“Opinion is dangerous in a department store.”
The question for today is:
“How is episode 2 of The Paradise different from episode 1?”
The answer: it’s hard to tell, really. Denise, the provincial shop-girl, continues to excel inexplicably; Moray takes stupid business risks in the name of progress; Miss Audrey remains hilariously pantomimic in her endless declarations that “This is Ladieswear!” (Miss Audrey may be my favourite character in the whole sorry business.)
Oh, but there was a bit of plot this time around. A rich woman accuses shop boy Sam of Making Improper Advances, and there is an extended hoo-ha as the Powers that Are run around trying to find out the truth. There are some interesting little threads here about truth and power (of course, everyone is inclined to believe the rich lady instead of poor old Sam) and about Victorian repression, but this isn’t substantially followed up.
I am quite enjoying The Paradise. At least, it annoys me less than Atlantis does. And it’s vaguely interesting. But I do get the feeling that we’ve seen all this before, this rose-tinted romanticising of a retail past that probably never really existed. Give me Dickens any day.