January 19, 2014

Mr. Selfridge - Season 2 - Episode 1

Mr Selfridge, series 2, episode 1


the following review is by The Telegraph  at

Remember Harry Selfridge? The man who opened his shop in 1909 with brio and bonhomie, flinging his arms wide (was Harry an early proponent of ‘hugging it out’?) and flashing those pearly whites? Well, things were a little different by 1914, as we rejoined Jeremy Piven's entrepreneur following a first series of multiplying business worries and self-inflicted marital trauma. At the start of this second series, he had become a brooding, bespectacled introvert, fielding press queries with a frown. These were, he intoned, "uncertain times". But you can’t keep a good grin down: it was the fifth anniversary of the central London department store, which meant throwing a party.
Having said that, Piven did seem to be reining in the razzle-dazzle a little. It was as if someone had actually reminded him that actors require a little directing to produce their best work, and need not try to outperform the spectacular production design. The result was less exhausting and more engaging, even if he still struggled with portraying the heavier end of the emotional range. It wasn’t such a problem with this opener, with Harry’s personal life in the ascendant as his estranged wife Rose returned and his young son pitched into the family business. And the supporting cast was more than capable of picking up the slack: it was a genuine thrill to see stalwarts of the stage such as Samuel West and Tom Goodman-Hill slumming it with such relish. Of the new additions, Aidan McCardle’s unambiguously villainous Lord Loxley and Polly Walker, playing ‘decadent’ nightclub owner and proto-feminist Delphine Day, made a real impression amid the whirl of characters and stories.
Elsewhere, sexual tension abounded – Harry and Mae, Agnes and Victor, Mrs Mardle and Mr Grove. While you couldn’t call all of it unconsummated after the bedhopping of the previous series, you could certainly deem it unresolved. And that’s before the late return of Spiral’s Gregory Fitoussi as Henri Leclair, even dishier now he’s dishevelled and, as seems likely, the proud bearer of "a past".
Mr Selfridge isn’t the sort of production to risk letting its viewers miss the point. Equally, it’s a drama that’s more comfortable the less seriously it takes itself. So it’s unfortunate that last night’s parting shot, in attempting to address one the grimmest narratives of the 20th century, instead provoked giggles with its ostentatious mise en scène: a newspaper strewn in the gutter, headline blaring "Archduke Franz Ferdinand Assassinated" mere seconds after a vendor has been heard shouting the same sentence not once, but twice. Like Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge’s welcoming arms may do well to embrace the escapism and keep real human tragedy at a safe distance.



  1. I enjoyed the episode, but the Archduke should have been introduced in the second episode to have a greater appearance for the passage of time. The store opened in March, and Franz was killed in late June.

    1. Howdy Ruben! Nice to read you again. At the rate SimplyJune is cranking out the goodness, we won't have to come up for air 'til Mardi Gras and Rodeo hit town. YEE-HAW :-D !!!

  2. Having watched Downton and The Paradise repeatedly, the second season of Mr. Selfridge offers new joys in perfect time . The dramatic change in Selfridge's fashion is, at first, jarring. Rose giving Harry his own medicine is scintillating, but like Niagara the rumbling of an imminent fall is evident. A season 1 re-cap to separate the delights of Selfridge from the yearnings of Paradise might be helpful. (Was Agnes more blonde in season 1, or is the Denise glow still shining on screen.) Looked around every corner for Henrii then, there in the most dank recess, he was prettier even scruffy than in THAT HAT from season 1. SimplyJune, you have MADE HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. Thank you. THANK YOU!! BIG HUG :-D !!!

  3. Thank you so much for posting these! I love them. However, this episode says that the file doesn't exist!?!? Do I need to do something?

  4. OH NO :-C . . . Have we told too many and the Google Nazis shut Selfridge down. OH WOE !!! Passed time for BIG PRAYERS for RESTORATION and a cloaking device. AMEN !!!

  5. Thank you for being so generous with your time to share these. Do you know if episode 1 will be going back up?

  6. Where is this video? Season 2, Episode 1 says
    GOOGLE DRIVE Sorry, the file you have requested does not exist.

    Make sure that you have the correct URL and that the owner of the file hasn't deleted it.

  7. Too nosey not to ask. Have the Google Gestapo busted you? Is there some advocacy petitioning we viewers need do in support of SimplyJune? A BBC Junkies Trace Union, maybe? You've brought such sunshine into an otherwise too chilly winter, just want to know you're OK for smuggling hot coals to us. STEADY ON :-D !!!

  8. It looks like you fixed it, but this is actually episode 2, not episode 1 :)