It's pretty bad. I'll watch Frances O'Connor in anything, but...
Piven gives the worst performance I've seen from a lead actor in a long time— just one-note grandiosity, no color, no shading.
It's like he's standing at footlights braying his lines at an audience.
It's really weird: Like they didn't bother to direct him, or he refused to be directed, or something.
How did Piven even get this role?
He's such a one-note actor, and his rep is poisonous.
The CW, right after The Carrie Diaries.
He redefines one note here, he's embarrassingly wooden, acting as if he has a hearing problem, always shouting and looking out of place from scene to scene.
You could say that was cause the character was meant to be a brash OTT American clashing with the Brits, but he is dreadful and sinks the show since of course it revolves around him. I don't see it being renewed.
That said it's well made and watchable, thanks to the supporting cast. There's some hot guys in it.
Piven's a disaster.
He makes the 1970s Richard Dreyfus seem like Gary Cooper
So far I'm finding it quite dull.
Piven is the most bloated, repulsive, untalented lump of ego ever pushed onto a PBS audience. Terrible! TERRIBLE!
Downton Abbey with tills.
I believe it was a ratings disaster for ITV when it aired in the UK earlier this year. It's not just Piven - who is terrible - but the script is awful as well. It got terrible reviews, total turkey. There's no suspense at all, of course, for anyone who's walked down Bond Street in the last, oh, 80 years. The writers never found anything to dramatise.
Its coming back for a second series here in UK. I found Piven grating or was it just the character? Is he gay ? we are not sure here ...
Poor Miss Mardle ... and that silly Kitty ! The young waiter is going places too.
Awful, turned Jeremy Piven and his bad performance and his bad rug off after a few minutes.
Frances O'Connor was pretty bad too. She must have been concentrating so much on that flat American accent that it flattened her performance.
I know his personality is repulsive but I would love to fuck that hot little cub, Piven. And the beard looks good.
Mmmm, yeah. He'd be a hot fuck.
You could see this from behind...
I have never heard of this Jeremy Piven before now and only on DL. Where the heck did he spring from?
He has a weird speech impediment, too, that seems to come from the back of his mouth. Like he has a bad set of dentures.
I stayed with the show to the end but it was a slog to sit through. Jeremy was awful and one-note but there wasn't much else to recommend it, anyway.
Where do I know Frances O'Connor from? And who is the (too youthful) actor who plays the shopgirl and her brother's father? He looks so familiar.
If the waiter is going to be the male sex object in the show, is that the best they could do? Do all the shop girls have to be young and pretty and thin? No character types??
And the window decorator! WTF?
So much bad casting! I hated the rich lady (Lady M?) who kept swanning around with attitude like she was Diana Rigg and also the ridiculously puny girl who played the West End star (or was she just the lead chorus girl?) In any case, sex in those times included lots of pulchritude.
Everyone was just trying too hard. Is this the SMASH of UK TV?
I did appreciate the young painter and the French aviator, however.
Darlene Shiley, billionairess
Frances O'Connor is a mediocrity-a modern day Jessica Harper. Jessica who? Exactly.
I like Frances O'Connor and if there is ever a call for someone to play Sally Field's daughter she deserves the role. What's particularly annoying about the series was that Rose Selfridge was quite an independent and interesting character. She's certainly not in this. The painter is cute and I like the opening music but overall it was dull.
On ITV it was a bunch of 50 minute episodes. PBS is wrapping up multiple episodes in a couple of broadcasts.
Piven is dreadful - he can't act - it isn't his fault the producers of the show cast him. Once he was in they had to see it through.
What, no gay people in the series????
TOO MANY LOVE STORIES... I agree with what the New York Times said - less love stories - more store.
The story has been changed for the series. Selfridge had the affair when the actress when he was very old, not at this stage in his life. The store had booted him out long before.
I thought Frances was great in A.I.
Does Piven wear dentures? My god, all those teeth!!!
Piven is just dreadful. They don't hire many American actors for British TV but when they need one they pick Piven!?! Why?
R18, I'm sure it was offered to Spacey first.
Does Piven's hair stay on in the water?
I wonder if he knows how bad he was in it.
[quote] I did appreciate the young painter and the French aviator, however.
The young painter played the gamekeeper at Sir Timothy's estate in Lark Rise to Candleford. He was in love with Laura but got her father fired because he was jealous of Alf, who was poaching. Laura's father -- Mr Bates from Downton Abbey -- refused to lie to Sir Timothy. He wouldn't do the easy thing by pretending he didn't know who was poaching. He let everyone know he knew who did it, but wouldn't tell. He was an aggravating character.
I enjoyed it despite Pivin's stilted, wooden acting. He really is a one-note actor. I would have loved to see it with a competent actor - even a Brit with a fake accent would have been better than him.
