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“Dickinson” review: A second look at a Generation X drama

The Dickinson show from Apple TV+ turned me off big-time, but because our Editor gave it a great review, this analyst is going back for a second look review.

Before people judge, let me say: Emily Dickinson is interesting. She’s a 19th-century poet whose perspective on death made her writing genuinely fascinating. A scholar in her youth, and reclusive in old age, the Dickinson dramatization of her teenage years should have been something I binged. Especially with its modern twist.

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Here’s my disclaimer:

  • I’m a 39-year old white man whose wife and daughter call me a caveman.
  • The original review was written by SNIPdaily Editor Matt Fitzgerald. He gave the show a BINGE rating, which is the highest we give.
  • Apple TV+ has exceeded my expectations with See, The Morning Show, and Servant.

This second take is to judge whether I was wrong about Dickinson. Journey good chap.

First impressions

From its first to last available episode, Dickinson has that Apple TV+ shine. Seriously, every show must use the same cinematography playbook. It isn’t a negative, because even clunky and cliche shows like Truth Be Told end up looking superb.

Audiovisual quality aside, Dickinson surprised me. It makes the restrictions, rules, and expectations placed upon women in that era the butt of its jokes. Some even made me, a caveman, chuckle.

As someone who hates social agenda in shows and movies, Dickinson didn’t once make me cringe. Ironically, the pre-release teaser trailer knotted my face into a fist and made me bark like an animal at the screen. Take a second look at that Dickinson trailer below:

Luring in the opinionated

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Apple clearly knew what it was doing with that trailer. It targeted a very specific demographic, and with it, drove me away. It made me not want to give the show a chance and in all honesty, Apple did the right thing.

Despite my delight that Dickinson wasn’t social agenda being shoveled down a viewer’s throat, it didn’t grab me. Truth Be Told, which is a worse show, did far more for my attention. Its cliffhangers are amazing and targeted my crime drama needs.

The original review

This Dickinson second look was meant to dispute what our editor said about the show. Yet, having watched all available episodes, some of that original review I agree with.

Although the commentary is rather on the nose, it’s intentionally that way, and it’s often played for laughs. Steinfeld makes it all work in a sincere but sort of passive-aggressive way.

Matt Fitgerald, Dickinson SNIPdaily review
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This is my big takeaway. it isn’t anti-man propaganda. Not once did its commentary become cringe-worthy, even for someone my age and gender.

It’s a testament to the creative talent, Smith’s writing and David Gordon Green’s direction that all this worked so well.

Matt Fitgerald, Dickinson SNIPdaily review

The show is creative and it makes sense that Apple TV+ snapped up a second season. However…

Dickinson verdict: Kill


  • Streaming on Apple TV+
  • Created by Alena Smith
  • Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Toby Huss, Jane Krakowski

Overall, this is definitely a series worth binging.

Matt Fitgerald, Dickinson SNIPdaily review

This is the one thing I dispute from the original review. For as good as Dickinson is, the show doesn’t make me want to watch more. Even with the brilliant way Emily Dickinson’s relationship with Death is portrayed, I didn’t want to put it on my watchlist.

At the end of the day, there are different shows for different folks. Despite being 100 percent wrong about this show from the start, in no way is it for a middle-aged, white guy whose family calls him a caveman.

Please follow us on Flipboard and Twitter for more news, rumors, and reviews. If you prefer Facebook or LinkedIn, we’re there as well and would love to talk streaming content with you and our group of friends.

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