Almost 30 percent of Kern County is a member of Generation-Z, according to The U.S. Census Bureau. Gen-Z is an age group known for rapid social change,whether shaped by social media or social movements reminiscent of the civil rights era.
One Peabody Award-winning Apple TV+ show is speaking to this generation’s coming of age and bending genres along the way.
“When I first heard about a show called Emily Dickinson, I thought...boring? But when I read it, it was the complete opposite!” Hailee Steinfeld who stars as Emily Dickinson on ‘Dickinson’ said. “It was fun, fresh and unique and different. It has that modern language, modern twists and this look into Emily had a really modern way of thinking.”
When ‘Dickinson’ showrunner Alena Smith was writing season 2 of the peabody award-winning show, she always planned on speaking to the sign of the times through a show back in time.
Little did she know during a pandemic and a politically charged year, her work would be so resonant.
“I’ve certainly done a lot of research about the 1850s, but i’m certainly more interested in the 2020s, which is turning out to be a pretty complicated era of its own,” Smith said.
She added that it was important for her to give women, people of color and queer people the screen time they have not gotten in the past, but she feels they so deserve.
“In my opinion, that’s what art is for: [It’s for] moving the conversation of society forward,” Smith said.
In season two the society as Emily Dickinson, her family and friends know it, also moves forward. Characters were see contributing to the abolitionist movement,
grappling with fame, or fighting for the chance to be a woman in one’s own right.
“I love that Alena does not talk down to her audience,” Ella Hunt who plays Sue Dickinson said. “It’s exciting for me as an actor and as a young person to see this sort of show benign made.”
No matter your background,or what era you’re from, Steinfeld said that during the stay-at-home era, you can learn from Emily Dickinson who is the poster-child for powering through isolation.
“We’re now in a state of isolation watching this young woman who is in isolation, basically, and still managed to be creative to the best of her ability,” Steinfeld said. “She hits these roadblocks, and feels lost and confused and anxious as we all have, but manages through it. It’s important to see that it’s still possible.”
The first three episodes will drop on Apple TV+ Jan. 8, the rest to be released weekly on Fridays.