Mr. Selfridge: Thoughts?

As Downton Abbey’s season was ending PBS began a full-on press for Mr. Selfridge. I was intrigued by the trailers and looked forward to the first episode last Sunday. I’m a big fan of costume dramas, and the costumes looked gorgeous for this early 1900s drama. Add in a London setting and shopping, and it seemed a sure winner for me.

As I watched the first episode last Sunday I found my attention wandering. Sure, the costumes are fantastic, and some of the secondary characters are interesting, but Jeremy Piven as Mr. Selfridge failed to hold my interest. I was also a bit surprised that the store went from a hole in the ground at the beginning of the episode to the early weeks (or months?) of its opening by the end. Everything felt just a bit rushed.

I am intrigued by the character of Mr. Selfridge, someone I’d never thought about before. I found myself doing Google searches about Mr. Selfridge while watching the show. I also remain interested in the time period and setting. I hope I like the second episode more than the first. While I’ll continue watching it my be in DVR rather than live so I can fast forward if I choose.

Did you watch Mr. Selfridge last week? Or if you live in the U.K., have you watched the first season? What are your thoughts?

And if you know nothing about it, there’s an interesting trailer here to check out, as I seem no longer capable of adding videos to the blog :)


7 thoughts on “Mr. Selfridge: Thoughts?

  1. Wendy

    I really liked the show during the first half and had high hopes. But Alas, during the second half they started the infidelity story line and I got impatient. I thought I’d try it one more week before I gave up. Its certainly a beautiful show, though. The costumes, hair, scenery are all gorgeous, and I loved the camera tricks they used to reflect time passing.

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    1. LinnieGayl AAR Post author

      Wendy, it is a beautiful show. And you’re right, the camera tricks for the passage of time are very good. I’m with you; I’ll record this week and give it another try, but it was a big disappointment.

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  2. Tinabelle

    I am a Masterpiece junkie and was really looking forward to this series. The concept was intriguing and I figured the production values, costumes, etc. would be top notch. However, this may be the first Masterpiece program that will NOT rank as one of my favorites.

    Truthfully, I thought it was boring and I found it hard to pay attention. Many of the characters came across as scheming and underhanded and just plain unlikeable. I especially do not like the characters of Love and Selfridge. I have never seen Jeremy Piven in anything before so have no point of comparison, but IMHO he is a terrible actor. His performance is wooden and “fake.” Add that to his less-than-stellar character and it turned me off. So far, after 2 episode, this is a HUGE disappointment to me. I may not even continue watching. Can’t believe I am saying that!

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  3. TrishB

    I, too, have been a bit disappointed with Mr Selfridge. Like other posters, I really love the look, the period, the setting but I echo the issues with Jeremy Piven’s performance even as I imagine Selfridge was to some degree as Piven plays him. The showman who projects a false image to the world as a way of selling himself and his store. Not sure how much more of it I will watch, as the secondary characters are not all that intriguing to me. Only the French window dresser and the main shopgirl interest me, though the discovery of Ellen Love’s cocaine use in ep2 may pose interesting.

    Piven was on some talk show recently promoting the show and he indicated that the show was a big hit in the UK and that a second season is being planned, so it looks like it did better in the UK than it seems to be doing here.

    Given the competition on Sunday nights – Game of Thrones, Vikings – Mr S is third on my list of shows to watch and is relegate to I’ll-catch-it-on-re-runs status for me.

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    1. LinnieGaylAAR

      TrishB, I was really surprised when I heard that a second season was ordered. Either it gets lots better after the first two episodes or I’m missing something. Gorgeous costumes just aren’t enough to keep me watching.

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