Emily in Paris is a clichéd mess of a show - and I enjoyed every bit.


Image Courtesy of Vulture


By Jena Butler

There is a lot to be discussed when it comes to Netflix’s new hit series, “Emily in Paris”. Ironically, I sat down to watch the show with the intention of doing my French homework. Everyone loves a background show and I had decided that this was to be my new show to not watch. Having said this, by the time Emily leaves Chicago for her new job in Paris, I was more interested in her attempts at French than my own, and not always for the most positive of reasons.

Starring and produced by Lily Collins (“Love, Rosie”), and written by Darren Starr, responsible for the iconic “Sex and The City” series, the show follows American Emily and her (mis)adventures to life in Paris whilst working in a marketing firm. Think “The Devil Wears Prada” except one only has to do a quick search of “Emily in Paris” to discover that the French aren’t happy about it. With its poor dialogue and painfully stereotypical representations of Parisian lifestyle, I can see why it is not hitting the mark. There is something a little too naive about positioning Emily as the happy go lucky girl next door whilst every Parisian is contrasted as moody and unwelcoming.

Attempting to “increase social engagement”, Emily creates an Instagram account which soon becomes the key to her success as heads begin to turn. The reality being here – as most of us know – it takes a lot more than a picture of a croissant to get thousands upon thousands of followers. It is safe to say the show is let down by its obsession with the French clichés and Emily’s overt need to Americanise everything. As expat Monica de La Villardière pens for Vogue, “You are so spoilt, Emily, and you don’t even realise it.”.

Having said this, the show has everything the casual viewer is looking for. It makes you want to have passionate sexual encounters with your neighbour, wear Dior on the Seine and drink champagne in a chateau. For those who have seen “The Politician”, “Emily In Paris” works in a similar, quirky fashion and with a little less melodrama too. Each episode ends on a juicy cliff-hanger and a romantic scandal. The whole show is a muddle of lovers (and vibrators) and there is no apology for it: Emily is the 2020 female protagonist we love to see!

Instead of the classic love-triangle utilised in teen drama, “Emily in Paris” creates a sort of love-pentagon instead. When the CEO of a luxury perfume company is mesmerized by her entrance, one can’t help but roll

their eyes. As much as I’d like to believe that there are 10 French men ready to seduce me on every corner, her romantic encounters are a bit out of reach. And yet, I feel like this is what sums up the show perfectly. Waltzing in from America, one can’t help but watch her every move and what she is wearing, especially with the spectacle of a Paris backdrop.

Somehow I was wooed back each episode and just as you think she’s got the guy, just as you’re wondering how basic the whole mysterious chef thing is, the show ends, leaving us ready for more French tropes and Emily’s annoying charm next season.

“Emily in Paris” is available to stream on Netflix.

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