Note: This review is only after watching up to episode 3!
When I heard that Hailee Steinfeld was going to star in a show about Emily Dickinson, there were quite a few things running through my mind. For one, Emily Dickinson? I barely knew anything about her other than her becoming famous after death (no wonder I dropped my English major), so what could they make an entire show about?
After watching just one episode, I was totally hooked. Hailee is amazing in movies like Bumblebee and The Edge of Seventeen and plays a similar role for Dickinson – she’s the quirky, “other” girl who’s just trying to live her life. Part of why I love Hailee Steinfeld and don’t mind her being typecast for these kinds of roles is because of how positively genuine she is when she plays them.. She’s not other-worldly or acting like a freak, she just thinks differently and isn’t afraid to say it. She knows what she’s about. And, as it turns out, that’s perfect for the role of Emily Dickinson.
Steinfeld’s natural quirks play right into the story, which presents itself as a self-conscious period drama. There’s constantly some kind of undertone about how these ancient beliefs don’t sit quite right, but it’s just the way things are and so they keep on as they are.
The supporting cast is also full of great characters who bounce off of the lead and the overall humor of the show. There’s lots of hilarious moments of Jane Krakowski fighting tooth and nail to keep her role as the “woman” of the family, staying at home and doing house chores and supporting her husband, which Emily (Steinfeld) refuses to adhere to. The flat out way the show addresses it is ironic, and fits my brand of humor just right.
Every episode is supported by one of Dickinson’s poems, which Steinfeld narrates as the glowing poetry fades in and out of the screen over shots of scenic 1800s Massachusetts. Dickinson’s female love interest is heavily pursued in the show, and as far as episode 3, I believe it’s done tastefully.
I’m very much looking forward to continuing the show once I can pick up a subscription to the service. Until then, though, why not try the free pilot episode for yourself and see what you think?