The Paradise: 4 Good Reasons To Watch This Series On Arte.

Starting tonight, Thursday August 10th, Arte is broadcasting in its entirety a free adaptation of the novel "Au bonheur des dames". If you enjoy historical costume dramas, department stores, and romantic stories, you will love this fiction titled "The Paradise"! We have listed four good reasons to discover this unprecedented TV series.

It is a loose adaptation of a novel by Zola.

In the rather dark work of Émile Zola, the novel "Au bonheur des dames" stands out as an exception with its lighter atmosphere and happy ending. In the Rougon-Macquart series, most characters are predetermined by their heredity and end up consumed by their vices... except in this novel, a love story with a happy ending!

In the novel, the heroine named Denise arrives in Paris and gets hired in a department store. While she is just a small saleswoman, she manages to conquer the heart of the director, Octave Mouret, and to be loved by those who initially despised her.

The series "The Paradise," named after the department store where it takes place, is a loose adaptation of this novel. Although the plot is transposed to Victorian England, fans of this literary classic will find the atmosphere of the early department stores, the love story, and the major societal upheavals that make the original work so interesting.

2- It's a magnificent costume mural.

To reinterpret Emile Zola's novel, the production spared no expense. The series The Paradise offers viewers a meticulously crafted historical reenactment, in the same vein as Downton Abbey, adaptations of Jane Austen's novels, or Mr Selfridge.

Through the story of Denise, the young heroine who gets hired at "The Paradise," the entire excitement of the first department stores is portrayed on screen in a flurry of fabrics and elegant dresses.

Already in 1883, the year of the publication of Emile Zola's novel, the author describes the disappearance of small businesses in favor of large department stores, with a mixed feeling of fascination and worry. In the series, as in the novel, Denise is the niece of a struggling small merchant, and the plot unfolds during a pivotal time marked by the rise of capitalism...

3- It's a series with an impeccable cast.

In addition to offering a beautiful historical fresco in costumes, the series The Paradise benefits from impeccable casting.

It is actress Joanna Vanderham who embodies Denise, a young provincial for whom this sales job is the promise of a better future. When she enters "The Paradise" for the first time, she is unaware that she will fall under the spell of John Moray, her dark director played by Emun Elliott.

The chemistry between these two actors is one of the strengths of the series, which also features Elaine Cassidy, Sarah Lancashire, Matthew McNulty, Peter Wight, and David Hayman.

4- It's a beautiful portrait of a woman.

In the novel "Au bonheur des dames," the character of Denise embodies a feminine ideal cherished by Zola: that of the delicate woman with discreet charm... Such charm that her boss Octave Mouret despairs of seeing the young woman resist him and remain indifferent to his advances and his fortune!

The relationship between the two protagonists, where the power dynamics reverse under the influence of feelings, is exhilarating and the outcome of this love story is of a romanticism to which Émile Zola had rarely accustomed us...

As desired, the series "The Paradise" also depicts, over the course of 8 episodes, this seemingly impossible love. This historical fiction manages to be romantic without being cloying, while giving the heroine the leading role.

Through the adventures of young Denise, this fiction paints a beautiful portrait of a touching and determined woman, at a time when women rarely take center stage. This unprecedented series explores the upheavals of the Victorian era through the prism of several women's destinies who thirst for independence.

If this presentation has convinced you to watch this fiction, note that the channel will broadcast 4 episodes per evening. You can discover season 1 on Thursdays, August 10th and 17th, 2023 at 8:55 PM on Arte. You can also watch the series in its entirety (seasons 1 and 2) on (link below).

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: BBC
Tags: The Paradise, Denise, Zola, LOVE, Au Bonheur des Dames, fiction, arte, department store, Octave, Atmosphere, Émile Zola, romantic, portrait, Elaine Cassidy, Emun Elliott, Sarah Lancashire, chemistry, Matthew McNulty, Moray, Peter Wight, David Hayman, feminine, Ideal, season 1, independence, prism, Victorian era, center stage, Historical fiction, romanticism, boss, Provincial, Joanna Vanderham, Mural, Victorian England, transposed, heart, Paris, Heredity, Rougon-Macquart, listed, historical reenactment, vein, actress, fresco, Capitalism, merchant, author, Mr Selfridge, Jane Austen,
More informations:
In French: The Paradise : 4 bonnes raisons de regarder cette série sur Arte
En español: El Paraíso: 4 buenas razones para ver esta serie en Arte
In italiano: Il Paradiso: 4 buoni motivi per guardare questa serie su Arte
Auf Deutsch: Das Paradies: 4 gute Gründe, diese Serie auf Arte zu schauen.
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