Apple debuted Dickinson, its first television show for its upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, at the Tribeca TV Festival on Saturday. Dickinson is a somewhat unusual period drama that focuses on the life of 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, who is played by actress/singer Hailee Steinfeld.
While the new show is set in the 19th century and focuses on Dickinson’s life, the characters speak in modern language, and the show also features contemporary pop music.
The show was reportedly well-received by the audience in a nearly full theater. Reports indicate hearty applause was offered at the end of the 30-minute episode.
Deadline compared the show to Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 adaptation of Shakespeare Romeo + Juliet.
The period-set look at the life of poet Emily Dickinson offers a wealth of contemporary flourishes. (Think Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.) Rapper Wiz Khalifa plays Death and the soundtrack teems with currently charting artists like Billie Eilish. As pastoral 19th century life unfolds, bass-heavy beats drop and many characters speak in a modern style. The show, whose official world premiere will be held in a few weeks, blends drama, comedy and romance steeped in literary history. “It truly reflects everything that’s in her poetry, which is everything there is to feel,” Steinfeld said.
The first episode portray’s Dickinson resisting of her mother’s efforts to marry her off, and portrays her as heartbroken when her father reprimands her for submitting a poem to a literary magazine.
Series star Steinfeld also announced she will release her new music single “Afterlife” on September 19 and the song will be featured in the show.
Apple’s streaming television service will launch on November 1 in 100+ countries and regions. The service will carry a monthly fee of $4.99, and a 7-day trial will be available.
An original lineup of shows and movies will include “The Morning Show,” “Dickinson,” “See,” “For All Mankind” and “The Elephant Queen.” The service will be available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online at tv.apple.com.