TV Review: Mr. Selfridge

Every time I watch PBS’ Masterpiece Classic presentation Mr. Selfridge, I keep waiting for Jeremy Piven to slip in to Entourage’s Ari Gold. I keep waiting for the most obscene insults to pass his lips. But instead, he’s a business-minded gentleman. Guess he doesn’t need to worry about typecasting.

Mr. Selfridge is a 1900s period drama series about the English department store that tried to revolutionize the everyday shopping experience, as well as its founder and his family plus its employees. In particular, the show focuses on accessories saleswoman Agnes Towler, portrayed by Aisling Loftus.

While obviously the drama and the storylines are an attracting and appealing part of the show, What makes Mr. Selfridge’s really interesting is the historical context. Just watching the hiring process for prospective employees of the department store is amazing. It’s sometimes unbelievable how far we’ve come in only 100 or so years.

Mr. Selfridge isn’t Downton Abbey. It’s not fast-paced and clever. What Mr. Selfridge has is entertaining fictionalized historic story lines that are well acted. But, quite frankly, it beats a majority of the other options you have on television any given night. I’ll be watching.

Watch Mr. Selfridge, Episode 1 on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.


In a previous life, Corinne ran a music website. After going strong for a decade, the site went on a hiatus. Consider her the antiTastemaker.