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The Paradise-BBC show on Netflix

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Based on a recommendation from a master builder, The Paradise is a BBC show based on the first English department store in the 1870s. Been watching a marathon on Netflix. Highly recommend it.

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I'm not familiar with it. What does it include in the scenarios - are they stories about owners, workers, shoppers or the building of it?

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All of the above. Main character is the eye candy.

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Oh, America must be a bit behind. We have seen the second series here in Oz and the UK obviously. Love it. Sooooo much pretty eye candy. I have picked up a few ideas for pretty shops from this show (I have a Disney store in the pipeline for one day). It's beautifully acted too.

Edit: it is the story of how a man turns a department store into a huge success. It is about the characters and the ideas they come up with.

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Talk about coincidence! I watched this marathon style within the past week and was totally drawn in to the lush photography as well as the intriguing plot. The street sets and costuming are magnificent eye candy. It is set in mid- to late-19th century. The fact that Paradise is a department store gives the set designers all sorts of leeway for glitz and glamour, and the duke's estate is magnificent as well. An overload of inspiration, to say the least.

Netflix has just season one. I'm glad to know there is a season two, as season one ended with all sorts of unanswered questions!

It is based on a novel, The Paradise, written by Emile Zola, It is a love story between John Mouray, owner of the department store, and one of his shop girls, Denise, but on a wider view encompasses business skullduggery, the rags to riches story of Denise, the sexual mores of the time, and the issue of large companies edging out smaller family businesses. (Does that last not pertinent today?)

An English translation of the book (written in French) is available on Kindle for 99 cents. I've downloaded it and look forward to digging in. :)

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The store has dolls houses in the window!

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Sounds awesome, I'll give it a whirl for sure. Thanks for the recommend and Kathie, thanks for the in depth review :)

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I was just reading their Facebook page and apparently it will not return for a third season, so there will be only two seasons to enjoy.

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It was on PBS last year, and it's a good show. Sorry there will only be two seasons. Another one for inspiration is Mr. Slefridge. Pre-WWI about the American who stormed London with his marketing of HIS deparment store.

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I've just started watching "The Grand" on Netflix. 1920s English hotel. Looks intriguing. Lots of inspiration for 1920s art deco decor and fashion as well as interesting characters.

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Our local PBS station has been airing a lot of great costume or 'time period' dramas--both The Paradise & Mr. Selfridge mentioned above, along with The Bletchly Circle, Father Brown, and Call the Midwife--all great 1950's stuff, both urban & rural...and the new Upstairs Downstairs which has been a bit of a whirl-wind from, I think early to late 1930's--(I also have gotten the 3 seasons of Land Girls from my local library, set in WWII, which also has great late 30's style). And of course Downton Abbey...

Sorry to hear The Paradise was only two seasons--hopefully it will have the plots resolved and not leave us hanging like so many American TV series that get cancelled...

Tappy

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I'm reading the book that The Paradise is based on. I'm about 2/3 of the way through its 500+ pages. The show leaves out a whole bunch of characters (as it must), but is true to the message of the book (big business wreaking havoc on small businesses) and the essential love theme (can a rich, goal-oriented, playboy boss and poor, innocent, and chaste sales clerk find true happiness?) seems to be playing out along the lines of the TV series -- will she, won't she? will he, won't he? will they, won't they? -- etc. I'm curious now to know if the book ends in the same way the first season ends, with their declaration of love. If it does, I wonder what the BBC will cook up for season two.

It is interesting to note that the book by French author Emile Zola is set in Paris. The TV show by the BBC is set in London. The location doesn't matter to the story line. People are people wherever they live. :)

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Yes that is interesting Paris vs London, but maybe it is just easier to have English speaking people in England than try to pretend it is France?...Does it seem like the book will only cover season one? They have obviously left the tv show open for season two--with the scorned fiance plotting her revenge and all...

I will definitely read the book if they don't resolve the plot lines on the tv show, unless the book ends the same as season one! Is it a good read? Is the translation ok?

Tappy

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The translation is fine, Tappy. I'm finding it a good read, although someone else might lose patience with the immense amount of description of the store itself and its contents. I'm sure the BBC was happy to have the setting moved across the English Channel. It kept the filming at home and permitted them to add Katherine and her father the duke and their lavish estate and parties, which makes for good storytelling; although they are central to the plot of the show, they do not appear in the book.

Although the show follows the essence of the book, many details are changed. Denise has two brothers. She doesn't work with her uncle, although she tries in other ways to better the lot of the smaller merchants who are drowning in debt. Without the impending wedding, the book can't possibly end like the show.

In short, the book and the show are both fascinating, but definitely two different animals.

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Thanks for the info Kathie! That is really interesting that Katherine & her father aren't in the book--as you mentioned they are so important to the tv plot lines!

Tappy

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I finished the book. It ends with Moret and Denise finally admitting their love to one another. Actually, it's Denise who finally gives in to Moret's pursuit. He's been mooning over her for the last 50 pages or so. For some reason apparently known only to her, Denise hides her love for him and rejects his advances, which, of course, only make him more determined.

By adding Katherine and her father, the BBC can continue the saga. Having Moray (the English version) run away from his wedding to profess his love to Denise makes for a really good cliffhanger for the series. And their presence eliminates a whole platoon of characters that would have muddied up the TV storyline.

In the book, Moret gets backing from bankers that he meets through a lover, a titled widow who knows he sees her only as a business connection. She sees the handwriting on the wall and withdraws from their relationship in a somewhat vengeful but far less dramatic way. And the store has grown to encompass an entire city block and is making money hand over fist, having eaten up the small businesses that were its neighbors. There's no dark cloud of bankruptcy (or having a jilted fiancée as a business partner when her father dies), which will liven up the TV series.

So ... from here on, the story will be pure BBC. And I'll bet it's going to be a great one! Looking forward to getting Season Two on Netflix.

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Guess I don't have to buy the book now.

Oh, but you should, if the basic story is of interest. My little thumbnail sketches don't begin to cover the depth of the book. There are dozens of minor characters with interweaving story lines that help to make this book the classic that it is.

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Does the book have the creepy guy Jonas? Or is that all BBC too?--Glad the book has a happy ending...

Tappy

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I think Jonas is a combination of several unsavory characters in the book.

I'm betting the TV series has a happy ending, too. :D

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