A BBC TV series set in the 1870's in a northern England town, based on the novel Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies' Paradise or The Ladies' Delight) by Émile Zola. While the book's original setting was in France, the television series moves the location to Northern England.
Denise Lovett, an ambitious country girl from Peebles, Scotland, goes to the city to work at her uncle's drapery, but instead falls in love with the competition across the street, with The Paradise, and takes up a job there. Her ambitious nature garners the attention of the owner of The Paradise, widower John Moray, much to the displeasure of Miss Audrey, the head of ladieswear; Clara, one of the shopgirls; and Katherine Glendenning, daughter of a wealthy lord who is set on marrying Moray. The series follows the loves and lives of the characters in Northern England.
The Paradise aired for two seasons of eight episodes each. A third series was to be made, but BBC canceled it due to low ratings.
The Paradise contains examples of:
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Moray gets one thanks to a poor choice of words.
- The Barnum: Moray, Denise and Sam all exhibit signs of this, either through innovative marketing ideas or a flair for showmanship.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Mr. Jonas remains steadfast in his duties because the late Mrs. Moray offered him employment without ever questioning him about his missing arm.
- The Casanova: It's a question in the first episode how much Moray is this.
- Clear My Name: The focus of an episode of season one is clearing Sam's.
- Country Mouse: Denise, being from Peebles, is an example of this.
- Doorstep Baby: The premise of 1x03 is that someone drops off an unnamed child on the doorstep of The Paradise.
- Green-Eyed Monster: In Season 1, Katherine becomes this when Moray takes an interest in Denise. Season 2 is mostly about Katherine Glendenning, now Mrs Weston's, planning her revenge against Moray and Denise. We learn that it was Katherine who called off the wedding, not Moray. She also exiled Moray to France and took possession of the Paradise, only to call him back one year later to create competition between him and Denise. .
- Married to the Job: Miss Audrey. She even explicitly describes choosing it over marriage at a time when it was not an option to have both. Many characters also remark that Moray's truest love is The Paradise.
- On the Rebound: Katherine allows Peter Adler to court her, after she realizes that it's not working with Moray, but soon ends the new relationship when she admits she is still in love with Moray.
- The Lost Lenore: Moray's wife is this. She is dead from the beginning of the show. Her only appearance is through the portrait in Moray's office.
- Parental Abandonment: Arthur.
- Pet the Dog: The stoic and intimidating Mr. Jonas gets a few, mostly with Arthur.
- Put on a Bus: Pauline disappears after the first season to be replaced with Suspiciously Similar Substitute Suzy.
- Remember the New Guy?: Myrtle doesn't appear until the second season, yet she's treated as someone the rest of the cast has always known. This may be due to the one year Time Skip between seasons.
- Self-Made Man: Moray. By the end of the series, Denise is striving to become a self-made woman.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Tom Weston.