I watched the series on TV and loved it. However, when I went back to it, there were moments that made me cringe watching it again such as the scene with Moret and Catherine having dinner. At times like that it does come across as a little cliched, but in spite of these odd (and fortunately few) moments I think it is a great adaptation of Zola's 'The Ladies' Paradise'. After watching the series I went off and read the original novel, and it was interesting seeing how they had adapted the story for the screen, but be warned, do not expect a faithful reproduction of the novel.The characters in the novel are a lot less likeable than those portrayed in the series. In spite of this I still think the series has merit, and I particularly liked how it was set in a town other than London or Paris which demonstrated how the industrial revolution, the mass-production and beginning of a free market affected Europe as a whole - even cities so fair up north that normally get overlooked when period dramas are made. (Most of them seem to be set in famous cities).