated—due to surviving letters—that the two were in an erotic relationship. Which has the added fanfiction drama of them being sisters-in-law, meaning all of this is happening under her sweet brother’s nose.
Hailee Steinfeld has had such an interesting career. Despite her talent and acclaim, I feel like she isn’t as well known as one would expect, but there is no denying that she had chosen really fun and creative projects as a result. Bumblebee and The Edge of Seventeen alone show her range, not to mention her masterful young performance in True Grit. I’m really excited to see her use the well-honed comedic and dramatic chops she gained over the years to bring this American icon to life.
Emily Dickinson was a big deal. Born into a prominent family as a middle child (which honestly tells you all you need to know), she was considered an eccentric by the locals, and as mentioned before, spent the majority of her later life in isolation. Most of her friendships were maintained by letters (which same), and despite being a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime. It wasn’t until she died that her sister found all the unpublished ones and made them available for the public. Common themes in her work were death, immortality, and the sapphic desires she had for her sister-in-law.
Classic middle child.
I am not someone who gravitates towards poetry, but I have always been infatuated with Dickinson as one of the many talented female writers of that era who died so young (she was only 55, which is older than the life expectancy of a Brontë, but still young). I am looking forward to seeing how this comedy comes together to bring to life one of history’s most important female (mostly likely queer), neurologically atypical poets.
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