Public Service Announcement 43 of 2012: The Paradise, Parenthood

Having overdosed on the stuff for years, I tend to avoid lavish period drama these days, but the trailer I saw the other day for BBC1’s new Victorian effort ”The Paradise” has piqued my interest.  Adapted from a novel by Zola and re-located to the North-East of England, it’s about a girl who goes to work in a department store and falls for the bad boy owner. Yes, it combines my two principal interests: shipping and shopping.  How on earth can I resist that?  Episode 1 of 8 starts on BBC1 at 9pm on Tuesday (25th) if you want to join me in giving it a go.
Meantime, however, anyone who missed season 1 of the marvellous Parenthood can remedy that forthwith as Five USA is re-running it daily (yes, EVERY weekday) from Monday (24th) at 12.30 pm.  Being Five and therefore even worse at scheduling than everybody else, they still have no idea what to do with one of the only genuinely wonderful shows they actually have the rights to, so the times change during the week – this Tuesday’s ep is at 12.05, for instance, then Wednesday’s is at 12.30 – and it’s highly unlikely your series link will work because it’s EVERY DAY, so you’ll have to do a bit of chasing it around the schedules.  Not to mention, they might just decide to stop mid-way through and not tell you if/when it’s coming back.  Again.  ARGH.  But don’t let that put you off; once it hits its stride, it’s too lovely and heartwarming a show to ignore.  Give it a shot and you’ll see what I mean.

40 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement 43 of 2012: The Paradise, Parenthood

  1. Snoskred September 22, 2012 / 1:23 pm

    I think that is what is attractive about Downton – the lavishness of it. Every frame is a feast for the eyes. I’ll keep an eye out for this new one! 🙂

  2. e September 22, 2012 / 4:16 pm

    “Yes, it combines my two principal interests: shipping and shopping.”


  3. e September 28, 2012 / 12:34 am

    Loved it. Hot bad boy guy, not boring chick, Horatio Alger (more or less, via Paris), light hand in the writing and nicely growly uncle.

  4. CJ Cregg September 28, 2012 / 2:54 pm

    Am home with a cold today, and have just got round to watching this. It’s like chicken soup or actually more like macaroni and cheese, given the high fromage factor 😉 Televisual comfort food, I feel better already ;-). Although, hot though the bad boy is, I’m finding him a bit too creepy with the ladies to float my boat. Dude, ease up a bit – no need for all the smarminess! That face will do the work for you. I found myself preferring Dudley, even if he is much less handsome.

    How needy is the Katherine chick? Girlfriend needs to learn how to play a little harder to get.

    • e September 28, 2012 / 3:20 pm

      It’s as deep and demanding as a tissue — and far more entertaining than I had hoped. The whole point is the story is a love affair with the big sell. It’s PT Barnum lite, with Denise as his acolyte.

  5. CJ Cregg September 28, 2012 / 7:52 pm

    I’m reaching a bit, but I quite liked the theme of the blurring of class boundaries as well. Moray, as the self-made man, falling between two worlds – on the fringe of the Glendinning social circle, but also on the fringe of the shop social circle too.

  6. e September 28, 2012 / 10:43 pm

    I’m not sure how the class stuff plays in Blighty (does fried-pickle-land count as Blighty? Or is that only south of Gretna Green?) but I mentioned Alger quite deliberately. Nothing pleases my American heart quite so much as striving to reach one’s potential regardless of one’s beginnings.

    • CJ Cregg September 29, 2012 / 2:08 pm

      I think everything in England counts as Blighty – at least on tv 🙂

      Moray’s constant need to keep working, keep expanding, never stop is great – partly to keep from thinking about his wife, maybe? – and I totally agree on the Barnum and Alger themes, but I found myself wishing Moray was a bit more John Thornton and a bit less John Malkovich in Dangerous Liaisons. I love a rake as much as anyone, but that scene in the office where he was touching Denise’s hair just creeped me out – I’d have been scared of him, and not in a good way.

  7. e September 30, 2012 / 7:09 pm

    I grant you the creepiness of the office scene — a scene I had mercifully forgotten until you reminded me of it.

