Emily in Paris: Netflix’s Stereotypical, yet Perfect Getaway

6 mins read

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Released last Friday, Emily in Paris has climbed the ladder of the ‘Top 10’ on Netflix, reaching the first place in multiple countries in just two days, and rightfully so. It is très bon!

Emily in Paris follows a young, driven and enthusiastic woman, Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), who leaves her old Chicago life behind to pursue an unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity in “the most romantic city in the world”, Paris.

There is but one issue here: she speaks zero French. Her excitement fades fast as this lack of skill inconveniences her new co-workers, who are unwelcoming at first, and initially resort to teasing and avoiding her. Emily’s boss, Sylvie, (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), has a particular dislike for her because of her poor French, but also due to her lack of mystery and deficiency in experience with luxury brands.

While handling various clients and different acquaintances, keeping Emily on her toes, she also works on expanding her dreamy Parisian friend circle. She meets Mindy (Ashley Park), a nanny and aspiring singer, whom she quickly befriends and spends a lot of time with (drinking wine, mostly, but we can’t blame them). 

Emily also becomes good friends with her eye-candy of a neighbour, Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), who is a chef at the restaurant just next to their apartment block. Naturally – there is some unspoken tension between the pair (but how far that develops I will leave to you to see for yourself).

It is definitely hard to choose between all good-looking French men waiting in line to take Emily out. We are presented with a wide variety, but, if you’re like me, you remain rooting for Gabriel and Emily. 

Besides romance, the show explores the difficulty of adjusting to a different culture and language with light-heartedness, and does so really well, too. Although it does include some minor clichés about Paris and French people, it contributes to the positivity and glamour that is so prominent in the show.

Emily in Paris brings Paris’ magic alive through the lens of incredible fashion and food, which, yes, are stereotypes – but at least they’re positive. The Netflix hit-show embodies everything the fancy Parisian life ought to have: glamorous parties, elegant outfits, and charming views. The show’s depiction of Paris helps define its setting, and people, perhaps not as accurately as they are in real life, but it is fiction, after all. We should want to escape from reality every once in a while.

It should also be noted that they actually filmed this show in Paris. This is not an America-pretends-to-be-Paris show. It’s authentic, and allows for the admiration of the wonderful scenery of the city while a catchy French song plays in the background. At some point it begins to feel like you’ve travelled there without even booking yourself a plane ticket (which is fantastic, considering we shouldn’t be travelling anywhere right now). 

Despite its predictability, Emily’s cringe Instagram account, some of the aforementioned stereotypes, and the “This is Paris” excuse for just about everything, there is so much to like about Emily in Paris.

Starting with the lightly-touched-upon characters’ outfits, for instance. They are all so stylish, chic and combined together so well. It’s impossible not to like them. You will sit there wishing you had enough money to buy that exact outfit you have set your eyes on, or even wish for Emily’s entire closet. 

Another element that I particularly enjoyed about this show is that it develops other characters, too, rather than just Emily. It was refreshing to see how Gabriel’s dream of owning a restaurant became such a big part of the plot, as did Mindy’s family story and her life in China. I also like how they touched upon her love for singing and, rather than only mentioning it, made her sing. They even brought in a few of Mindy’s friends from her past which made her character seem more real to me, and I became more aware of her life before Paris.

Although there are still other characters I would like to know more about, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, it needs to be remembered that this was just the first season and that a second season is, by the looks of it, very likely. 

Lastly, this show will not fail to make you laugh, whether you want to or not, whether it’s a nose exhale or a full-on laugh. And really, isn’t that just what we all need right now? Something unserious, undramatic, and something that effortlessly turns our frowns upside down. 

Featured Image Credit: TheCut.com

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