Back when I saw the first season of this pretty piece of candy, it take the entire series to convince me it’s good. At the start of the second series, an entire year passes. The ambitious John Moray (Emun Elliott) is exiled to Paris after spurning his fiancée, Katherine Glendenning (Elaine Cassidy). Subsequently he also gives up ownership of his prize, The Paradise. A well-to-do shopper’s haven, Katherine’s father take ownership after Moray breaks his daughter’s heart and now it’s in Katherine’s hands. Heartbroken over a break from Moray, Katherine has since married a widower and military man, Tom Weston (Ben Daniels).
After her father’s death, the Weston’s settle into Katherine’s childhood home, which is no longer full of joy. This drives Katherine to transfer her energies to raising Tom’s daughter and prompts her to send for Moray to again manage the store. Though apart, the love between Moray and the young shop girl, Denise (Joanna Vanderham) blossoms. Over letters, the two reaffirm their love and upon his return Denise accepts his marriage proposal. When the return of Jonas stirs up old feelings of resentment, financial strains and clandestine meetings, the waging of wits happens.
TV SERIES REVIEW | ‘The Paradise,’ Series One‘THE PARADISE,’ SERIES TWO (2013) #FWarchives Click To Tweet
One thing to know about these characters is that while there’s lines between good and evil, all of the characters manipulate someone. Figuring out motives is tough, we’re always hesitant to what ends that ambition will swing. Despite this, I will say that I still quite adore The Paradise. It’s not just a sweet confection that is pretty to look at, there’s darkness around corners and fretful personalities.
Some faces are missing this season, and there are some new characters who adequately replace them. In place of the silly shop girl, Pauline is now Susy, and of course there is the return of the main characters in addition to Clara and Dudley. The most unforgivable add-in is the pursuit of more politically correct material. The girls encounter a feminist (and more) as well as an introduction to a photographer who catches Clara’s eye. Denise changes the most drastically in this season and grows all the more comfortable in her role, so much so it makes us pause and wonder if she and Moray are nothing more than lovers who will never commit.
Ironically, there is a shift of personalities and in some sense power. Denise gains more power (and if possible, more confidence) and Katherine becomes a figure of pity. She has her moments that leave us with a bad impression yet overall, it’s almost as if we regret her not getting what she wants. Almost. Mostly, I was still not as fond of her as other characters. The Paradise is part complex study and part dazzling, but underneath there’s ugly secrets and what’s more, unfortunate characters.
In the end, I did enjoy its brief two-season run. This series has heartwarming joy and pretty moments between Denise and Moray even if I don’t always respect their love story.
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You can find The Paradise, series two digitally on Amazon Video
Content: there’s an implication that an unmarried couple is intimate and a married man propositions more than one woman. Much ado is made over a bi-sexual character [for one episode] and there is one same-sex kiss. There is some minor violent content.