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Apple TV Plus adds Dickinson to lineup: iPhone maker’s deathly serious about taking on Disney Plus

Apple have announced another original drama that will air on its new £4.99 per month streaming service Apple TV Plus.

The star-studded period piece, Dickinson, tells the story of eponymous American poet, Emily Dickinson, played by Hailee Steinfeld. Alongside an amazing cast including John Mulaney, Jane Krakowski and Wiz Khalifa, the drama also carries a stirring feminist message.

Dickinson lived from 1830-1886 and was a prolific poet. Her writing is studied in schools across America and she is celebrated for writing at a time when women were not encouraged to express themselves creatively.

Nothing on the historical record supports the show’s idea that Dickinson flirted with a physical embodiment of death, played by Khalifa, as is shown in the trailer but we think it’s an interesting creative flourish nonetheless.

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Pop singer and Pitch Perfect star, Steinfeld, made the following comments following a screening of the show: “I do think that the pressure that Emily Dickinson is under to feel or act or do certain things, I think that women still feel that today.”

In the first episode viewers see Dickinson’s mother attempt to marry her off, while her father criticises her for submitting poetry to a literary magazine. Hence, we see a clear thematic discussion of the historical repression of women emerging.

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In the post #MeToo era, Dickinson aims to be another affecting drama that discusses feminist themes and women’s stories.

Krakowski, who plays Dickinsons mother, commented on Apple’s involvement. “They clearly put a lot of money and kindness into the look of the show which I think pays off amazingly on screen,” she said after the screening.

With new streaming services joining market, including Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus have pitched Dickinson as one of their stand-out launch programmes. Their streaming platform is based entirely on original content and it will be interesting to see how their inevitable duel with existing streaming giants, Netflix and Amazon Prime, plays out.

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