A whole show centered around celebrities reading fan mail may strike an odd tone right now — especially after the infamous “Imagine” debacle — but Dear…, the new Apple TV+ series, is presenting itself as more than a self-congratulatory show about celebrity culture. Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Spike Lee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and more get emotional as they read letters onscreen from fans who were inspired by their works. It’s the kind of weepy inspirational stuff that spotlights both the celebrities reading the letters and the people who wrote them. Watch the Dear… trailer below.
In a 10-episode series from R.J. Cutler (The September Issue) inspired by the “Dear Apple” ad for the Apple Watch, celebrities and activists read letters from their fans describing how they inspired them to change their lives for the better. Participants includeOprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Spike Lee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Yara Shahidi, Stevie Wonder, Aly Raisman, Misty Copeland, Jane Goodall, and even Sesame Street‘s Big Bird (whose pile of letters suggest that he might be the most popular) participate in Dear…, reading the letters onscreen and getting moved to tears over the amazing feats accomplished by their fans.
“Every time you make something, you’re throwing rocks in a pond. You have no idea the ripples that are going to come back to you,” Lin-Manuel Miranda says in the trailer.
Those ripples range from a girl doing gymnastics with a prosthetic after seeing Aly Raisman at the Olympics, to young climate change advocates marching on a beach after getting motivated by Jane Goodall’s dedication to the animal kingdom, to Oprah inspiring the first woman to get a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. The series is pretty transparent about how it pulls at your heartstrings, but the stars’ reactions look sincere and the stories seem inspiring.
Here is the synopsis for Dear…:
One person’s story can change the world. From Emmy-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler, Dear… profiles game-changing icons and the people whose lives they’ve inspired. Inspired by Apple’s groundbreaking “Dear Apple” ad for the Apple Watch, Dear… is an inventive approach to biographies of the influential people who are shaping culture and society today using letters that fans have written to them. Dear… focuses on key moments from subjects’ lives and their work that has profoundly impacted not only the individuals who have written letters, but the world at large.
All 10 episodes of Dear… will debut exclusively on the Apple TV+ on June 5, 2020.