Mr. Selfridge

This whole Masterpiece Theatre thing has invaded my life. I mean a good invasion, like vanilla ice cream being invaded by spicy chocolate sauce. Oh no, stop! You hearing me? Good invasion. Gail and I lap this crap up like fools. I mean, we need something to hold us over until season four of Downton Abbey.


Hah, gotcha with that low-brow tactic. Mr. Selfridge actually blows Downton Abbey out of the channel. I’m not in any rush for Downton to arrive. Maybe it’s because Downton is getting stale and predictable. Or maybe Mr. Selfridge is just a better show.

This is the story of the opening of Selfridge’s, a high end, UK department store. It’s set in 1909 and the main character is real-life Harry Gordon Selfridge, who’s played by Jeremy Piven. It seems like an inspired role for Piven, albeit a little over acted maybe, but Selfridge was an over the top personality. Piven is appropriately cast, especially with his Chicago roots, since Selfridge himself spent many years in Chicago working for the iconic Marshall Fields department store.

Research note – Selfridge married Rose Buckingham (played by Frances O’Connor). I wonder if she’s related to the Buckingham Fountain Buckinghams. I’ll need to look into that.

This show has the upstairs/downstairs feel of Downton Abbey. I’m beginning to think that UK writers and producers are eventually going to run this topic into the ground, but it seems to be going strong for now. Mr. Selfridge has a little different twist because the American causing all the ruckus regarding equality and women’s rights is more than just a bit player or a sideshow, they’re the star. That’s neat. Plus, the business angle and the examination of the evolving retail landscape in conjunction with the social change in the UK keeps the topic fresh.

They are working on season two now and the post-show discussion let fly that it’s actually set five years into the future. That should be interesting. I’m ready whenever.