Note: This review will contain spoilers from Series 1. If you do not want to read about Series 1 spoilers, I suggest watching Series 1 before reading this review. Here is my review for Series 1 if you are interested.
|Region 2 DVD Box Art|
After being stripped of his store and sent away to Paris, Mr. Moray returns to The Paradise as a manager determined to buy his store back. The Paradise is now owned by Tom Weston, a former soldier and the new husband of Moray's ex-fiancee, Katherine (née Glendenning), who inherited the store from her father who has, since Series 1, passed on. Meanwhile, Denise and Moray have become engaged and are working together to win The Paradise back. However, this proves to be difficult as Tom Weston is not a man to be trifled with.
Not all of the characters returned for Series 2 of The Paradise and a couple of them leave mid-way through Series 2. Lord Glendenning does not return due to the fact that his character died. Shop girl Pauline does not return (which is never explained why; she simply disappeared) and is replaced by Suzy, a new shop girl with similar characteristics. While Edmund Lovett and Miss Audrey are there for half of the series, they Spoiler get married in the middle of the series and End of Spoiler leave the show. New characters are introduced into the show, but in my opinion, they paled in comparison to the old characters. But anyways! There are some familiar period drama faces in this series of The Paradise.
|Actor/Actress||Character||Also Seen In|
|Ben Daniels||Tom Weston||Lark Rise to Candleford as Mr. Rushton|
|Peter Wight||Edmund Lovett||Lark Rise to Candleford as Old Amos, Persuasion (2007) as Admiral Croft|
|Sarah Lancashire||Miss Audrey||Lark Rise to Candleford as Adult Laura Timmins (narration)|
|Adrian Scarborough||Fenton||Upstairs, Downstairs as Mr. Pritchard|
|Denise and Moray|
|The new Mr. and Mrs. Weston|
|Tom Weston, new owner of The Paradise|
|Clemence entering The Paradise|
The scenery remains much the same as the previous series. Tom Weston and Katherine make their home at Katherine's childhood home that she inherited from her father when he passed away, so even their home is much the same as it was in Series 1. Some minor changes to the store were made (it does have a new owner, after all), but The Paradise is much like it was last series.
The costumes continue to be beautiful, but there isn't much variation from the previous series, which took place sometime in the early 1870s. If we assume that the story takes place about two or three years after Series 1, then the year would be at least 1872 or 1873, which means that the fashions didn't really change all that much. Denise does get some new outfits Spoiler when she replaces Miss Audrey and becomes head of ladieswear End of Spoiler but that's roughly about it (her clothes were still nice, by the way). Katherine reused quite a few of her dresses from the previous series, which seems odd since she is rich and would have money to buy new dresses.
|Uh oh, I sense another argument coming on.|
For the most part, the content remains around TV-PG. There was a very unnecessary bit between Clemence and Denise (which, I will repeat myself, really didn't need to be in there as it provided nothing to the plot). Some parts of Clemence's past come up; (thankfully) there weren't any flashbacks, only her telling about her past. Tom Weston is a bit of a philanderer (if he wasn't enough of a jerk as it was), but there are no accompanying scenes, merely some implications. The new cook at The Paradise is a little suggestive and whose neckline is a bit low.
The Paradise: Series 2 has not aired yet in America, but I suspect it will air sometime later this year. Series 2 is made up of eight 1-hour long episodes.
So, I liked The Paradise and I do recommend it to period drama fans and historical costume fans, but taking into account both series (and the fact that it's been a long time since I first viewed it), it's not my absolute, top favorite period drama series. That's not to say I don't like it: on the contrary, I really enjoyed watching it. But on my list of favorite period dramas, this would actually fall fairly low on the list because there are other period dramas that I simply like better. It was still good, but there were other period dramas out there that just outshine it. While I had to really warm up to Mr. Selfridge, after watching Series 2 of it, I think Mr. Selfridge displaced The Paradise on my list of favorite period dramas (of course, I still remember that Series 1 of Mr. Selfridge wasn't anything to brag about, so I'm not saying that Mr. Selfridge was perfect either). But even though this section might sound a little negative, still, watch The Paradise; it is a good period drama that you may greatly enjoy.
Now, about The Paradise's cancellation, which has received some publicity in the period drama world. Was I upset about The Paradise being cancelled? A little bit, yes. I would have enjoyed watching another series. Will I accept it being cancelled? Yes. Even though I liked The Paradise and even though I would have continued to watch it if more series were produced, I'm okay with it being cancelled. It ended in an okay spot: no major cliffhangers or anything like that -- maybe not the greatest spot since there were some minor loose threads, but it ended decently enough. Now, do I support the effort to bring The Paradise back? Why not? I'd keep watching it. But if the effort failed, I wouldn't be heartbroken. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the directions that Denise and Moray's relationship was taking, but I would still be curious to see how it panned out in the end. But leaving it as it is might be a good thing in the end. It would be a shame for a third series to be made and have it ruin the entire show.