Mr Selfridge: Mr Selfridge Builds His Dream Store

Photo: ITV
Photo: ITV

Well, here it is, in all its controversy-laden glory. See, apparently ITV had this puppy all sewn up, filmed, promoted, and scheduled to premiere in the fall. But then the BBC, those sneaky devils, jumped in and premiered The Paradise right before Selfridge was supposed to go up (despite the fact they weren’t even filming all The Paradise’s episodes), and ITV pouted and sulked and pulled their show to avoid having it compete against yet another programme about a department store. Which was probably smart, because damn if these two aren’t basically the exact same show, just set about 35 years apart. Wide-eyed female employee favoured by the boss who seems destined to be amazing? Check. Slightly creepy rich lady the male lead depends on for his store’s success? Check. Problematic family member? Check. Money-nervous right-hand man? Check. Even the head of the accessories department acts all fluttery, just like Miss Audrey. Yikes! I know The Paradise was based on a book and this is based on a true story, so all this might be coincidental, but what are the odds, really? The one leg-up I figured this had on The Paradise is Jeremy Piven in the lead role. I loved him in Entourage (let’s face it, he was the only reason anyone watched Entourage, right?) and since it seems like he’s basically just playing Ari Gold again here, I figured it would be ok, right?

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