The Paradise: Series 1, Ep.1

“If we are to triumph, a man must hold his nerve.”

The Paradise

It turns out that series 2 of The Paradise started over on BBC1 today. Having missed series 1, it would possibly have been a little confusing to have started watching it now, but thanks to the miracle of DVD box sets (lent by the Scot) I am officially Catching Up.

So. The Paradise is one of those vaguely Edwardian, or possibly Victorian, soap-dramas about the Rise of Consumerism (in this case in the guise of the Paradise, a shop in what Wikipedia, the Fount of All Knowledge, is pleased to call “a northern English town”) via Scurrilous Intrigue, Showmanship and “It’s a Thousand to One Chance, But It Might Just Work!” Business Dealings. It’s exactly like Mr Selfridge, except not set in London and without the Going Postal music.

I’m being heavily ironic about all of this, but, really, it’s one of those shows that kind of deserves it. The whole thing is so obvious. There’s the visionary entrepreneur who the banks don’t trust, the new salesgirl from the sticks who turns out to be inexplicably good at her job, and the weirdly evangelical shop mistress who apparently worships the notion of the Department Store. “‘Tis a sin even to pause for breath on a day like today!” she trills with merry abandon, unaware of the Scurrilous Intrigue going on around her. The dialogue is occasionally wooden and occasionally unintentionally hilarious, the extras are extraordinarily overreactive (“Well said, Mr Moray, sir! Hurrah!”) and the actors all look naggingly familiar because they’ve all been in Holby City and Coronation Street and other such run-of-the-mill productions.

In other L-space news: The Day of the Doctor trailer! I don’t usually get this excited by trailers but LOOK HOW BADASS IT IS!! And the new theme tune is AWESOME. Just saying.

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