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Customer Review

161 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Period Drama, August 19, 2013
This review is from: The Paradise: Season 1 (DVD)
Set in an undisclosed location in the north of England during the 1870s, 'The Paradise' is a historically accurate period drama regarding Britain's first department store, and the lives of those people affected by it. From Mr Moray, who struggles to make his visionary enterprise thrive, to the small shopkeepers he has inadvertently put out of business, to the the wealthy Glendennings and humble employees alike. Everyone, including the side characters, are richly drawn and come to life. Especially Denise, who quickly proves adept at her position in lady's wear (much to the chagrin of Miss Audrey, the strict departmental head who Sarah Lancashire plays to such perfection, she steals every scene), and becomes something of a love interest to Moray. The tension there, I might add, is lovely, and plays a role in the last episode's cliffhanger. Thankfully, 'The Paradise' has been recommissioned for a second series.

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.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 12, 2013, 11:20:42 AM PST
Steve Ramm says:
Since you are reviewing the PBS BROADCAST version of the series, I wanted to clarify for you and readers of your review that....The PBS version of the series (which ran 50 minutes per episode) are the "American" edited versions. The BBC Home video contains the complete 61-minute BBC episodes.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2013, 2:35:27 PM PST
London Fog says:
My review is for the DVD itself, which I acquired from Amazon UK over the summer. As with all BBC releases, the American & UK DVDs are identical... it's only the PBS airings that lose several minutes of footage.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2013, 3:37:17 PM PST
Steve Ramm says:
Thanks for clarifying. I'm assuming it also contained the 3-0-minute "Making of" featurette (which I mention in my review) that I thought was one of the better of these now-common "special features)

Posted on Apr 26, 2014, 5:06:41 PM PDT
I am hooked on Paradise and almost purchased Season 2, but at this time they do not have the DVD for my region, which is the USA. I watch via Netflix, where I also watch Doc Martin, another British gem.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2014, 5:13:23 PM PDT
Steve Ramm says:
I will be signing on to Netflix soon but - unless I'm mistakem - Neflix does nlot offer the bonus features that the DVD has and the Blu-ray picture is stunning.

Posted on Sep 28, 2014, 2:55:15 PM PDT
I am reading the book this is based upon an din the book it is in Paris. Selfrdiges was the first major department store in England.
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