Hailee Steinfeld‘s Emily Dickinson is writing like her “brain is on fire” for an audience of one but isn’t sure if she’s ready to share her poems with the rest of the world in the trailer for season two of Apple TV+‘s Dickinson.
The preview begins with Emily and her close confidante Sue (Ella Hunt), who were involved in a romantic relationship at the start of season one before Sue married Emily’s brother, discussing her poetry at a party. While Sue loved the verses Emily wrote for her, she urges her to share her writing “with the world.”
Towards that end, as viewers see in the preview, Sue introduces Emily to newspaper editor Sam Bowles (Finn Jones) as Emily says she’s not sure if she wants fame and Sam asks how she wants to be remembered.
The rest of the trailer finds Emily asking herself and others if she should pursue public recognition before she’s heard talking about losing confidence and shown fighting with Sue, making out with Sam and ending up back with Wiz Khalifa‘s Death.
Indeed, one of the people Emily is shown talking to tells her that fame is “kind of like death.”
The preview ends with her lost in a maze of hedges as she says via voiceover, “Part of me is sure fame isn’t very good for me. In fact, I think it could be very dangerous.”
The first three episodes of the second season of the Peabody Award-winning Dickinson premiere on Apple TV+ on Jan. 8, with a new episode released each week after that.
Dickinson showrunner Alena Smith previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the second season will explore fame and the poet’s “deeply ambivalent relationship to it.”
Dickinson’s feelings about fame, Smith said, are part of the series’ goal to answer the question of why the vast majority of the poet’s work wasn’t published while she was alive and why she wrote such, now revered, poems in secret.
“Season one gives one answer, which is it was a patriarchy and her father was opposed to women publishing. Season two is going to completely turn that on its head or inside out and give a very different answer, which is that Emily herself had a deeply ambivalent relationship to fame. Season two is really all about fame and the attention economy, which was a central concern in Emily Dickinson’s poems. She wrote many, many poems about fame and about running from fame or rejecting fame. But she definitely had an obsession about fame even if she was subverting it,” Smith explains, adding that, in keeping with her goal for the series, that’s also an issue of concern for a present-day, millennial audience. “People who have come of age in this era of social media, where everyone has the opportunity to get famous, it’s really interesting to think about the fact that — and this is something that I’ve had conversations with the cast and the writers room — anyone who wants fame in this day and age can get it. Like it’s not that hard. And we have these people called influencers, where that’s like their profession is getting enough fame that they can sell product, and like what would it mean to choose being a nobody, to borrow a key word from Emily Dickinson? What would it mean to choose being anonymous, being invisible, being unseen and what kind of power is there in being a nobody?”
In the preview, Sue is characterized as an “influencer” by Emily’s sister.
The series has already been renewed for a third season, with Smith previously saying that future installment would perhaps explore the time period of the Civil War.
“We get a bit closer to the Civil War [in season two]. We get right up to the brink of it,” she told THR in November 2019. “The season kind of builds up to the event of Harpers Ferry, of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, which we are kind of figuring in our show as kind of a 9/11 moment or a moment when war becomes inevitable and the society that has held itself together so far knows that it’s not going to work anymore. If and when we have a season three, that would be when we were in a Civil War.”
Watch the full season two trailer below.