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The Paradise: Season 1
DVD | Box Set
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Set amidst the Victorian splendor of Britain’s first department store, The Paradise is a rags-to-riches story of a young girl who falls in love with the intoxicating charms of the modern world. As Denise finds her feet as a lowly shopgirl, she must navigate her way through power struggles, intrigues and affairs. When the shop’s dashing and reckless owner, John Moray, spots her talents she knows she can use this opportunity to rise to great things. Through sexy, episodic stories driven by romance and glamour, this series creates a world as colourful and captivating as the silks on display in the store. This is a love story, a story of ambition and progress, with a mysterious, dark secret at its heart.
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In addition to the character driven story lines, this made for a nice look at the class divisions in Victorian England, how the worlds of the working class and the nouveau riche differed so enormously, yet in the end were both equally plagued by very human problems. It was a treat to watch simply for the respect paid to the era, and truly, this was a wonderful example of British programming.
In fact, I would go so far as saying this is arguably one of the best BBC productions in recent years, with its lush attention to detail in spite of the more limited budget, the authentic sets, sharp dialogue and impressive costumes. I was beginning to despair that the BBC would ever produce a period drama of such high calibre again, but I am glad to have been proven so wrong in that regard. This is exactly the quality I have come to expect from the BBC in years past, and am delighted to see the return of that class and wit that once defined the majority of British television. Anyone who loves classic Brit drama/romance should find this series an absolute pleasure to watch.
It's not historic perfection, as the characters are "LIKE" the book written over 100 years ago, but only a couple have the same name. It takes place in London, not the original Paris setting. Many changes have occurred for the integrity of a delightful modern television audience, such as some architecture a bit earlier, more color than true to the time, but the changes have only accentuated the original novel of Emile Zola. There is an Emile Zola on the series writing credits; would love to know if there is a family relationship.
I find the cast outstanding, each portraying a character as finely as the costume demands. Denise (Joanna Vanderham -Young James Herriot) is beautiful and her vitality spills from the screen. Shop owner, Moray (Edmun Elliot) drives the department store and the show with his mix of emotional moments. Miss Aubrey (Sarah Lancashire -Last Tango in Halifax) is a tyrant and adversary of the young working girls. She was also outstanding in "Lark Rise to Candleford", as were several of "The Paradise" cast. i.e. Pauline (Ruby Bentall) with a fun characterization done exquisitely, so why is she dropped from the cast for season 2? Also from Lark Rise is a main character, Dudley (Matthew McNulty) always pleasing to the ladies' eye. The list is long.
SDH SUBTITLES for all 8 episodes
1--Victorian England's 1st department store, owned by widower Moray, hires a young country, Peebles, shop girl; beautiful, creative, and ambitious. Since staff lives in the premises, it is a bit of Upstairs, downstairs reversed.
2--In a bold unprecedented move of a store-wide low-price sale, The Paradise sets its reputation and market position for the future, a wealthy prospect.
3--This is an exceptionally emotional episode for all Paradise staff as a baby is abandoned in the department store. Olivia Hallinan (Lark Rise to Candleford) guest stars.
4--Head of ladies wear gets a pox and a temp replacement creates havoc when a new large patron is expected.
5--Moray's romantic proweresses conflict with The Paradise expansion. The devilish Jonas (David Hayman -Trial & Retribution) drives discontent behind the scene--even during "Ladies After Dark" shop promo.
6--Bird counter brightens the shop's entry but much distress is caused by romantic encounters, an assault, and an engagement announcement.
7--David Bamber (Pride and Prejudice) guest stars as Chisholm. The Paradise's streets' competitors co-op puts on marketing pressure while wedding plans proceed raucously.
8--A body floats I the river; turn-over in The Paradise staff; and activity bustles leading up to a wedding.
Bonus--interesting and with Subtitles.
I will keep buying-to-OWN this series DVDs till the finale. May it live long.
Most recent customer reviews
This show is sooo good!! It's very sweet, clean, and romantic.
I highly recommend!!