  8. e October 4, 2012 / 12:31 am

    Well? Have you watched it? *bursting to chat*

  9. CJ Cregg October 4, 2012 / 11:52 pm

    Yup – fire away 😉

  10. e October 5, 2012 / 1:54 am

    It keeps bugging me how *modern* it all feels — very clean, very hygenic with, I don’t know, maybe a victorian wallpaper layer but not very deep at all. Laying on the class warfare this week even more — I hope they don’t go the route of the common man all good and the nobles all bad, because that would suck.

    Definitely pushing the theme of “shopping = sex” super hard, which I found much more amusing this week than last. Denise may be getting too close to Mary Sue. I loved her tentative hard sales pitch last week, but this week being the golden girl of Miss Paradise Pink is getting a little old.

    The whacked out friend was too whacked out, and too irresponsible (willing to destroy a man) to be sympathetic and to underline why we should bother caring and Moray’s loyalty to his employees was pretty over the top. I think if he had taken a hard line but still put him out to work in a non-public position, I’d have bought it more. I don’t really *get* his brother/friend/whatever guy.

    Still liked it a lot, but not as much fun as Ep 1 for me.

  11. e October 5, 2012 / 2:18 am

    p.s. I expect Denise to create buy-one-get-one, coupons, and maybe even invent social networking by episode 4

    • CJ Cregg October 5, 2012 / 11:32 pm

      Heh, I wouldn’t be surprised. I agree they need to lay off Denise as sales genius a little bit – she could stand to learn, rather than be right all the time.

      The story about the whacked-out friend didn’t work too well, did it? I found it completely bizarre that they were all acting like everyone would understand her making a pass at Sam if she just fessed up that her “marriage is in trouble” – that was the most incongruously modern thing about it for me. Surely no one at that time would a) use that phrase and b) sympathetically and oh-so-understandingly openly excuse her fraternising with someone other than her husband on that basis. In secret, maybe, but in public sutrely not?

      And the way everyone was all “no worries, bygones!” and forgave her quite happily for almost destroying Sam was odd, too. I understand class-wise that the store essentially pretending it never happened to keep her custom and the phenomenally annoying (Stage 5 clinger, much?) Katharine’s patronage made more sense in terms of the attitudes of the time, but given how right-on Moray’s attitude to Sam and loyalty to his staff etc was, it didn’t exactly fit in with the rest of the narrative.

      Memo to Katharine: stop banging on about love to Moray. He is seriously NOT THAT INTO YOU.

  12. CJ Cregg October 9, 2012 / 11:36 pm

    Babies! Orphans! Love triangles! Secret pasts! All go at The Paradise this week….

    And was that a Morise/Denay shipper moment I saw? Now if only Katharine could just GO AWAY.

    • e October 11, 2012 / 1:26 am

      For me, it was all about Miss Audrey again — I am mesmerized by her chin. The rest was pleasant sanitized fluff.

      • CJ Cregg October 12, 2012 / 10:29 pm

        “Pleasant sanitized fluff” just about covers it, I think. Although I hope they weren’t suggesting Growly Uncle raped Arthur’s mother. That wouldn’t sit well with the mood of the show at all.

        Talking of mood, I don’t know why Denise keeps trying with the horrible Clara. Everything she does gets thrown back in her face – anyone else would’ve left the miserable girl well alone by now.

  13. e October 13, 2012 / 12:21 am

    But Mary Sue Denise is *so* good and ever *so* clever, and she doesn’t understand mere petty bitchiness.

    No, it’s clear that Growly Uncle knew *who* the rapist was (and disapproved ever so much!), but it wasn’t him.

    I love how all the orphans had perfect teeth, vision, etc. It’s like they were cooked up by Disney. I’m also not sure if I like the notion that a cute child *deserves* a perfect adoptive family (as if they actually existed back then, but that’s another issue *kof*freelabor*kof*) over a mother who supports her child as best she can. When she’s not being bitchy. Or getting drunk.

  14. CJ Cregg October 17, 2012 / 11:26 pm

    I’m 5 minutes in to ep 4 of The Paradise and so stunned by Moray’s coat and hat combo, I had to pause it to comment: I mean, he’s strolling along, swagger turned up to 11, wearing this wide open yet tight-fitting beige coat with contrasting black fur lapels and a tall black top hat, looking for all the world like he’s in a rock music video instead of at a hunt in a Victorian period drama. It is BIZARRE.

