Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Alexis Gunderson
    Oct 28, 2019
    91
    Dickinson is so fun and so strange and so tireless in handing out little moments of character development, with wildly original mood setting. ... With only three episodes provided for review and all of Emily’s real, long life such a legit mystery, it’s difficult to gauge what the central arc of the whole season might be. But with such gorgeous cinematography, costuming, and metatextual design, and with every actor putting in such fun, charming, deeply specific (read: often deeply odd) performances—and with Smith and Steinfeld, especially, so blazingly self-confident in their vision—it seems entirely likely that Dickinson will be one of the brightest debuts of 2019.
  2. Reviewed by: Dave Nemetz
    Oct 28, 2019
    83
    Steinfeld is excellent as Emily, armed with a delightful, Wednesday Addams-like morbid streak. (When her sister compliments the “lovely funeral” they just attended, Emily sniffs: “Mine will be better.”) Of all of Apple’s new shows, this one actually made me want to watch a second episode, and has the kind of breakout potential that a new streaming service desperately needs.
  3. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    Nov 6, 2019
    80
    To be sure, Peak Content has demonstrated a bit too much fondness for the “[notable figure], but cool” dramatic premise, which has yielded both hits (Riverdale) and bombs (remember Will?). But Dickinson has so much to imagine about Emily—and such a sense of humor—that the idea feels fresh.
  4. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Nov 4, 2019
    80
    “Dickinson,” cross-pollinating literary history with adolescent fantasy, is happy to get lost in its own fertile ideas about the essence of this rare flower.
  5. Reviewed by: Hanh Nguyen
    Nov 1, 2019
    80
    There’s a wackiness and disregard for convention that will no doubt put off purists, but the “Dickinson” isn’t meant to be literal, rather its own poetic take on Emily’s life and the society that formed her. It’s bonkers, joyous, and possibly the best series on Apple TV+.
  6. Reviewed by: Constance Grady
    Nov 1, 2019
    80
    Dickinson is a slick, stylish show, and refreshingly, it knows exactly what it’s doing.
  7. Reviewed by: Lorraine Ali
    Nov 1, 2019
    80
    The series is a smart, funny, irreverent ride — a coming-of-age comedy fused with a rich costume drama.
  8. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Oct 31, 2019
    80
    Apple’s most satisfying and confident treat, without question, is creator Alena Smith’s sly comedy “Dickinson” — a surprisingly splendid liberation riff on everyone’s favorite 19th-century poet, Emily Dickinson.
  9. 80
    She is too death-obsessed to fall into the trap of the blockheaded Badass Feminism in Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale, and she’s too snide and whiny to be mistaken as a heroic figure. She is Emily Dickinson, messy and horny and smart and very, very fun to watch.
  10. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Oct 29, 2019
    80
    While it’s hard to imagine this Emily is introspective enough to be any kind of poet, let alone Emily Dickinson, the show is unassuming and charming, mixing things up to convey the jarring weirdness of being ahead of one’s time. I think it would be a hit on Netflix.
  11. Reviewed by: Shannon Miller
    Oct 28, 2019
    75
    Bucking the currently flourishing trend of gritty teen drams, Smith takes what could have been a morose tale and adds an element of much-needed fun, making a towering cultural figure approachable for a younger (or not-as-knowledgeable) audience. While it’s too early to call it poetry in motion, Dickinson shows real promise.
  12. Reviewed by: Libby Hill
    Oct 28, 2019
    75
    Wwithin “Dickinson” is the still-nascent potential for something beautiful, waiting to burst forth like a morning glory, so long as its promise is cultivated with care. For some, the seemingly trivial affairs of young women will always seem little more than filler. But for others, those who “Dickinson” understands whole-heartedly, they know it’s a matter of life and Death.
  13. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Oct 31, 2019
    70
    As thoroughly bonkers as this “Dickinson” is, I was in awe of the nerve of it all. I can’t tell you exactly what tone show creator Alena Smith is aiming for — satire, spoof, revisionist drama, cultural kaleidoscope, flagrant attention grab. But I can tell you that she is going for broke with it all, refusing to give in to narrative expectations. It is — from sheer fearlessness — a thing to see, if not to follow.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Oct 31, 2019
    70
    The slightest, but perhaps most interesting, of the Apple Plus shows.
  15. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Oct 31, 2019
    70
    Its willingness to just go for it, to embrace its peculiar blend of anachronism, angst, irony, self-awareness, and unabashed youthfulness, proves so winning that even when the show’s sprint sends it face-first into a wall, you can’t help but admire its gusto. And run into walls, it does.
