Monday, April 29, 2013

Mr. Selfridge Want Ads (Episode 5)

WANTED: The best physician money can buy! Must be board certified in the most advanced medical techniques, such as asking a coma victim if he knows his own name or who the prime minister is. The successful candidate will be a forward thinker who does not subscribe to the archaic notion of bed rest, but allows patients with traumatic head injuries to wander across town on foot.

WANTED: A voice dub for Harry’s mother, as listening to her speak is a painful experience for all involved.

WANTED: A Wig Maker for Lady Mae. Must be skilled in strategic placement of hair, post-relations.  Successful candidate will be adept at creating the “mermaid on a rock” look.

WANTED: Microchips for the Selfridge children who wander willy-nilly into the most dangerous parts of London.

WANTED: A more than two second look at the display window the entire second half of the show built up to.

WANTED: Storyline development on other more interesting characters than Miss Towler and Miss Love. Yawn.......

WANTED: Sucker of the Year award for Victor, who thinks Lady Mae is going to set him up in business.

WANTED: MORE MR. CRABB!!  He’s an adorable puppy you just want to take home!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Call the midwife! Mr. Selfridge has left me in a coma.

                                                                                       Click here to go to

The real life Mr. Selfridge died impoverished; a shadow of once great promise. So, too, dies his show. The only memorable moment in Episode Four was Rose’s cool-hand dispatchment of Ellen Love. Now THAT was laugh out loud funny! The rest of it….Snoozeville. Even the gifted Jeremy Piven couldn’t save last night’s episode. Thanks to his drinking and driving, Harry Gordon Selfridge is now in a coma along with the rest of us.
Rose Rocks!
Thankfully, PBS has also given us Call the Midwife. Now this is quality with a capital Q!  Based on the memoirs of the late midwife, Jennifer Worth, this show has the 3 h’s that make for great television: Humor, Horror, and Humanitarianism. The characters and their stories are rich and wonderful. It reminds me a bit of James Herriot’s veterinary memoirs. I am hooked! You can catch Season One on Netflix or Netflix Streaming.  Season Two is available on the PBS website.  If you haven’t watched it, give it a try. It won’t disappoint!


I don’t think Priscilla of the Priscilla Willa, Party Planner children’s series I write will ever go into the midwife business, but she might be hired to throw a party for one of the well-deserving nuns!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mr. Selfridge Owes Me Ten Minutes

So who caught Episode 3 of Mr. Selfridge? Here’s ten questions I need answered:

1.  Why is it that Mr. Selfridge and his entire management staff are able to figure out that Miss Bunting is stuffing tiny bits of silk and lace up her petticoats, but a HUGE unmarked blue truck showing up twice a day escapes everyone’s notice?

    2.  In a city the size of London, don’t you think it’s a little improbable that Tony would just happen to be in the same building where Roddy took Rose to meet his artist friends?

    3.  Did anyone else think Roddy’s female friends looked like hookers?

    4.  What is with Harry’s mom’s accent?  Sometimes it sounds Irish, sometimes American, sometimes like she’s about to have a stroke.
    5.  Do we hate Miss Ravelellius? Can’t decide.

    6.  The accessories department boasts 6,000 pieces of inventory and Miss Towler (who’s able to come up with brilliant ideas at the drop of a hat), so why can't anyone in the entire department come up with a single idea to present to Mr. Selfridge for promoting Anna Pavlova?  
***Side note: The actress who played Anna Pavlova is a dead ringer for the real person:

Anna Pavlova, the actress.
The real Anna Pavlova.

   7. How is Ellen Love managing to find and pay for all that cocaine she's snorting? 

   8. Regarding Victor: Why is it HIS job to check crates of eggs on the loading dock?  Doesn’t that stuff usually get delivered to the back door of the kitchen?  Odd.

   9. Didn’t it feel SOOOO GOOD to watch Victor hit Agnes' and George’s dad?

   10. Why were we shorted ten minutes in Episode 3? The actors’ commentary that filled the end was dull, dull, and more DULL!!

Enjoy your week and don’t forget to clap quietly like a real English lady!

If you have a 2nd -4th grade child in your life, Priscilla Willa chapter books would make a great gift! Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Give Mr. Selfridge a Chance!

Is it just me, or did Mr. Selfridge get a whole lot better in Episode 2?  To be fair, Episode 1 wasn’t bad….it just came in as David to Downton Abbey’s Goliath. Since I am now a fan of both, let’s compare:

Downton Abbey: Overflowing with Upper Crustians and their pampered lifestyles (Dowager: “What is a weekend?”)

Mr. Selfridge: Lady Mae is the only indulgence we get, and even she started out as a chorus girl. (Mae: “Why would you go on Public Day? There’s all sorts of riff-raff!”)

Downton Abbey: Lux setting and to-die-for clothes in every color. 

Mr. Selfridge: Lux setting with black clothes dominating every scene (except for those with Rose, Miss Love, and Lady Mae.)

Downton Abbey: Tradition vs. New Ideas (the lates, Matthew and Sybil; maybe Tom Branson once he quits mourning)

Mr. Selfridge: Harry Selfridge -vs- All of England and the  Edwardian Era. (How dare he sell perfume out in the open!)

Downton Abbey: Fictional Story.

Mr. Selfridge: Based on a true story. (This is perhaps what will keep us coming back every week. We know he’s going to self-destruct, and we morbidly want to watch it happen!)

Downton Abbey: Always mocking Americans. (Mary manages to work in an anti-American barb just about every episode.)

Mr. Selfridge: Americans welcomed, but with reserve.

Downton Abbey: Fantastic cast; the favorite, of course, being Maggie Smith.

Mr. Selfridge: Also well cast, but the deal clincher is Jeremy Piven. Genius!

All that said, it’s time to give Mr. Selfridge a chance. I wait with bated breath to see:

            -What red item will Miss Towler pick up next? (First the gloves, then the rose, now the hat…)

            -Is Lady Mae villain or friend? I’m starting to like her more and more. She definitely needs to give that loser, Tony, the boot. (“May I have a new suit?” Gag...)

            -Will the fires of Hell erupt when Selfridge’s starts selling lipstick “in broad daylight”?

            -Will Mr. Grove and Miss Mardle ever be free to love in public? (I could have lived quite happily without the bath scene…ewww).

            -Will Rose Selfridge actually have an affair with the painter? (She doesn’t seem the sort, and there’s no mention of her having elicit affairs in the history books.)

            -Will Rosalie Jr. be triumphantly launched into society?

            -Will hottie waiter, Victor, turn gigolo afterall?

            -Will someone figure out why Agnes and George’s dad looks like he fathered them when he was 12?

             -Will I ever stop envisioning Sponge Bob whenever Harry says "Mr. Crabb?"

So many questions!  Thank you PBS for making me look forward to Sunday nights again!  

If you have a 2nd -4th grade child in your life, Priscilla Willa chapter books would make a great gift! Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.