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Mr. Selfridge (Blu-ray Review)

5 May, 2013 By: Ashley Ratcliff

$49.99 DVD, $54.99 Blu-ray
Not rated.
Stars Jeremy Piven, Zoë Tapper, Frances O’Connor.

Jeremy Piven is Mr. Harry Gordon Selfridge, the ambitious, ostentatious businessman hoping to revolutionize the idea of shopping in the 20th century. Set in 1909 London, Mr. Selfridge is the real-life story of the man who created Selfridge’s department store.

An American, Selfridge’s enthusiasm for the thrill and extravagance of shopping sometimes comes off as arrogance to the prim and proper British. He even gets a nice young lady, Agnes Towler (Aisling Loftus), fired for going behind the counter and encouraging her to play in all the gloves. Fortunately, Selfridge gives the poor lass a job in his store.

With the whole city watching, Selfridge’s partner pulls out of the endeavor, sparking questions as to whether the department store will be a success. Socialite Lady Mae’s (Katherine Kelly) motives seem ulterior from the very beginning when Selfridge partners with her to finance the store, leaving the audience to wait and see just how she’ll act.

Selfridge is immediately drawn to showstopper and seductress Ellen Love (Zoë Tapper), and it’s unfortunate that he seems to have little regard for his wife and children, who have relocated from the States, when her being involved as a spokeswoman for Selfridge’s becomes something more.

The other storylines do a fine job of keeping viewers entertained. Rose Selfridge (Frances O’Connor) gets acclimated with her new world while dealing with her husband’s dwindling presence in the home. Agnes and persistent colleague Victor (Trystan Gravelle) have a certain “will they, won’t they?” type of chemistry.

Piven does a commendable job carrying the drama series, which exposes a different side to the usually comedic actor. The costuming is exquisite, making Mr. Selfridge feel like a moving snapshot of the era.

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