    And NOW I’ve turned it back on and Katharine is wearing a pale orange hat with a pale pink dress, both of which are decorated with artiicial flowers. Pale orange and pale pink? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE THIS WEEK?

  15. e October 20, 2012 / 9:09 pm

    I’m not sure how to respond to this week’s episode. Katharine remains infatuated with Moray, and damned if he is not beginning to return Miss Stalker Freak’s attention. I was so rooting for fallen-woman-shopgirl to succeed instead, putting Denise and Katharine in their places — but no, she has no hope at success because her moral failings doom her from taking lead in the story.

    As for Mary Sue Denise, even Sam falls in love with her and she can’t be bothered to say “Sorry, Tragic Hair called you first. Girl-Bro’s before Haberdashery-Hos.”?

    I am pleased not only that my beloved Audrey, with her wealth of sideways chins, succumbed to true victorian hysteria (sic!) but returned to put Denise firmly in her place. There will be *no* *ideas* on Miss Audrey’s watch, thank you very much.

    Worse, I was so expecting Mr. FrenchGerman guy to say “My girls are not prostitutes. Prostitutes wear red and black and lace.” and for Denise’s pre-ordering to cost the Paradise a fortune. Alas, showgirls did wear tacky back then and Denise showed great insight into the couture of the low-class “Opera Dancer”. So she ended up winning again. Damn her.

    In the end, nothing interesting or plot-changing happened and everyone got on my nerves.

  16. CJ Cregg October 21, 2012 / 10:27 am

    I just wish the writers would commit to something. The Sam thing was oddly cavalier – considering it was a declaration of sorts, neither party seemed all that bothered. And the Moray/Katharine stuff is just weird – the writing is swinging wildly between suggesting he feels the same way about her and suggesting he’s into Denise. I think we’re supposed to feel sorry for Clara as (among her many troubles) she’s infatuated with him while she’s just his warm body to use but she’s so tiresomely and predictably bent on punishing everyone else for her own hard lot in life that I just want her to go away.

    On the Audrey front, I know I’m being a bit too 21st century about it but I was really annoyed at the way they patronisingly coddled her at the end. Denise is irritatingly perfect but for her and Moray to conspire to deny that and to go to such lengths to stroke Audrey’s ego to get her to come back (when she was literally just having a big hissy- fit about someone else doing well instead of her) got on my nerves no end. Denise, if you’re going to be irritatingly perfect, own it! Audrey, you can be a fabulous woman without suppressing other women! Moray, I don’t understand why no one in Victorian times finds it incredibly improper that you hang out in your female employee’s bedrooms so regularly!

  17. e October 27, 2012 / 8:46 pm

    Miss Audrey…after DARK!

  18. CJ Cregg October 27, 2012 / 11:47 pm

    Heh. Did Denise really just invent Ann Summers parties?!?!

    And my God, Katharine. GO AWAY. And take Clara with you.

  19. e October 28, 2012 / 5:17 pm

    Was it bad that I spent the entire time going “RORY! Look Rory has a beard! Look Rory has bad fashion sense! What’s Rory doing on this show?”

    • CJ Cregg October 28, 2012 / 5:40 pm

      I spent the whole ep going “Is that SERIOUSLY Rory? Did the Angels zap him into that comedy suit?” so I can’t really fault you for that, e 😉

      Also, is “barber who owned his own business” really so much lower on the social scale than shop assistant ? Sleazy Rory was horrible, whatever his social status, but the class distinctions really confused me this week. Do these girls really think they’re all going to land “gentlemen” like Moray?


      • e October 28, 2012 / 7:48 pm

        Moray, whatever he is, is certainly no “gentleman”. Only part that actually gripped me dramatically this week was Uncle Growly and his Katharine smack-down.

        And yes, Denise really did. Next week, probably FedEx.

  20. CJ Cregg October 30, 2012 / 10:30 pm


    This week’s suddenly took a turn for the shipper-ish, didn’t it?!?!

    Poor Denise. I was actually quite impressed with the actress conveying Denise’s pain even if the strength of it was a bit sudden. What is it about Moray that inspires such uncontrollable, overhelming, mad passion in *all* the women who fall for him? I mean, he’s hot but not *that* hot.

