The big binge-watch of the weekend was Emily in Paris, the new Netflix series starring Lily Collins as a sprightly American who spruces up her Parisian workplace.
Riddled with French cliches and a shallow lead, the show has been getting a mixed response. So then why is everyone so obsessed with it? We’ve been thinking hard about why this series from Sex and the City creator Darren Star has captured everyone’s attention – and we’re here to answer those questions.
1. What is Emily in Paris about?
Emily is a digital marketing ingenue who gets the gig of a lifetime when she relocates to the French capital. She’s tasked with creating “meaningful social engagement” for a fashion brand. And of course, livening up the uptight French with her American sensibility, which includes speaking too loud at meetings and so confident in herself that she’s not afraid to speak in an office where barely anyone speaks English.
2. Could this be a metaphor for American colonialism?
Asking the tough questions, nicely done. Well, how else to explain an American waltzing around a city she doesn’t know to claim that her way is the better way?
3. Is Emily good at her job?
It appears so. By the end of the series, Emily has not grown or changed at all – but she has taught her snotty French colleagues to embrace social media! What a wonderful life lesson.
4. Is it accurate?
If you think posting a photo of a pain au chocolat on Instagram will get you a thousand followers, sure. Emily in Paris was very obviously written by an adult who’s a little out of touch with social media. Big “how do you do, fellow kids?” vibes
HER HASHTAGS!!! This is a post-caroline calloway at cambridge world, no one is going viral with american-abroad esc… https://t.co/CaAwH2n5Am
The show definitely wants you to think so. Despite moving to Paris with an Instagram follower count of 48 (I repeat. Forty. Eight.), Emily rises to become one of the hottest influencers in a matter of weeks by taking selfies around the Eiffel Tower with captions like “#roomwithaview” and “Paris is for cheese lovers”.
Emily posts this pic on her Instagram and gets 20,000 new followers. #EmilyInParis https://t.co/T5gKjA54BI
Reviews have been… unkind, to say the least. In The Independent’s review, Ed Cumming writes that “anyone who’s eaten a croissant” won’t enjoy Emily in Paris. Don’t expect any Emmys with this one.
9. Do people actually like Emily in Paris?
Following the previous question, I must counterpoint: Does the series need to be good? Most would say: no. It’s universally agreed that the series is just ineffectual fun, an inconsequential way to spend five hours. Sex and the City fans could get a kick out of Emily in Paris since it has such a similarly aspirational vibe. It’s also extremely binge-able – most viewers admitted to finishing the 10 episode season in a day.
Emily in Paris is honestly very fun if you just want to turn off your brain and immerse yourself in the same unchal… https://t.co/I2XUkYI7aB
Let’s just say, the French could not be swept up in Lily Collins’ charms and the show’s deluge of French cliches. The French radio station RTL wrote:
Between the beret, the cocktail dresses and the impeccable streets, Parisians had a hard time recognising their everyday life.
In Sens Critique, another reviewer said:
The writers may have hesitated for two or three minutes to stick a baguette under each Frenchman, or even a beret to clearly distinguish them, on the other hand, they all smoke cigarettes and flirt to death.
Looks like Emily is the new enfant terrible.
11. If everyone hates Emily in Paris so much, then why can’t people stop watching it?
It’s the age-old question. Then again, sometimes it’s good to just switch off your brain for a bit and mindlessly consume some bottom tier television. All things considered, Emily in Paris is just a show about beautiful people walking around a beautiful city wearing beautiful clothes. What’s not to love/hate-watch?
12. Will there be a second season?
Collins, who also serves as a producer, is hopeful for a second season. “I would love nothing more than to be able to go back to Paris,” she told Vanity Fair. She also teased some possible scenarios for the next season:
There were so many situations that we were like, “Okay, write that down. That’s going to happen in season two. ”Also, there were many experiences where we were like, “Does Emily go abroad? Do you think Emily takes the Eurostar and hops out and goes to Belgium or she goes to London?” That would be so much fun.
We’re looking forward to Emily’s inevitable trip to London where she eats some crumpets and meets the Queen.