Sunday, 10 March 2013

A post in which I discuss Mr Selfridge

This weekend will see the concluding episode of 'Mr. Selfridge' on ITV. As an audience we are all hoping they're just going to wheel out the yellow bags soon. Over recent months we've been pretty much choking on period dramas. Has there always been that many or have I only just started noticing them? Anyway, Mr Selfridge is the last of that batch and we seem to be moving onto murdered children and towns wrapped in secrets now.

But what's interesting with these period dramas, or at least interesting if you're me, is how we get to see the women portrayed. Of course within historical context we're expecting women without voting rights and not in  a subordinate role. For just this we need no look no further than the BBC's 'Ripper Street' which concluded a couple of weeks ago. Wasn't it lovely to see a man bare knuckle fighting and Victorian prostitutes being murdered? I should probably give the BBC some credit, I mean they did give us a runaway nobility in the guise of a straight talking brothel boss, who stood by the whole series whilst her husband slept with her employees, and a weedy wife who flounced around doing charity work. Which is all very admirable but she really was quite annoying, always rushing off to go help another orphaned child.

And so we return to Mr. Selfridge, a show which Jeremy Piven has somehow managed to shout through the entirety of. Literally the guy shouted his way out a of coma, there's flamboyant and then there's that.  ('BUT WHAT ABOUT THE STORE?!' 'CRABE, I'VE JUST HAD A FANTASTIC IDEA!!!!!!!!')  What I also find distracting is the way his collar tips are made in such a way that they form a bow tie above is real tie.

See what I mean?!
 But if you look further and examine the female characters within the show, I think that's where the beauty of it lies. We have Ms Revilliaz (I couldn't find a spelling anywhere so I've gone for the phonetic, always a trusty way), head of fashion, an audacious devil who dares to get her ankles out and not wear a corset. Naturally she's part of the suffragette movement. I couldn't help feeling that she was perhaps a bit of a straw feminist though, although there's nothing that really undermines her as a character, yet. She did manage to cheer up the moody heartbroken one with an invitation to a suffragette meeting which was an interesting move.

Although if you follow me on twitter you'll know I cannot disguise my love for Lady Mae. I just want to be her when I grow up. Tweets such as 'Lady Mae is just swag as fuck' may have happened. She just defines fabulous, she is like a majestic lithe giraffe with a head of exploded poodle fur going about doing whatever she wants. She also happens to run a lot of suffragette meetings, which is nice. So far in between all the looking graceful and slightly sultry underneath a rather large hat she's managed to get Mr Selfridge a backer for his store and help him out with some business with the bank. This is also while she goes around and sleeping with whoever she fancies , does what she wants doesn't she (I'm ignoring the part where Victor dumped her, although I'm more than happy to take his place). If you were worrying though about the fact that she seems without flaws don't worry, she was put very subtly in her place with reference to the fact that the reason she's taken Rosalie Selfridge under her wing is because she doesn't have children of her own, which of course would plague her greatly as a woman. I mean I know that would be like an actual issue for a woman back then but come on, can't we just have one female character in a period drama that didn't seem too fussed about this?

 She really is an interesting character to see, it's a nice change from old moaney Mary from Downton and really boring 'little champion' Denise from 'The Paradise', who spent the whole series trying to please her uncle or her impeccably dressed boss. Oh there were some good waistcoats.

Whilst we're on the subject of the suffragette's they managed to blag themselves a whole episode arc the other week! Viewers were quaking in their seats as they wondered whether these banshee women posed a threat to Selfridges and what was worse was Mr Selfridge was off busy being in a coma! Well, someone had to step in a sort this out after shit hit the fan when Lady Mae's women's suffrage meeting was cancelled by the store, and trust nobody wants the terrific Lady Mae to get angry. Although we couldn't really expect an actual insight into how the movement affected the store, it would've been nice to see the opinions of some of the staff but hey ho. Anyway, I don't want you to fret! The suffragettes were stopped. But how did they do it I hear you cry! It seems that a pretty window display of dresses all thought up by the man willing to step into the role was all it took. Come on Anges, what are you doing poncing around with Mr Eclair, surely you could've come up with that. You've been throwing scarves around for the last two episodes!

Overall the show's given us a couple of refreshing characters, even if they do seem to have their foundations in ones we've seen before oh but I just want to be Lady Mae so much, apart from that bit in the last episode where Victor knocked her down, but she can come back from that. I KNOW IT.