Mr Selfridge | Currently Watching


Hello, beautiful people!


Yesterday, I finished a period drama that I have been loving for the past year, Mr Selfridge. I’ve come to realise that I really wanted to talk more about period dramas or TV shows in general on here and I’ve said that several times, but I haven’t done so that much. So, I decided to start to fix that, which is why I wanted to talk about this show specifically today!

To be completely honest,  I started Mr Selfridge because it was set more or less in the same time period that Downton Abbey, which is my favourite period drama. I did put it on the back burner for a little why because I was actually rewatching Downton Abbey last summer, but the more I watched it, the more I adored it.

WHAT IS MR SELFRIDGE ABOUT?

Mr Selfridge is a TV show made of four seasons (each of ten episodes) that tells the story of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of the Selfridges department store, starting in 1908, when the store was open. Each season follows a different time period and the fourth and final one finishes twenty years later. It follows Harry Selfridge’s story, as well as his family and his employees.

To get a better idea of what to expect, here’s the trailer of the first season:

MY THOUGHTS ON THE SHOW

As I’ve said, one of the reasons I started this TV show was because it was set more or less in the same time period than Downton Abbey, as it runs from 1908 to 1928. Not only that, but as the show followed the insides of a store, it follows the Selfridges, the family of the infamous owner, as well as the employees, which is a little reminiscent of the upstairs/downstairs dynamics in Downton Abbey. Throughout the whole show, I’ve loved learning about the store, how revolutionary it was at times, about the way it was handled, the employees treated, about the different departments and how they grew. Of course, I imagine that a lot of it is fictional, but I found that a show set around a specific place, a store that was in the middle of London, was really interesting.

The Selfridge family in season 3

One of the perks of having a TV show set on twenty years was the possibility to make its characters grow, to introduce new characters and to give importance to characters that were younger at the beginning of the show. Even if a character I loved was leaving the show, I would always end up adoring another one that didn’t use to be there/that I didn’t use to love, which always kept me invested in the different storylines. For example, the Selfridge children used to be mentioned here and there, because they were quite young, but they became such a huge part of the show, especially in seasons three and four. They were some of my favourite characters, because they were the new generation and brought some perspective their father didn’t necessarily have, they also were so different from one another, yet I loved them all. 

Agnes, Kitty and Dorice, who worked in the fashion department, in season 1

Seeing the development of characters that were there for the course of the four seasons was so interesting and it made me look up to them, because I could see how much they had achieved in twenty years and how much their career meant to them, the best example of that being Kitty, whom I didn’t like very much at first. As the show has such a big cast of characters, it also helps you to be invested in some storylines more than others, especially if there are characters that you don’t like that much, as you’ll always have the others (let’s face it, Harry was quite irritating and that’s part of his character, but still).

Moreover, I found that this period drama tackled down so many important subjects, whether it was self-made fortunes, drinking, racism, sexual assault, PTSD and many others. I particularly loved the way it portrayed women, talking about how married women, then mothers were supposed to leave their jobs at the time, but also showing women putting their careers first, not letting anyone bullying them into being wives and mothers, as well as women who did both. I thought it did a great job at showing all the possibilities, never saying that one possibility was better than another.

An example of costumes in Mr SelfridgeAlso look!!
 Daisy Ridley guest starred in that episode and I screamed when I saw her, I had no idea.

This period drama was also so visually pleasing to watch. As it was set in Selfridges, it focused a lot on exhibiting the products of the store in the best way, for fashion or grand-themed displays. The costumes were absolutely stunning, whether it was those from the beginning of the century or those from the Roaring Twenties, that’s something I always love about period dramas. Seeing the window displays was always such a delight as well, because Harry Selfridge always wanted to do spectacular things, so his customers would remember that, he was quite the showman and the show showed that in the best way. It also guest-starred several historical figures and it was so much fun to see them from time to time, take for example Elizabeth Arden, Anna Pavlova or even A.A. Milne.

Overall, I would definitely recommend you this period drama, whether you have seen many of them or not, it’s so easy to get invested in the different storylines and to pick it back up after not watching it for a while, as there are time jumps for each season. My favourite season was the third one for sure, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the Roaring Twenties and I loved Violette Selfridge so much, but I loved every single episode of it! I’m in such a mood for period dramas right now, so I’ll make sure to watch more before the summer ends.

Do you watch period dramas? If so, which ones are your favourites? 
Have you watched this one?


Lots of love,
Lucie