Right now it's Halloween season—-but what do we all know happens on November 1? Christmas shopping season! And what better way to celebrate Harry Gordon Selfridge, the man who started the modern department store, than to check out Mr. Selfridge--the beloved ITV/Masterpiece series out now in a DVD box set.
Starring Golden Globe and Emmy-award-winning actor Jeremy Piven (of Entourage fame) and based on the biography of Harry Gordon Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead (Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge), the series covers Selfridge's rise from being some crazy unknown American to becoming one of the most respected and influential businessmen in England (today Selfridge's flagship store on Oxford Street in London is the next-to-largest shop in the entire United Kingdom, second only to Harrod's).
The DVD set includes all forty episodes plus two hours of bonus content including deleted scenes and interviews with the cast and crew (especially fun are those that explore the show's excellent visuals in costume/set design and execution—-the series has been praised by many for having an almost obsessive attention to detail). Another nice touch is that the behind-the-scenes features are specific to each season rather than just over-arching commentary on the series as a whole: the show covers the years 1908-1929, arguably the most transformative period of the 20th century for Great Britain, and portraying the characters and their environments during WWI is obviously very different than during the turn of the century or the Roaring 20s.
The DVD box set is available on Amazon for $45.47 (about $1.14 per episode plus the bonus material). You can also buy individual HD episodes and seasons (for $2.99 / $19.99 respectively) on both Amazon and iTunes (if you do the math, though, you see that almost triples the per-episode cost). Amazon Prime members should also be aware that Seasons 1-3 are currently available for free streaming, however this won't get you the 2 hours of bonus content (or, at the time of this writing, the final season of the series).
If you (or someone you know) are a fan of costume dramas, British history, or just the eye candy of early modern consumerism, this series may be just the ticket. And (as Harry Gordon Selfridge was the first to say in a marketing campaign), there are only 54 shopping days left until Christmas...