Liev Schreiber would have been good in the part. At least he might have brought some nuance to it.
Brits hate hiring American actors. I guess they figured they had to hire one for this series, so thy hired the worst one they could find.
Hopefully it will help the lovely Grégory Fitoussi move into English language films. He is brilliant in Spiral (Engrenages).
Wow. Piven was dreadful. Truly dreadful.
Piven looks put-together from a lot of different pieces. He's got a horribly fake rug on his head, horriblly fake huge teeth and he is obviously a modern American in Edwardian clothing. Everything about him is ungenuine.
[quote]I stayed with the show to the end but it was a slog to sit through. Jeremy was awful and one-note but there wasn't much else to recommend it, anyway.
Thanks for that review. I missed it and now I know not to bother watching.
Every second Piven was on screen, I thought it was either the worst acting possible or he directed to be bizarrely out of sync with the scene and his fellow actors. Really awful.
And this was supposed to hold us over until the return of Downtown Abby? DA is nothing but a souped up soap opera, but at least they play trashy well. MS is just swill.
It's been renewed for a second season.
It's not so much Jeremy's dentures that make that funny noise but it's like he had part of his rear tongue cut out.
Is Fitoussi the window decorator?
It made me appreciate everything about Downton Abbey so much more, especially the casting.
Too bad DOWNTON ABBEY'S Season three finale didn't have Jeremy Piven dead and bleeding in that automobile accident!
When is that fag gonna come out?!
Pivin is one of the producers . . .
JP is a flop at playing anything other than an arrogant, obnoxious asshole (like his real life persona).
I didn't think it was very good.
One more vote for Piven as one note.
The supporting characters were more interesting.
There has got to be some gay gossip on Piven.
Piven was miscast, which is too bad since the show revolves around his performance. The overall casting was weak and uninspired. The ship was sunk before it even left the harbor.
As has already been said by other posters,it was a lot of hammy, 'local dinner theater' performancez by almost all of the participants on some level.
There was no chemistry between the Selfridge couple, nor between Selfridge and his annoying (and not particularly attractive) mistress. The opening musical number that Ellen Love performed wasn't remotely mesmerizing. The supposed heartthrob, Victor, was also meh. Weak or strange acting choices across the board from everyone. (Was Frances O'Connor stoned? She seemed oddly remote and 'off' in her interactions.)
The entire production seemed like a throwback to the 1990's "NBC Sunday Night Movie" during a sweeps month.
I was really excited to see this so maybe that's why I'm being so critical. Downton raised the bar and I took it for granted. I'll give it one more try on the DVR but Mad Men will likely trounce this turkey.
If Lady Mae was any hammier she'd have cloves popping out of her pores.
Uh oh, I just started a second thread not realizing this one was here. I like what I have seen so far. But I guess I don't have any taste. :(
he is so hot but such a terrible actor.
The show is tailor made for gay men--it has Piven being hot and oversexed, slatternly shopgirls, and exacting control-freak female department heads. Plus Edwardian clothing.
Enjoyed the first hour with the opening of the store stuff.
Could barely make it through the second half.
Doubt I'll watch any further. Where's the drama supposed to be coming from? Will a customer buy a pair of gloves?
Either Piven is trying to play a one note, brash American or... he's not a particularly good actor.
Tonight I realized his delivery reminds me of Martin Short doing one of his goofy characters.
R54 I think its the latter, judging by the other things I've seen him in. He's a very one-note actor.
This must be the year of the fierce, big toothed grin.
Megan Hilty's blasting it all over SMASH and Piven's blasting it all over SELFRIDGE.
Ok, everyone on this thread is going to think I'm nuts ,but I don't think this was bad as everyone says it is. I wasn't super ,but I don't think it was that bad. I love the story of how a department store got established in the 1900s. I have been to Selfidges in London and it is an elegant store. I had no idea about it's history until I watched this this film last night.
I love watching British productions,BBC, Acorn, etc.But, I'm not surprised that Mr. Selfridge is portrayed very negatively. When ever the British portray an American in their TV shows, movies, etc. they portray Americans as, crass, swears like sailors, stupid, loud, overbearing, unrefined on and on. I think it stinks that they do that because I think when the Americans portray the British, usually they are portrayed fairly. Also, they made Mr. Selfridge without basic manors ,which most American people were taught in those days. In addition, in this film they throw in some modern terms like I'll get back to you later.
The window dresser is gorgeously handsome!! Is he gay in real life? Who is he? WOW!
BTW, someone on DL once said they had a male friend who had sex with Piven in Las Vegas.
[quote]. Also, they made Mr. Selfridge without basic manors
I don't think he had even one manor, but then again, I've never been to Newport.
