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Mr Selfridge - Series 1 [DVD] 
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All ten episodes from the first series of the ITV period drama tracing the story of the founder of the famous London department store. In 1909, fresh from a successful retail career in Chicago, a dashing Harry Selfridge (Jeremy Piven) arrives in London intent on building the world's largest department store in the capital's Oxford Street. Helped by his association with socialite Lady Mae Moxley (Katherine Kelly), Harry soon has the financial backing necessary for his plans, resulting in the store being completed in record time. But as the company goes from strength to strength, Harry's marriage to his wife Rose (Frances O'Connor) is jeopardised by his continuing infatuation with music hall artiste Ellen Love (Zoë Tapper).
Already an acclaimed and successful period drama, the first series of Mr Selfridge boasts ten episodes, centred around the adventures of the American title character, played by Jeremy Piven. He's the man who came to Britain and founded the store of the same name, and Mr Selfridge explores that, using Lindy Woodhead's book Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge as its basis.
Piven's take on Mr Selfridge is dripping with fun and flamboyance, and his performance is one of the many reasons why the drama works so well. His co-stars, though, deserve real credit too. The likes of Zoe Tapper and Aisling Loftus are amongst the many highlights in that department. Credit too to the sumptuous production design, which works hard to put across a real feel of the early twentieth century. Mr Selfridge is a glorious show simply to look at.
The drama at the heart of it is a whole lot of fun, too. It's occasionally a bit shallow and daft, but never sells you short as a piece of entertainment. Furthermore, it finds sparks in the inevitable clash of culture as an American man sets up what would go on to be a very British store. The disc release of Mr Selfridge, as well as featuring all of the episodes of the show's first series, also has an interesting behind the scenes peek at how it was all made, sweetening an already worthwhile deal. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
This is social history mixed with economic history mixed with melodrama and sensuality (Andrew Davies - Mr-Darcy-in-wet-shirt-creator - is the writer) mixed with beautiful dresses and perfumes. Personally I go for the first two, and my five-year-old daughter goes for the last one. (She can never have too many pretty dresses in her life.)
It is based on the real life history of Harry Selfridge, an American who moved to Britain and opened London's first modern-style department store in around 1908. Everything he does is radically different to what everyone else is doing, and he deals with every obstacle with great exuberance and enthusiasm, that is very different to what other British period dramas depict. I love that energy.
There are guest appearances from other historical characters of the day - the ballerina Anna Pavlova, writer Conan Doyle, a Frenchman who flew the Channel for the first time, gangs of rather glammed-up Suffragettes - as well as lots of pointing out that it is a new century and a new world, with cars and planes and suchlike changing life as everyone knows it. I'm actually very interested in the Edwardian period of history for precisely that reason. I especially love the minute aspects of history that come into the programme, like make-up having to be sold under the counter because it's linked with being an escort, or comments about how the shop girls automatically have to resign if they get married - it's a lovely introduction to the female side of history.
So currently it's my favourite show on television, and I actually prefer it to "Downton Abbey."
The attention to detail of the period is outstanding,the plot concerning the founding and running of Selfridges London Store is intriguing and cannot wait for each weekly episode and am suprised that it did not get any Emmy Awards. Mr Selfridge played by Jeremy Niven cannot be faulted, while the rest of the cast play their roles superbly.
The plot flows so sublimely, far better than "Downton Abbey" and you are transported in to early 20th century London quite magnificently.
A must see for lovers of quality English period dramas.
There are affairs, there are brilliant outfits, there are bohemian artists and stolen kisses, there is a spirit of a dead wife, a very sexy Frenchy (and quite annoying Italian) and one and only Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Each episode explores different themes but ultimately it's all about love, loss, ambition and the new era - the beginning of the Twentieth Century! The series are beautifully filmed, interiors and exteriors are well researched and some of the fashions are original outfits from the bygone era - this all makes London of the early twentieth century look rich and elegant.
I heard a number of complains about the slight annoyance of Jeremy Piven and/or inability of Mr Selfridge the series to compare with the "Downton Abbey". All I can say - no complaints from me! This is a brilliant, upbeat but thoughtful, somewhat educational (I think so!), good-hearted series. And I cannot wait to watch the fourth season.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this season and look forward to watching the second season. I think Jeremy Piven did a very good job of portraying Mr Selfridge as a "larger-than-life"... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jenny (South Africa)
I love this story and it is so brilliantly acted.Highly recommended!Published 1 month ago by Clairebo
I became totally addicted to the TV series and had to buy the DVD's to watch it again. Drama at it's finest with superb acting from Piven.Published 1 month ago by JTH