(Above: Jeremy Piven as ‘Mr. Selfridge.’ Source: PBS Masterpiece)
On November 22, Amazon Prime add-on channel PBS Masterpiece will open the doors on all four seasons (40 episodes) of Mr. Selfridge (2013-2016), the PBS series based on the story of American department store pioneer Harry Gordon Selfridge, played by Jeremy Piven.
Fans of Entourage will recognize Ari Gold’s bravado and showmanship in Piven’s portrayal of the visionary London department store founder. Yet, minus Ari’s monumental expletives and employee abuse, Harry Selfridge is a decidedly kinder, though no-less complicated, figure.
The freewheeling Yank redefines retailing in Britain by transforming shopping from a tedious chore into an experience. He pursues gambling – both in cards and his retail empire – with reckless abandon. Unlucky at the tables, his entrepreneurial wagers usually pay off splendidly – that is, until the very end.
A philanderer, he is nevertheless a loving husband devastated by a tragedy that occurs about halfway through the series. From there, the pillars of his familial relationships – and Selfridge’s – begin to crack. For all his faults, the Selfridge name lives on to this day.
The large cast also includes Frances O’Connor (his wife), Kika Markham (his mother), Ron Cook, Amy Beth Hayes, Samuel West and Katherine Kelly.
Amazon Prime subscribers can get PBS Masterpiece for an additional $5.99 a month following a seven-day free trial.
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