TV series: Emily in Paris
Reviewer: Breck Carter
The creator of Sex and The City and Younger, Darren Star, is behind the latest romantic comedy series to be released by Netflix.
The 10 episodes feature Lily Collins as Emily Cooper, an overachieving American with a Masters of Communication who gets the chance to work for a luxury marketing agency in Paris, despite speaking no French.
According to the actress, the character is “22-ish”. Achieving so much at such a young age is logistically impossible, and that is only one of the many conceptual problems with Emily in Paris viewers should embrace.
Emily struggles to adjust to her new life throughout the series. Along the way, she somehow becomes an Instagram influencer and each episode features her excessively redeeming herself after failing at her job. Many French-American stereotypes are portrayed, including a particularly cringe-worthy moment when she demands a traditionally cooked rare steak be sent back to the kitchen and incinerated.
Emily’s selfish ignorance doesn’t stop her from charming almost every male she encounters, including colleagues. These various romantic interests are hard to keep up with and believe, considering nearly all of the French characters hate Emily.
Nevertheless, the clever (mostly French) casting results in an investment in the characters and their relationships, and the idealism makes for an effortless and amusing watch.
The visuals are remarkable. The cinematography takes audiences beyond the tourist’s eye of Paris in a subtle way and Emily’s elaborate, expensive wardrobe – which is supposed to fit in her tiny apartment on her junior level income – is striking. Costume designer Patricia Field’s outfits range from “désagréable” to “magnifique”, though every outfit is impressive.
By the end of the season, it’s likely you’ll find yourself questioning if anything noteworthy happened. Though enough is left unanswered to develop a second season, the lack of any solid conflict or discussion about real issues is disappointing.
Watching Emily in Paris is an enjoyable and light-yet-laughable experience. Whether you’ve always been a lover of cheesy romantic comedies that don’t require thought, or have had lockdown lower your standards in what is considered entertainment, this show is perfect for a weekend binge.