Friday, February 26, 2021

Season 44 - Mr Selfridge Series 2 (2014)

Mr Selfridge is a series that really came into it's own in the second series. If it had kept on the self-indulgent and self-destructive trajectory of the first series it wouldn't have lasted beyond it's second series, and I wouldn't have watched another episode. Did anybody really want to watch the hallucinatory post car crash episode? NO! Well, probably Jeremy Piven, but no one else. Instead we were lucky enough to have four series, three of which understood that while Selfridge, the man and the establishment, were the glue that held the series together, it was really the supporting cast that made the show work. It was the romance of Henri and Agnes, Miss Mardle finding purpose in her life besides being Mr. Grove's mistress, Arthur Crabb just being Arthur Crabb, the unexpected alliance of Frank and Kitty, the machinations of Lord Loxley, the delights of Lady Mae, I could go on and on because there was so much to love in this show. But what really made the show click for me in series two, besides the tonal shift, was that I knew Rose Selfridge was on the way out. Here's the thing. Everyone has an actor or actress they just can't stand. Watching them is like having your eyes being slowly clawed out of their sockets or having really painful dental surgery. Well, for me, Frances O'Connor and that Jack Nicholson Joker-esque smile of hers is at the top of my hate list. The hate started for me with the horrific 1999 adaptation of Mansfield Park, of which the less said the better. My feelings were really solidified by the movie A.I., and well, the rest is history, as in, I historically and forevermore will hate her, not matter what, and I thank the stars above every day that the adaptation of the Locke and Key series wasn't picked up with her as Nina. Anyway, after the first series when the show was picked up for a second series I read a bit about Harry Gordon Selfridge and saw that his beloved wife Rose, played by Frances O'Connor, died in the pandemic of 1918. Not good news for the real Rose, great news for me! All I had to do was get through her scenes in series two, which were minimized because of expanding the plotlines to include the supporting characters, and I'd be home free. Series three starts with a very welcome funeral. Sometimes the tragedies of life can make me happy.   


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