'Dickinson' Is the Perfect Show to Usher in the Fall of Big, Sad Feelings

Taylor Swift, Adele, and Emily Dickinson should all be on your radar this month.

Apple TV+
Apple TV+
Apple TV+

The third and final season of Dickinson opens at a funeral. It appears at first to be a memorial for a Union soldier, but it turns out to be Emily’s aunt. The minister has no time for this. There are more important dead people to attend to. The Dickinsons are left unmoored. On the way home, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) hitches a ride with her old friend Death (Wiz Khalifa), who is in a foul mood because his work isn’t as fun as it once was. Emily is invigorated thinking she got a sign from beyond the grave to continue her work.

It’s a scene that’s a wonderful example of what Dickinson has deftly been able to do over its short but sweet run on Apple TV+, melding the absurd with the morbid. It also proves that the series is the perfect way to inaugurate what is set to be a banner season for girls and their feelings.

Dickinson premieres this Friday. The next, Taylor Swift re-releases her most autumnal and most sorrowful album, Red. The following week, the queen of sobbing into your warm mug of cocoa Adele comes out with 30, her first album in six years. The season has already been dubbed “sad girl autumn,” with a trend story in NBC News making the term official. With Dickinson, it’s really kicking off.

The series may seem like an odd choice to lump in with these pop landmarks. Sure, Swift and Adele are great songwriters, but should they really be compared to one of the greatest American poets? That’s actually the game showrunner Alena Smith has been playing this whole time.

Apple TV+
Apple TV+
Apple TV+

When I spoke to Smith back when Dickinson was part of Apple TV+’s launch in 2019, she compared Emily to Billie Eilish. “I’ve heard this phrase that Billie Eilish’s music has been described as ‘gloom pop,'” Smith said. “I think that is the right phrase for the aesthetic of Dickinson as well. I think we live in a gloom pop moment.”

Out of context, it’s a comparison that sounds silly, but Smith has been able to successfully draw the line between the present and past beyond simply the use of modern language and current music, and her experiment has gotten only more successful as the narrative has progressed. This season, for instance, Emily is trying to figure out her place as an artist in an unsettled world and how she, a secluded white woman, can write in a way that moves people beyond her sphere. (While focused on Emily, each season Dickinson has made strides in depicting race. This season follows Chinaza Uche’s Henry as he ventures South to get a job teaching a regiment of Black soldiers, and gives an expanded storyline to dressmaker Betty, played by Amanda Warren, who is helping Sojourner Truth, Ziwe in a cameo, write her autobiography.)

One of the reasons Dickinson works alongside Swift and Adele for the autumnal cry season is the aesthetic, of course. Smith and her writers have milked their settings’ quaint New England rites for all they are worth. In the second episode of this season, there’s a party scene set to Tkay Maidza’s “Syrup” where the local young people engage in the seasonal tradition of “maple sugaring.” At one point, Emily and her sister, Lavinia (Anna Baryshnikov), attend a quilt fair. This is the shit fall was made of. And yet Dickinson is also a show about longing. Fans have gravitated to the clandestine romance between Emily and her friend/sister-in-law Sue (Ella Hunt) more than anything else on screen. Sue’s very pregnant at the start of Season 3, and still their interactions are devastatingly sexy. But Dickinson also finds a way to make reading Walt Whitman sexy. It just has that power.

So in the coming weeks, as you’re strolling around leaf-covered streets-or imagining you are doing so if you don’t happen to live in that climate-and listening to Taylor Swift wail about leaving her scarf at Maggie Gyllenhaal’s house or Adele lamenting her divorce, remember to turn on Dickinson when you get home. It will fit right in with the mood.

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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