I was at a Starbucks when I noticed Jeremy Piven on a free download card. It was for a free episode of a new television series called Mr. Selfridge. Being in between seasons of Boardwalk Empire, I was game for being hooked on a new drama.
Once I got home, I inserted the 50 million character iTunes redemption code and downloaded episode one. If you loved Piven’s character in Entourage, you’ll love his performance as Mr. Selfridge – pretty much the same guy. Instead of a talent agency in Hollywood, it’s a department store in the burgeoning shopping culture of turn of the century London. Just like in Entourage, his marriage is strained as he balances family with corporate success.
Piven is one of those guys where I’m totally gay for his acting. I have about a handful of actors in that category where I’ll watch anything they appear in – like Leonardo DiCaprio and that black guy from Cool Runnings. Even in PCU, when playing a college loser, Piven still exudes a level of power that trandscends from the screen to your own courage meter levels.
Just like any series, the story has its ups and downs, however I could really appreciate how fast they kept the story moving. I think that’s one of the reasons that kept my attention. I guess they would have to keep the pace pretty quick to keep viewers engaged, considering this is on PBS and so it doesn’t pack on the basic cable-level of nudity that some of us are used to viewing.
With that being said, season one passed with an exciting blink of an eye. I’m now sitting here, waiting for my regular fall programming before getting to see a spring 2014 dose of new Mr. Selfridge episodes. In a season wrap-up interview, Piven reveals that season two will jump ahead 5 years. Those are always interesting. I suppose that sucks for the child actors though – back to Applebee’s commercials or something.