Emily in Paris, a Netflix hit series of 2020, is being billed as a love letter to Paris by its creators. However, many French citizens disagree with this notion. Some may even say that the Pixar animation 'Ratatouille' had portrayed the beauty of French culture more accurately than this ten-episode series. Yes, an animated rat was more respectful than the white millennial protagonist of this show. I guess, Karens don't do well in foreign countries.
As a matter of fact, I'm a gossip girl fanatic, which makes me the perfect target audience for this fancy and chic show. Unfortunately, this show was 'Non' Appetit for me (pun intended). Netflix has recently announced that season 2 of Emily in Paris is back in production. Hence it is the perfect time to expose its faux pas, which no rational human being can disagree with.
The underwhelming plot
The plot of Emily in Paris reminds us of the finale of Game of Thrones, which means it was AWFUL. The multiple plot holes sometimes make it unbearable to watch. For instance, sending an American employee to Paris who is ignorant of French culture and language. Here the language barrier is supposed to be a significant issue, but somehow, she successfully meets people who are fluent in English. Sadly, she doesn't seem to show enough effort to learn French.
Another peculiar part is how Emily moves from one relationship to another happily, even when it comes to her long-term American boyfriend. Most importantly, the idea of making Emily- the overachiever, the problem solver, the most appealing girl amongst everyone, while she annoys literally everyone- seemed very unrealistic. One can say the whole premise was 'merde'.
Misrepresentation of culture
This might be one of the reasons why Emily in Paris was trending for many months. The barrage of clichés and culturally deaf aspects shown in the series did not only upset the French critics, but she offended many Americans as well. Often the reliance on clichés and stereotypes bored people (bringing croissants and baguettes everywhere). They humiliated French people by showing that having mistresses, being undisciplined, being rude and being sexist are their common traits. As a result, the series faced severe backlash. Furthermore, the multicultural city Paris felt pretty whitewashed in this series. There were characters like Mindy as Emily's Asian friend and Samuel as her black co-worker, but they seemed more like a prop in this rom-com trope.
Illogical and predictable storyline
The title of the series is enough to understand half of the story. That means the series aims to show how Emily copes with the cultural shocks and adjusts in a 'parfait' manner. But does she? Throughout the series, Emily makes thousands of mistakes but somehow, she ends up getting complimented by every character. There was a scene where Emily tries to communicate with one of the employees but the woman gets scared because Emily speaks in English and this is supposed to be funny!
Also, how does the young careerist Emily maintain her luxurious lifestyle in a posh city? The show is logically incoherent in many ways and funnily enough, it is going to be renewed for a second season, where they promised to resolve mistakes (Sure!). The script, written by the creator of 'Sex and the City', needs a lot of revisions to make it a watchable 'comedy' drama, as it claims to be.
Lily Collins is undoubtedly one of the most promising actresses of this generation. Many people watched Emily in Paris just for her. But the role of Emily was so problematic that even Lily Collins could not rescue it.
When Emily goes to Paris to pursue her dream job, she repeatedly tries to bring an 'American point of view'. She seems to post fascinating things about Paris and even though she is not a big influencer, somehow her posts leave a significant impact on people!
Sylvia would be my favourite character. She was portrayed as the rude boss who always complains about Emily, but I think any sane person will be empathetic towards her. When she said to Emily "You treat the city like an amusement park", I felt it.
Gabriel is the dreamy French guy with a beautiful girlfriend who grows feelings for Emily. Sadly, he was nothing but a showpiece to make the series look sexier. He is playing the role of a cook, but seeing him cook is rare. And Mindy is the cool best friend, but her opinions on French clichés sometimes get annoying. The hundred other white characters were underwhelming as well.
Emily in Paris is an easy-watch show which surely helped people fight their quarantine blues. However, romanticising ignorance should have a limit.
Furthermore, the solid evidence of bribing HFPA members to get Golden Globe nominations is problematic enough to discourage people from watching this show.
Let's hope that season 2 of Emily in Paris turns out to be more than a cliched teen fantasy drama.