is a TV series about the American Harry Selfridge (Jeremy Piven), who moves to London in 1909 with the intention of building a magnificent new department store. Drama ensues as he tries to make his store successful in spite of conservative British customs, his opportunist financier Lady Mae (Katherine Kelly), his own marital troubles with his wife Rose (Frances O'Connor), and, in season 2, the impending World War One.
Meanwhile, shopgirl Agnes Towler (Aisling Loftus) has her own personal troubles to deal with, including her rebellious brother George (Calum Callaghan) and her burgeoning romance with Henri LeClair (Grégory Fitoussi); and Josie Mardle (Amanda Abbington) tries to stay strong in the face of her secret love affair with Mr Grove (Tom Goodman-Hill).
This series has examples of the following:
- Alpha Bitch: Kitty certainly behaves like one, especially towards Agnes in early season 1.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Lady Loxley has shades in this in season 1, obviously having ulterior motives whenever she helps Harry out. However, she pales in comparison to her husband, who, as revealed in season 2, abuses her physically and emotionally, believes in Marital Rape License and has highly shady business deals going on.
- Awful Wedded Life: Lord and Lady Loxley: in season 2, Lord Loxley moves in with her, and it's shown that she really had reason to like things the way they were in season 1.
Lady Mae: When Lord Loxley is in London, I'm in the country, and when Lord Loxley is in the country, I'm in London. That's the secret of a happy marriage.
- Darker and Edgier: Season 2 in comparison to Season 1, mostly because of WWI: the first season ran on plots of shopgirls fighting over promotions, getting celebrities to visit Selfridge's, and love affairs. The second one runs on plots of young men enlisting, characters trying to find ways to help the war effort, espionage, and love affairs.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: So, so much. Woman employees are fired if they decide to marry (and note that Harry is supposed to be a fairly progressive employer); Harry's wife Rose shrugs on his sleeping with other women but woe on Rose if she even kisses another man; the Empire Exhibition treats the British Empire as a fantastic thing with no consideration for the negative sides of colonization, and so on...
- Domestic Abuse: Lord Loxley to Lady Mae.
- Double Standard: See Deliberate Values Dissonance for one example.
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Oh, Henri. Is there a woman you haven't charmed?
- Gold Digger: Lady Mae; it's implied she married Lord Loxley purely for the money and title.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: One of the most-praised aspects of the programme.
- G-Rated Drug: Ellen Love's implied cocaine use: and by implied we mean that she does it on-screen, and it is fairly obvious that it's supposed to be cocaine although the drug isn't named. Other characters treat it as a vice little worse than smoking. Truth in Television, again, as cocaine was legal at the time, and it was a fairly acceptable vice as long as the user remained a Functional Addict.
- Historical-Domain Character: Ernest Shackleford, Arthur Conan Doyle, Anna Pavlova, all of whom made Real Life appearances at Selfridges.
- Impoverished Patrician: Lord Loxley. His attempts to make money are major plot points in season 2.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Victor releases Agnes from their engagement because he knows she loves Henri more than she could ever love him.
- Marital Rape License: As far as Loxley's concerned, Mae has no right to say no.
- May-December Romance: The past-childbearing-age Josie Mardle with her much younger Belgian boarder, Florian Dupont. She thinks it could never work because of this; he doesn't give a damn and wants her anyway.
- No Name Given: Mr Thackeray, Mr Crabbe and Lord Loxley.
- Porn Stash: Gordon acquires a small one in 2.03. (By today's standards, it wouldn't be considered porn at all: the pictures are of women wearing knee-length dresses, sitting on beds, but the characters treat them as "racy". Truth in Television, as in the 1910s a respectable woman would never wear clothing that revealed even her ankles in public - a knee-length skirt was practically nudity.)
- Shed the Family Name: A variation: Lady Loxley insists on being addressed as Lady Maenote . Probably because her husband Lord Loxley is a total jerk and domestic abuser.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: Florian gives one to Miss Mardle as she's trying to list all the reasons a relationship between them would never work. She promptly goes up like a bundle of tinder in his arms before forcing herself to stop.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Josie Mardle. Tries to be cool and controlled; is actually secretly adorkable and sweet.
- Your Cheating Heart: Harry. Rose. Lady Mae. Mr Grove. Probably everyone.