R58 if u like it, then keep watching it. But the fact remains that most people are not impressed with it (at least not here in the US).
Is it getting good reviews in the UK? I'm guessing so since they love everything with an American in it.
If it hadn't come on immediately after "Call the Midwife" (a MUCH better show) and if there had been anything else worth watching last night, I wouldn't have bothered with the second episode. Still meh.
Frances O'Connor is so odd looking to me. Something about her mouth is off as if she has jaw muscles like a pit bull or something. It was very distracting.
Terrible, terrible terrible.
And Piven was awful, awful, awful.
Are those his real teeth or did he wear a dental piece to emphasize his cartoonishness?
What area in London is Selfridge's located? Is it near Harrod's? Their main competetor? Didn't know about it when we were in London. Did go to Harrod's.
He is such a bad actor! omg he's overacting and it's so cringeworthy. This just wasn't the role for him. He was good in Entourage, but he seems so out of place in this mini series. I wish the producers had done a better job at casting, but oh well..
And did they say "you only live once" in 1909? Kinda doubt it..
Harrod's is out in Knightsbridge. Selfridge's is on Oxford Street, east of Hyde Park. Everybody goes to Harrod's because it's as much a tourist attraction as a store. Selfridge's/Oxford St. is real life shopping, but most tourists can't afford heavy shopping in London because the pound is so expensive.
I simply cannot watch Jeremy Piven. He's ugly inside and out.
I recorded it and finally watched Ep 1 tonight.
This may be the worst thing I've seen on PBS in recent memory, and I've seen a lot.
Piven is not merely a bad actor: this is LEGENDARY bad TV acting. And no one else is a lot better. Some serious bucks look to have been spent tarting all this up, but it's all completely overproduced, misguided, and off the mark. There's nothing that memorable about the production design or costumes, and it all should have been gorgeous.
Lastly: it's really poorly written. Andrew Davies, WTF? It's full of anachronisms in both speech and behavior, too numerous to even recount. Terrible work.
Yes, R69, both Piven's performance and the script are a 21st century take on early 20th century life. He has no innate sense of how to realistically portray the mannerisms of a man living in 1908 society.
And you are right about the numerous anachronisms peppered throughout the production. One error that jumped out at me took place in Episode 1 when Selfridge says to a lady, "I'll catch you later" as he rushes off. I can't imagine that phrase being used in 1908, much less for a 'gentleman' to ever say that to a lady during that time period. Did they have no person on staff to check for these kinds of glaring historical goofs?
I had been DVRing episodes and finally got around to watching some of it. Was glad to delete all of them after coming here to see I wasn't the only one who couldn't get into it. I kept waiting for Pivin to start yelling, "Baby... baby... PLEASE...baby" every time he got in a spat with his wife.
I forget what the clanger was last but they definitely do not have somebody on set advising on the period. I enjoy it but it's terrible and Piven is about the most one note performance I've seen in a long time.
Straighten up, show enormous teeth, and blast out some golly gee! It's horribly fabulous.
I don't hate it, and I think Piven is coming across as intended for the character.
Love how Selfridge and Lady Chlamydia got theirs in the season finale. series needs more hot men like the painter.
try watching it with a friend as I do. we love making fun of the Ralph Lauren ads and that riverboat tour company that dabbles in senior sex slave trafficking
Utter garbage. And Jeremy is SOOOOO bad, I have no words. PBS usually does better work than this. Ugh.
I kept waiting for Piven to burst into song - it just seemed like bad, over the top, musical theatre acting.
He's completely unaware there are other actors in his scenes. Hambone.
Watched the season finale last night and Piven was beyond awful. High school acting of the worst kind. Frances O'Connor is the blandest of the bland. Terrible casting across the board except for the hot Frenchman.
No love here for Call the Midwife?
I started a thread when Season 1 began but it got no responses. I've come to really love the show and last night's Season Finale was particularly wonderful.
It's like comfort food, r78 but much more interesting to watch than Mr S.
The guy who plays Roddy (the painter) - Oliver Jackson-Cohen - looked HOT in last night's episode. Any dish?
He was Laura's bf and the gamekeeper at Sir Timothy's estate in Lark Rise to Candleford.
And he's coming to NBC this Fall in Dracula.
This show is watchable in spite of Pivens. Most of the rest of the cast are very solid and the production is excellent.
I'm betting the Christmas episode of Call the Midwife will feature a pregnant Sister Bernadette.
I wish this show was so bad that it was good. But it's not.
What kind of pregnany/childbirth problem will Sister Bernadette have on CTM? They've done placenta previa, toxemia, SIDS, spina bifida. Have they done ectopic pregnancy?