  16. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    Oct 29, 2019
    70
    The show is kind of a mess, veering between empathetic depictions of its hero’s struggles against the social norms of her time and slapstick humor that recalls Comedy Central’s costume-drama parody Another Period. Yet it’s never boring. And to the extent that it represents Apple’s bravery in taking on a strange project from a first-time creator, Alena Smith, Dickinson may be the most promising show to come out of the service’s initial lineup.
  17. Reviewed by: Liam Mathews
    Oct 28, 2019
    70
    Creator Alena Smith has thought the world out well, and the show feels grounded in its own reality. It doesn't overdo the ironic modernity, instead sprinkling a handful of mild swear words and slang terms into each episode in a way that doesn't take the viewer out of the story. It's pretty artfully done.
  18. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Oct 23, 2019
    62
    Entertaining at times, “Dickinson” surely has some appeal to certain segments of the audience but it’s tonally all over the place to a distracting degree.
  19. Reviewed by: Allie Gemmill
    Oct 28, 2019
    60
    Dickinson has a few weak spots that threaten to rip you out of the show’s flow but are on par for a new show coming from a new streamer still finding its footing.
  20. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Nov 4, 2019
    50
    Fan fiction may not be the best way to describe Dickinson, but I think it captures the overall adoration of the poet that went into the making of this show. ... All of this is pretty engaging. But then at seemingly random moments Dickinson shape-shifts into a sitcom, and that’s where it loses me.
  21. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Nov 1, 2019
    50
    Steinfeld is good, the cast too and the show is not terrible either. What it's forgotten is that while we're all free to make Emily Dickinson into whoever we want, at least make her interesting. Emily deserves as much.
  22. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Oct 31, 2019
    50
    The mishmash of tone and slang give Dickinson an endearingly weird energy. And Steinfeld is already such a bundle of charisma that she papers over some of the sillier choices. Does Dickinson capture the spirit of its title character? Not really. Is it a good show? Probably not. But it’s at least more interesting than most of Apple’s bland freshman class.
  23. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Oct 31, 2019
    50
    As far as plots go, the one in Dickinson is rather thin, which is actually fine. It makes it more of a pleasure to spend time with the characters—chiefly Steinfeld as Emily. The young actress has a commanding, sardonic-sweet screen presence, and she’s fantastic casting in this. ... But things are too mishmashed. There’s too little continuity, or rhyme or reason, for what elements are period-accurate and what gets cheekily updated to today. Things are bonkers and fun at first, then repetitive and exhausting.
  24. Reviewed by: Caroline Framke
    Oct 28, 2019
    50
    Acting saves many moments that “Dickinson” otherwise drowns in distracting stylistic flourishes. Maybe the most frustrating part of the first few episodes is how close they get to connecting Emily’s spirit to that of her poetry before losing the thread.
  25. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Oct 29, 2019
    40
    Steinfeld is an appealing young star, but she deserves a better vehicle than this one. As Dickinson wrote, "Hope is the thing with feathers." It will take more than that to get "Dickinson" off the ground.
  26. Reviewed by: Robyn Bahr
    Oct 28, 2019
    40
    in wanting to be both a serious teen drama and a black comedy simultaneously, the half-hour show instead comes off as tonally incongruous, awash in wry hipster flatness. Irony, though, is a tool — not a genre. ... When Dickinson does work, it's mainly due to Steinfeld's loose, irreverent tenacity and the organic eroticism shared between her Emily and Hunt's Sue.
  27. Reviewed by: Kelly Lawler
    Nov 1, 2019
    25
    "Dickinson" is a mess of conflicting tones that never jell into a show that does more than relish the chaos of twerking in long dresses. The acting is terrible, and not in a let's-drink-wine-and-make-fun-of-it way.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 9 out of 31
  1. Nov 9, 2019
    7
    Dickinson e o tipo de série morna mais extremamente divertida que agrada seu público mesmo com poucos defeitos
  2. Nov 7, 2019
    3
    Dickinson's story is just an excuse to propose a teen comedy that aims more at the effect than at the quality of the content.
  3. Nov 6, 2019
    2
    Emily Dickinson is best known as the [possibly lesbian] writer obsessed with death and poetry. She is one of America’s greatest and mostEmily Dickinson is best known as the [possibly lesbian] writer obsessed with death and poetry. She is one of America’s greatest and most original poets of all time.
    In her writing, she experimented with expression in order to free it from conventional restraints. Her characters could see the inescapable limitations of their societies as well as their imagined and imaginable escapes.
    To define meaning without confining it, to inhabit a house that never became a prison, Dickinson created a distinctively elliptical language in her work, for expressing what was possible but not yet realized.

    In the spirit of recent historical dramadies (p.e. Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite)  Apple TV+ has released this original series.
    In my opinion, the American TV firmament will not rest until it remakes every American poet into a TV-series character who is hot, young, and horny. At least she is depicted as queer. Obviously the show is targeting the young generation. I for one, would prefer a British version.
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