Dickinson, the Apple TV+ coming-of-age original starring Hailee Steinfeld as the young American poet, is back. And ET has an exclusive, extended look at the new season, which has everything: seances, house parties, day spas, barn-themed balls, new hotties and plenty of poetry!
“It’s more sophisticated and it’s sexier and more mature,” Steinfeld teases in the featurette.
Created, written and executive produced by Alena Smith, the Peabody Award-winning series continues to explore Emily’s passion for creative writing while also figuring out how to navigate life in the spotlight and society’s new thirst for celebrity.
“A part of her wants to be famous and another part of her is really scared by it,” Steinfeld says, adding that the celebrity culture is something she “was really excited to dig into” this season.
Of course, Emily is not the only one going through changes and finding herself facing unexpected, new challenges, as her brother Austin and Sue (Adrian Enscoe and Ella Hunt) settled into married life at the center of society’s attention, her mother (Jane Krakowski) searching for more satisfaction in her home and her sister Vinnie (Anna Baryshnikov) finding out what it means to be a modern woman.
“I’m really excited for the audience to come back home to these characters, but find that home has changed,” Smith says. “We get to stretch our wings and expand our world.”
And that expanded world, set in the 19th century in Massachusetts as America edges closer to Civil War, leads to some “twists and turns” and some “unexpected [moments],” Steinfeld told ET earlier this year. And with the addition of new characters, she says things get “pretty wild.”
First is Finn Jones as the “young, ambitious” newspaper editor Samuel Bowles, who dangles fame in front of Emily, and Pico Alexander as Henry “Ship” Shipley, an Amherst College dropout who boards with the Dickinson family and finds a potential match in Vinnie.
Also joining the cast this season are Nick Kroll as Edgar Allan Poe, Timothy Simons as Frederick Law Olmstead, Will Pullen as Nobody and Ayo Edebiri as Hattie, “who is a little of an instigator and definitely opinionated.”
In addition to joining the cast, Edebiri also was brought on to write for the show’s second season to help “explore the inner lives of the Black characters in the show, and make sure that it wasn’t lip service,” she previously told ET.
Without giving too many details away about Hattie and the show’s other new Black characters, she said, “We actually got to give them storylines that were both poignant but also fun and cool.”
That also includes a barn-themed ballroom (seen in the video) that was definitely inspired by the underground, LGBTQ dance scene in New York City. “I just really loved the idea of having them get down and getting to have a full kiki,” Edebiri added.
While the show amps things up, from the sex and sophistication to the characters and challenges, Smith says that “my goal with this series is always to be using the life and work of Emily Dickinson as a funhouse mirror for what we are going through as people today.”