Friday, November 15, 2019

Round Two: Dickinson

Dickinson: Season 1, Episode 2 “I have never seen ‘Volcanoes’” (B+)

I wasn’t entirely sure if I needed to be watching more of this show, but I’m glad I stuck around it since I think it does have something to offer. The very stylized opening credits were only the first indication of this show’s funkiness, which I think works entirely to its advantage. It expresses a self-awareness about the era it portrays, like with Lavina asking herself if she’s been knitting all day, that could eventually get annoying, but for now, it’s fair enough since it allows an entire generation of suppressed women to be spoken for through this creative exploration of what Emily Dickinson’s experience might have been. Emily harped on having gotten a maid as a way for her to get out of housework, something that didn’t go over well with anyone, and it was Mrs. Dickinson who was most upset about it since it felt to her like she had been replaced in the crucial function she wanted to fill. Emily being told that she wasn’t allowed to go to the Professor Hitchcock lecture at the college was essentially just encouragement for her to do exactly that, and after their thin disguises managed to fool almost everyone, Emily had to go ahead and expose herself when she shouted out and excitedly removed her hat to reveal her long hair. Her father’s response is only going to make her act out more. Sue at least seemed to be more on the same page by episode’s end than at the beginning, as indicated by the passionate final scene. I don’t feel an urgent need to be watching this show but I’m interested in seeing more.

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