I’ve been watching “Mr. Selfridge on PBS.” Less popular than Downton Abby, “Mr. Selfridge” chronicles the life department store brought from those cheeky Yanks over to Britain and turning shopping on its ear.  It’s part of “The Masterpiece Classics” on Sunday night.


Jeremy Piven’s manic, ever-smiling, frenetic-talker character annoys me until he grew on me.  I had to do a little research.  Yes, there really is a Selfridges department stores; the first in England, founded in 1909, and still the second largest chain of department stores in the UK.  Yes, H. Gordon Selfridge did come from Chicago where he worked his way up the ladder at what is now Marshall Fields.  And yes, he really was exuberant to the point of exasperation.  That’s not the part about “Mr. Selfridge” that most intrigues me.