Sunday, 30 August 2015

Television review: Mr Selfridge series 3

Almost four years after the end of the last series, we are back at Selfridge's and much has changed. The War is over and the store profits from the renewed optimism of the British public. Mr Selfridge has lost his beloved wife Rose, but live goes on and his eldest daughter marries the Russian aristocrat Serge de Bolotoff who brings his mother Princess Marie into the Selfridge household. Agnes is looking forward to the return of Henri and the life they will start together, but this might not be as easy as she thought. Victor has left Selfridge and started a nightclub which draws Selfridge's wayward younger daughter Violette.

Mr Selfridge's third season plays against the background of the end of WW1 and the many changes society underwent in this year. As in the previous two seasons, many real historical events play a role in the series: the plight of the returning soldiers from WW1, the changing positions of women and new technologies. Though I never like it when a tv series takes big time jumps and I certainly believe another interesting season of Mr Selfridge could have been written during WW1, 1919 is a very exciting background and the series makes good use of this.

The storyline I liked best this series was (ofcourse) the one of Henri and Agnes, the beloved couple from the previous series. Aisling Loftus as Agnes and Grégory Fitoussi as Henry have real chemistry and play of each other wonderfully. I thought their storyline was poignant and realistic. I also really liked the story of Gordon, Mr Selfridge's son (Greg Austin). He has to find his place in his father's empire, deal with all the expectations people have of him and falls in love with a young shop girl. Other (returning) favourites are Miss Mardle (she's fierce!) and the exasperated book-keeper Mr. Crabb.

What I was a bit wary of, was the series 'growing' beyond the Selfridge shop and family and incorporating Victor's nightclub into the story. I wasn't too fond of this storyline, I think the series could have done without it and I didn't like the way it ended at all. I also really didn't like Harry Selfridge's main storyline this season. His involvement with Nancy Webb, the woman who runs a charity campaign for him, just felt too soapy and far-fetched for my liking. In truth, though the series is named after Mr Selfridge, I've never been fond of him and often when he's on screen, I just want to shake him and tell him to 'grow up'!

So, story-wise, Mr Selfridge's third season was a bit of a mixed bag for me and series 2 remains my favourite for now. I'm glad we're getting a fourth series, even though the end of the third was not very hopeful... What was definitely not a mixed bag was the look of this series, it's just really well made. The interior of the store and the many special displays are amazing and there are beautiful costumes and hairstyles to enjoy for all us period drama 'afficionados'.

In short, I really liked Mr Selfridge's last season, but I didn't love it. Still, it's a well-written period drama with a host of interesting characters and well-rooted in the historical background that I would definitely recommend to any fan of the genre.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed this season primarily because it was "lighter" and happier than I anticipated. I suspect that'll all come to a crashing halt in the next season. Which has me sad.