A few short weeks ahead of the premiere of Dickinson—Apple TV+’s new show about the 19th century poet Emily Dickinson—the streaming service has dropped a brand new trailer, featuring Hailee Steinfeld as the titular wordsmith. And while the show may be set two centuries in the past, it’s definitely not your typical stiff period piece.
The coming-of-age dramedy appears to be aimed directly at millennials, and built in the mold of recent teen soap phenomenons like Riverdale. For starters, its central romance appears to be between Steinfeld’s Dickinson, and Ella Hunt’s Sue Gilbert—and that relationship is front and center in the new clip.
Another hint at the show’s deliberate modernity: the casting of none other than Wiz Khalifa as Death, who appears in the trailer when he tells Dickinson that she’ll be “the only Dickinson they talk about in 200 years.” It’s that quest to become a great writer, despite living in age when women had very little agency, that appears to be the main narrative thrust of the series.
That notion is something Steinfeld reflected on when discussing her new song, Afterlife, the lyrics of which were inspired by Dickinson’s poetry. “There’s a line in the song that says ‘immortality is bliss’ and it's reminiscent of a lot of Emily’s poems,” Steinfeld said. “She lived during a time where women were forbidden from voicing their opinions and restricted in many ways, including how they dressed. I wanted the single art to reflect this idea too so the corset has an exaggerated cinch to represent how Emily in particular felt constricted and stifled.”
Dickinson, premiers November 1st on Apple TV+, which also happens to be the first day that the streaming service becomes available. Watch the trailer below.