Don’t you love finding a book, movie, TV show, or a character that reminds you of your own life, and in the best possible way? Not just in a “well that’s just like me/my situation” kind of way, but more of a “this makes me feel better about my situation” kind of way. I have found this in The Paradise, a BBC program that only lasted two seasons. One of my friends from college alerted me to this show’s existence by commenting on one of my selfies, saying, “You look like the girls who work at The Paradise! Have you seen that show on Netflix? They always have amazing hair.” I’d never heard of this show, so I found it on Netflix and started the first episode, intrigued. Great hair can always grab my attention.
The Paradise is based on a French novel by Emile Zola, Au Bonheur des Dames. The show moved the story to North East England, where John Moray is running the nation’s first department store. The main character is Denise Lovett, a Scottish girl from a small town who is seeking a job in sales and ends up working at Moray’s store, The Paradise. Denise turns out to be quite the salesgirl, always coming up with brilliant ideas that no one else would think of. The show revolves around the drama between the customers, traders, and employees in and around the store, and my, is there drama, at least for a story set in 1875. I am halfway through the second season and not looking forward to have no more show to watch, as it was never renewed for a third season. Thanks, BBC.
Denise has her “I have a stupendous marketing idea” face on.
But back to my point, Denise’s drive to run her own shop and be as powerful and respected as Moray has put in me an acceptance and respect for my own profession. Yes, I am an editor by trade, but right now, I’m in customer service, and a good dose of positivity could make me so much better at my job. Yes, times have changed since 1875, but one fact remains: Doing what you’ve always done will never lead to progress. You have to let new and radical ideas prevail sometimes. Denise is always coming up with things that people think are crazy, because “this is just the way it’s always been,” but as soon as someone has some faith in her, she shows everyone that she really knows what she’s talking about, and basically saves the day. She’s so passionate about making the store money and bringing people together to become more successful and more powerful than they could be alone, that just watching an episode before work can make me work so much more cheerfully.
This is why I think TV shows that depict people loving their careers and doing well in them are so important. If everyone did their job a little more cheerfully and with a little more drive, even if it’s not what they want to be doing forever, imagine how much more smoothly everything else in the company would run. I wonder if Parks and Rec is like that for people in small government. I honestly can’t think of anymore that portray the workplace as a place you’d want to be, that encourages you and helps you love your own job. We should make more of those!