Emily in Paris: Full season
October 13, 2020 4:04 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

A young American woman from the Midwest is hired by a marketing firm in Paris to provide them with an American perspective on things.

Critics have been divided about Sex and the City creator Darren Star's Netflix show:

The Atlantic: Emily in Paris is an irresistible fantasy
Vanity Fair: Emily in Paris is a fluffy, charming cliché soufflé
The Guardian: An excruciating exorcism of French cliches
Rogerebert.com: Emily in Paris is a bland Sex and the City imitation with no identity of its own
Buzzfeed: Everything that's wrong with Emily In Paris according to an actual French person [SPOILERS]

In France, the series has been met with derision ("where are the Yellow Vests")... and a some love too, because Parisians who've been stuck during the day in an overcrowded, virus-infested Metro can appreciate a little bit of saccharine fantasy. Emily in Paris: fluff in the time of COVID.
posted by elgilito (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This show has become a bit of a low-key fascination for me because on the surface it seems perfectly fine - not amazing, not terrible - but it is both extremely bingeable (I watched the whole thing in one weekend, when COVID brain has made it hard to watch anything new) and completely does not stand up to any sort of scrutiny or examination.

Something this average would not normally be so interesting to me, but I think I figured it out: it really excels in some ways: the acting is great, and the Parisian street scenes are wonderful escapism during trying times. But the writing is just so bad. The juxtaposition makes it frustrating yet fascinating.

For instance, Emily is definitely an anti-hero, but was that the writers' intent?
posted by lunasol at 2:15 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]

My wife has discovered this and is enjoying it immensely. I'm kind of with the Guardian. I can't figure out if we're meant to laugh at Emily in all her unearned ridiculous splendor or just wish life were really more like this while we slowly rot in a hellscape of capitalism, covid, and Donald Trump.

It makes me think of morphine somehow, and I'm not sure a TV show has ever gotten quite that reaction from me.
posted by Naberius at 2:22 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]

For instance, Emily is definitely an anti-hero, but was that the writers' intent?

I can't figure out if we're meant to laugh at Emily in all her unearned ridiculous splendor

I think it's mostly tacit constant dunking on a Midwesterner/ Chicagoan... there's a reason Emily isn't from NYC!
posted by Bwithh at 10:03 AM on October 15

I was pleasantly entertained by this extremely bingeable show. It accomplishes that difficult task of being light and fluffy without making me feel like it’s draining my IQ points as I watch it. I can laugh at Emily and roll my eyes while still being content to finish all the episodes and see the fairytale shots of pretty, pretty Paris.

I am neither American nor French, so that probably helped me be more charitable in my reading of it as poking fun at Emily’s exaggerated “ugly American” tendencies and her colleagues’ “snobby French person” tendencies. Also, news flash: the Parisian philosophy prof is supposed to be a snobby asshole, not a representative of all French people. The other French characters don’t even like him! He’s like the tedious New Yorker character in an American movie who thinks he knows all the “cool” places to go, constantly puts down people who aren’t “real New Yorkers,” and thinks everyone outside of NYC is a dumb hick. You’re not meant to like him or take what he says seriously. His assertions about how cool a cafe is are suspect, as is his dismissal of Swan Lake at the Opera Garnier as something “for tourists,” and his decision not to avail himself of Emily’s (admittedly sketchy) shower is not a proclamation about the hygiene of all French people—after all, her French boss is appropriately amused/horrified at her washing her hair in the bidet.

I did think the ending was kind of ridiculous and rushed in terms of the Gabriel storyline, but my biggest takeaway was that I love Ashley Park, the actress who plays Mindy, and I would watch a whole show about HER. I want the next season to be “Mindy in Paris.” Enough about annoying white American women in Paris. I want to see a show about a disgraced Chinese-Korean TV talent show singer from Shanghai making it big in the Paris cabaret scene!!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:22 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]

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