    Although I can see why calling her “my little champion” while looking deep into her eyes might have a funny effect on a girl 😉

    Good for Denise not letting it stop her inventing Hermes, though.

  21. Jed Bartlet October 31, 2012 / 9:06 am

    I haven’t been watching this, but apparently it’s been renewed for a second season.

  22. e November 3, 2012 / 1:20 am

    So. *That* was interesting. Out of nowhere too. I do like Denise being Uncle Grumpy’s little champion for a while, while Moray gets beaten up by Katharine. And ChinLady is becoming every more interesting and wrong and semi-evil.

    Basically though, the little champion thing is kind of gross. In fact, I’ve rather thoroughly come around to your original impression of the rather creepiness of Moray as a whole.

    The bird story left me bored, although I now have hope that boring best friend and even more boring girl with bad hair hook up and have something tragically awful happen to them. In fact, wouldn’t it be cool if boring friend killed Mrs. Perfect Moray? I’d love that.

  23. CJ Cregg November 3, 2012 / 6:17 pm

    Heh, the bird business was insanely dull, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up, e – boring best friend has a wife and kids and is far too boring to have an affair or be a secret killer, unless the show takes a very different turn in the next couple of eps… I suppose, mind you, given how speedily Denise’s sudden passion for Moray overtook her this week, it’s always a possibility…

    I kind of hope Katharine killed her. I really cannot stand that woman.

  24. e November 7, 2012 / 6:15 am

    Oh Katharine you cow. I hope that Jonas wraps up both hers and his story lines. Once again, Denise was a retail force of nature — surely she cannot take a wrong step — and all the humans around her were unnaturally awful to better showcase how perfect she is. After all, the merchants on that street, none of whom ever sells *anything* clearly base their success on avoiding risk.

    I sincerely hope that once Moray can get clear of the Katharine, he’ll marry Denise and she’ll put him out of business — he’ll be left with a street cart selling pickled eels as she creates Selfriges or Harrods or Bon Marche or whatever.

  25. CJ Cregg November 7, 2012 / 9:55 pm

    I second your Jonas wish, e. I don’t understand why Katharine is STILL ALIVE let alone engaged to Moray. She is appalling and he seems to have nothing but – completely justified – contempt for her. Is he really just with her because of her daddy’s cash, because Moray, dude, I think he’d happily pay you to leave her alone.

    Did Denise really invent “the co-operative” this week? I know that’s what they called it, but surely it was actually Ye Olde Shopping Mall? Maybe next week she’ll install a Food Court – with a stand for Moray’s pickled eels ;-).

  26. e November 8, 2012 / 5:54 am

    Poor Moray. He’ll be making sexy eyes at all the housewives buying the pickled eels and all those poor husbands will have nothing but eels for dinner for weeks on end

  27. CJ Cregg November 13, 2012 / 10:37 pm

    Hah! In your face, Katharine you psychotic brat! The whole finale turned into mush but in your face, anyway!

    Next season may well be about the pickled eel stall after all at this rate…

  28. e November 14, 2012 / 7:36 am

    Sentimental tripe. And no one got murdered. What a let down.

  29. CJ Cregg November 14, 2012 / 10:55 pm

    Oh, it was total rubbish. I assume they wanted to give everyone a happy ending because they didn’t know at the time of writing whether they were getting a second season, but it suddenly turned into on speed with everyone finding true love – Moray and Denise, Audrey and Growly Uncle, even Plain Pal with Shopboy No-Name. Audrey and Growly Uncle really took the biscuit. But at least Katharine was jilted at the altar and completely humiliated in front of everyone by a “shopgirl.” That’ll do me 😉

  30. e November 15, 2012 / 12:51 am

    We must take small pleasures where we can find them amidst the diabetes-inducing swill.

  31. Kay20 December 26, 2012 / 12:33 am

    CJ – are you still watching Parenthood? Because the second to last episode in season 2 just made me cry. Oh this show. It’s so, so good.

    • CJ Cregg December 26, 2012 / 1:18 am

      Right there with you, Kay – I think I cried during nearly every episode in season 2 😉 It’s such a lovely show. I’m really hoping a UK channel buys season 3 eventually.

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