I Watched The First 5 Episodes Of Dear Edward On Apple TV+ And I've Got So Many Feelings

Colin O'Brien in Dear Edward
(Image credit: Apple)

The streaming war is still in full effect, with a number of different services offering prestige movie and TV content. Apple TV+ is certainly in the race, especially after the Oscar-winning success of Coda. One of the new dramas that recently arrived was Dear Edward, based off the Ann Napolitano novel of the same name. With a deeply emotional story and strong talent behind and in front of the camera, it has the potential to be another Awards Season contender for the streamer. I watched the first five episodes of Dear Edward on Apple TV+, and I've got some thoughts.

The cast of Dear Edward is admittedly what got me involved, as I'm a fan of both Connie Britton and Taylor Schilling. I'm also a sucker for tear-jerker TV; case in point: I've watched Grey's Anatomy for 19 seasons. So I decided to use my Apple TV+ subscription and binge watch the first few episodes, and also go through a box of tissues in the process. Here are my five biggest takeaways from episodes 1-5. 

Connie Britton in Dear Edward

(Image credit: Apple)

It's Giving Big This Is Us/ Parenthood Vibes

As I already mentioned, I'm a sucker for a TV show that'll get me in my feelings. And as such, I previously watched tear-jerkers like NBC's This is Us and Parenthood. For those who are looking to get that particular itch scratched, Dear Edward is for you. The show's very premise elicits a strong emotional response: we follow a group of grievers who each lost someone in a plane crash. There's also one survivor named Edward  (Colin O'Brien), who quickly becomes famous as he tries to navigate losing so many of his family members in one fell swoop. He's sent to live with his Aunt Lacey, played by Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling.

I'm not going to go too bad into spoilers, but the first episode of Dear Edward allows the audience the opportunity to get to know a number of the victims, as well as the family members who make up the main cast. Each character gets the time to shine, creating an emotional ensemble drama that feels similar to those aforementioned shows. The music even sounds similar to This is Us at times.

The plane wreck in Dear Edward

(Image credit: Apple)

Dear Edward Is Nightmare Fuel For People With Flying Anxiety

While having Dear Edward revolve around a support group for those mourning people lost in a plane crash, that type of disaster is sure to get some folks nervous. Indeed, the first episode is basically nightmare fuel for nervous flyers out there, who always pictures the worst when traveling in the air. The sequence where we see the plane losing control is truly terrifying, and I found my entire body clenching throughout it.

It looks like the rest of Dear Edward isn't actually about the plane crash itself, but once in a while we do flash back to the event thanks to the memories/trauma of Edward himself. And as such, it might be triggering when folks who have a phobia about flying tune in. Then again, it could also help those viewers really connect with the title character. 

Anna Uzele in Dear Edward

(Image credit: Apple)

Bring Your Tissues, And Avoid Watching Dear Edward In Public

Since Dear Edward is basically one long meditation on grief, it's got the potential to elicit strong emotional reactions for audiences. Most episodes have gotten me at least a little misty, while others have destroyed me completely. As such, you might want to be in the right place/headspace to take on the moving new drama that's airing on Apple TV+.

Personally, I started watching Dear Edward on the elliptical. A little weird, but that's when I get my best binge watching in. Unfortunately, that made for a somewhat awkward experience when I found myself choked up, with a lump in my throat. Silver lining: I could pass off some of the tears as sweat drops. Regardless, I'd advise you to be careful about watching the show in public, unless you're not shy about people seeing you cry. And bring some tissues. 

Taylor Schilling in Dear Edward

(Image credit: Apple)

OITNB's Taylor Schilling Is Doing Some Of Her Best Work

One of the familiar faces of Dear Edward's cast that convinced me to give the show a try was Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling. She plays Aunt Lacey, who is one of the biggest characters in the new series. I personally feel Schilling does some of her best work ever in the show.

While Taylor Schilling has never been far from the TV and film screen, Dear Edward gives her the spotlight and stakes to put out some truly vulnerable performances. Like most of the characters, she's going through the process of grief, although hers is multi-tiered. She lost her older sister, brother-in-law, and nephew in the crash. Additionally she's revealed to be mourning a number of miscarriages. Finally she becomes the guardian of Edward, giving her more complicated emotional material to grapple with throughout the series. And Schilling rises to the occasion time and time again.

Idris Debrand in Dear Edward

(Image credit: Apple)

Dear Edward Beautifully Shows The Different Reactions And Stages That Come With Grief

While some characters in Dear Edward are larger than others, every member of the grief group gets their chance to take the spotlight throughout the first handful of episodes. The group itself is a great macguffin to help us understand each character, and allows for them to connect with each other in new and exciting ways.

The cast of Dear Edward is a diverse one, and each character comes from a vastly different background. And since each mourner has a unique backstory, they all react to grief in different ways. And in that way, the show really covers the gamut of reactions and stage of grief. This is a subject that some people feel uncomfortable dealing with interpersonally, so Dear Edward also has the potential to inspire some moving real-life conversations. 

Dear Edward airs new episodes Fridays on Apple TV+. Be sure to check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.