Good, Clean Television at “The Paradise”

Paradise Trademark Image.jpg

I’m just going to say it: I despise Downton Abbey. I recognize that everyone and their mother is obsessed with this show, but I found it to be slow paced with unnecessarily lengthy episodes that I thought were never going to end. At the end of the day, you can set it in the Victorian era all you want, but a soap opera is still a soap opera.

In contrast, my wife and I have fallen in love with another BBC television program set in the Victorian age: The Paradise. Based on the classic French novel, Au Bonheur des Dames by Emile Zola, and set in Newcastle, England during the 1890s, this program follows the life of a wide-eyed country girl who takes a job working at one of England’s first department stores. This may not sound exciting (I didn’t think so at first, either), but in classic BBC style (remember those Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie specials?) the girl soon finds herself in the midst of an intriguing house full of secrets that keep everyone on their toes.

The beautiful Victorian costumes and set design will enchant you, watching the dynamics between the wealthy class and the working class as “shopping for pleasure” is first invented will fascinate you, the characters will steal your heart, and the deep, dark secrets that each character brings to the table will leave you intrigued.

And the best part is, from what I’ve seen so far The Paradise offers good, clean fun. Instead of stooping to becoming just another soap opera, this program is handled with class. It will transport you to a different time, where simply walking alone with a member of the opposite sex or the mere suggestion of a kiss is viewed as the height of impropriety.

So the next time you find yourself channel surfing, try a trip to The Paradise. You may just find the time you spend there refreshingly entertaining.

Paradise Wonder

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25 thoughts on “Good, Clean Television at “The Paradise”

  1. John, I appreciate your view, but I like them both. But I’m an Anglophile that loves about any of the programs from that era. I started with Upstairs-Downstairs. My all time favorite series ever from BBC is All Creatures Great and Small. Lord bless you!!!

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        1. Well, as my wife and I were getting ready to become foster parents we really got into any movie dealing with adoption – it’s a sweet adoption story, which was meaningful for us during that time!

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          1. Ah, yes. It is a good movie for adoption seekers. My brother hates the movie because he can’t stand Anne’s talkative personality and wild imagination, but I love it. I got the book series and read them at least once a year. L.M. Montgomery is my favorite author. 🙂

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  2. I think somebody’s trying to tell me something here. My mother-in-law just talked about watching BBC and now, your post is repeating her words! I’ve NEVER considered BBC as entertainment, but I’m actually excited to try it out now! Thanks for the advice (and I agree with you about ‘Downton Abbey’). Have a joyful day, John!

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  3. Wait…you hate Downton Abby? We can’t be friends.
    Ok, just kidding, of course. The Paradise sounds good, thanks for the reminder. I’ll check it out!

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    1. LOL!!! That’s one of the funniest comments I’ve seen yet! Well, you can try out “The Paradise” and I’ll never tell all of your Downton buddies – your secret’s safe with me! :b

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  4. For the longest time, I couldn’t watch Downton Abbey. My reasoning? It was a soap opera. Then about a year ago I watched every single episode of Downton in about a week’s time! True story! I’m hanging my head in shame as I admit this because it was so out of character for me … but I got hooked (because it is indeed a soap opera), couldn’t stop. Thankfully, the library had the DVD’s for every season on the shelf and its all out of my system … hopefully.

    Anyway, my husband and I have a special affinity for BBC programming. The Paradise sounds very good. Now I’m looking forward to finding out for myself because of your review. 🙂

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  5. Thanks for suggesting this TV show. I have yet to watch an episode of Downton Abbey. But this looks great. I’m gonna check it out.

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  6. I just started watching the Paradise online (I know, I discovered it a little late!), and have only watched the first two episodes of Season 1. I have enjoyed it thus far, but was a little concerned how they would develop several of the relationships in the show. I love a lot of what the BBC does, but I try to be careful to watch things that ultimately have some redeeming value or closure to them. As I mentioned earlier, I was concerned where some of the relationships were headed (Would Moray continue to string Ms. Glendenning on for his personal benefit, and would Moray & Denise develop a relationship despite Moray’s obvious lack of moral character) and I Wikiepedia’d the episodes to see if there seems to be some kind of repentance on Moray’s part. **Warning: Spoiler alert** From what I gathered, it seems like he still continues “charming” women to get what he wants, and there’s no repentance on his part, yet Denise, for whatever reason, is still attracted to him and they get engaged. Did you find that the show had a lot of redeeming qualities to it, or does it just end up where Denise is lured by Moray’s charm, and falls in love with him despite the fact he’s a greedy womanizer? I would like to continue watching the show, but if the show glorifies Moray & Denise’s relationship while he does not attempt to repent of his many failures, than I don’t know that I want to waste my time. Your thoughts on this (coming from a Christian perspective) would be helpful.

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    1. I understand what you mean… Moray is not exactly a gentleman or a positive role model. My wife and I feel that Denise is more in love with Moray’s position and business sense than she is with the man himself. But you’re right – using relationships to get ahead is not the example we want to set for our children! Thanks so much for your thoughts on this!

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