Criticism | ‘Dickinson’ returns with deeply spectacular 2nd season

Emily Dickinson did not become one of America’s greatest writers for no reason: a symbol of modern English-speaking poetry, she broke gender paradigms by daring to write her poems confined to her bedroom, contrary to the traditionalist and sexist measures of the era and, above all, an authoritarian father who did not allow his daughters to pursue an artistic and literary career. Endowed with a unique metric and rhythm that mimicked and, at the same time, neglected the aesthetics of his countrymen, he opened the doors to metaphysical explorations of everyday life, love and death – discovered almost a century later and, in recent years, earning a fine tribute through the “Dickinson” series.

Created by Alena Smith, the original Apple TV + production takes us to the small town of Amherst, in the United States, and cultivates a delicious anachronistic tale that mixes period tragicomedies with very contemporary inflections, from the soundtrack to the dialogical slang spoken by the characters. . And, as the first season fell on its own ambition, the second cycle was ready to mature and bet all its chips on more dramatic forays and filled with surprising twists – placing Hailee Steinfeld as the titular character and in the best portrayal of his career. from “Bravura Indomita”.

After positioning herself as the owner of her own truth for the family, Emily’s troubled relationship with her father, Edward (Toby Huss) appears to have improved dramatically. Now, the young woman, who still faces doubts and self-sabotage that guides her through the ten new chapters, must prepare for the next chapter of her life: popularity. Immersed in a wave of continuous writing that brings her some of her best poems, she continues to have Sue (Ella Hunt) as a confidante, who still enjoys a forbidden love that tries, little by little, to wane in the face of events. constant unfolding in the city, from the marriage between Sue and Austin (Adrian Blake Enscoe) to the growing rebellion of the Afro-descendant community against anti-abolitionists, led by Henry (Chinaza Uche).

The interesting thing about the second iteration is how each storyline has its moment to shine; It’s clear that, on a frontal plane, we have Emily facing all of her inner demons, like the aforementioned love mismatch and the arrival of a mysterious and controversial editor named Samuel Bowles (Finn Jones), who falls in love with the writings of young people and decides to publish them on the front page of his newspaper, the Springfield Republican. Of the other epicenters, Lavinia (Anna Baryshnikov) ensures, who crosses the path of an old acquaintance who wants to marry her; Edward and Emily Norcross (Jane Krakowski) face marital problems which are compounded by the arrival of two orphaned nieces who have been taken into the care of the Dickinsons; and many others.

The intelligence of the script reaches indescribable levels, filled with artful twists that relate as much to audience appreciation for 19th century stories as it does to those looking for something new and shying away from the conventional. It is undeniable to forge relationships with other works using the same resource, such as the classic “Maria Antonieta”, but the originality is still present in the blatant fluidity of the characters’ speeches and even their behavior; in fact, Smith and his knowledgeable creative team make a point of turning seasonal trends into waiting breaks that both produce humor and contribute to the growing complexity of protagonists and supporting actors.

The degressive and, at the same time, transgressive aesthetic, expands its references to countless fin-of-the-century cinematic and avant-garde schools, perhaps even more than the previous season’s episodes. The team of directors, who work together for a solid and inviting cohesion and without much capricious affections, touches surrealism in the sequences in which Emily boards the coach of Death (Wiz Khalifa), an entity that she kisses as if she were an old friend and confidant .; soap opera tragedies satirically mimic melodrama, ensuring that preciosity is used with caution and with a single purpose, like the scenes in which Lavinia and Ship (Pico Alexander) hilariously recreate certain scenes from “The Scarlet Letter” ; European Expressionism comes to life in moments of reflection and intimacy where nothing seems to work.

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But what grabs our attention most is the criticism of the fame and stardom that the show brings – something that’s somewhat ambiguous, considering Emily Dickinson rose to fame years after her death. In fact, we are dealing with an imaginative representation of the facts (therefore, not everything we see is true) and, in a way, Smith makes us aware of the general panorama of the life of the main protagonist and of the way she handled the possibility. to be known beyond the neighbors. This is where the only mistake is shown, a somewhat tiring repetition of the author’s back and forth to decide what she wants to do with her life.

The second season of “Dickinson” is spectacular, in short. While viewers were left behind with the first few episodes, errors and details are polished with masterful caution, bonding emotionally and involving bonds all the way to the cheering season finale.

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