After its premiere, Emily in Paris immediately climbed into Netflix’s Top 10. Dubbed as an escapist half-hour dramedy featuring Lilly Collins herself wearing luxurious and fashionable clothes in one of the most beautiful cities in the world: Paris. A lot of people have wished to be like her and immediately hoped for a second season.
However… unlike other people, I didn’t really like it. It’s like a colorful car wreck and you just can’t look away. No disrespect to the creators of the show but I would rather binge watch Damon Dominique, an American YouTuber who actually moved to Paris. In fact, I learned more factual and accurate things about moving to Paris from him than I did with the show.
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details regarding the Netflix series Emily in Paris.
Unpopular Opinion: Netflix’s Emily in Paris is not that good.
Basically, the series revolves around Emily Cooper, a girl from Chicago who moves all the way to Paris for a career opportunity. She winds up in Paris because her colleague Madison needs to give it up last-minute after learning about her pregnancy. Why give up an opportunity for French maternity leave and childcare??? Kate Walsh deserved better!!!
Anyway, Emily arrives at the Parisian office and promptly makes a bunch of rules for all these French people she doesn’t know and whose language, of course, she does not speak. Why go to Paris without learning the language? Or even just getting the basic knowledge of it, right? It’s like going to a meeting and not preparing anything. No wonder her boss Sylvie hates her.
Here are the reasons why Emily in Paris disappointed me:
I hate the men in this series… and they don’t even exist! Dating is difficult everywhere and gentlemanly French men obsessing over women at every possible given moment is exaggerated. Every time a ~straight~ male character graces the screen, I just feel like cringing or reaching through the TV and strangling them. I hate them so much and I’m sorry to say, but it stems from horrible characterization.
Antoine, the client who owns a perfume company, is disgusting. He openly cheats on his wife Catherine who apparently is in on it with the tough French boss, Sylvie. Our doe-eyed protagonist gets his attention because she doesn’t wear perfume and has a very opinionated response over his sexist commercial. Then, he unprofessionally gives her lingerie. Gross!
Gabriel, the chef neighbor, is disgusting. Sure, you have a flirty thing with a guy. Then, you become fast friends with a girl who you find out later is, damn, the guy’s girlfriend! Not only does he kiss his girlfriend’s new friend twice, but he also pines over her like a piece of meat. Aside from that, he just stands there and looks attractive. Okay, you’re hot. We get it.
Thomas, the philosophy snob, is literally disgusting. If a guy tells you not to shower after you have sex, you run away from there and never look back! You don’t just stand there and smile as if it was the sexiest thing anyone has ever said to you. Plus, Le Café de Flore hasn’t been cool in over 40 years. It’s just an overpriced tourist trap that a ringarde like Emily falls for.
Emily is the real villain.
She really is. It’s not Antoine nor Sylvie nor that rude French landlady. Emily is the real villain in this series. She thinks she can run the French office just like how they did it in America. She thinks she can carve their French minds into one of an American – just like her. Sure, it’s cool to have a different perspective. But, a different perspective doesn’t mean it’s the right one.
Remember when she first met Camille? She said, “You’re nice and French and you speak English?” That sounds like a backhanded compliment to me. She gives it to a perfectly nice person… and proceeds to sleep with both the brother and the boyfriend of the French girl who’s been nothing but kind to her. Gah, Camille deserves a better friend!
Let’s not forget that Emily slept with Timothée, Camille’s seventeen-year-old brother. She sleeps with the kid and they made it look like nothing was wrong just because she didn’t know his age. Ew, why was it written like that? She literally had sex with a minor and the mom just asked her whether or not it was good. Btw, that’s not how French parents are… and again, ew!
Why is it all about sex?
I know the guys in this series are supposed to be romantic or something like that. But, are they really romantic or are they just being romantic for the sake of being in Paris? I got so tired of watching Emily flirt with French guys and getting them into her bed. I’m not going to be a prude and complain about the kissing scenes, the sex scenes, or even the sex references in this series.
But, ugh! The sex scenes or even the topic of sex literally comes out of nowhere. There’s no sex-worthy action or even a sensual dialogue that leads up to it. The ‘I like this part of your body’ scenes after Mindy’s party made me uncomfortably cringe. The cupping of the coupe over her breast and Timothée proceeding to use his hands just grossed me out. Where’s the good foreplay?
It’s basically horrible writing laced with French stereotypes. Sure, it was from the same person who created Sex and the City but it surely doesn’t pass its predecessor. Frankly, Emily in Paris is being a Gossip Girl wannabe, especially in the episodes where Serena and Blair spent their time in Paris. A friend pointed that out to me and I just can’t unthink it.
Emily supposedly lives in a chambre de bonne, a former maid’s quarters. If you don’t know what that means, they’re supposed to be small with tight spaces. With tall windows, a perfect view, and even a full-sized kitchen, it’s definitely not a chambre de bonne. Plus, she literally lives in a luxe neighborhood in the 5th arrondissement! Sure, it’s aspirational… but, unrealistic at most.
Just because you’re in Paris, it doesn’t mean you have to wear a beret. Sure, it looks good with the outfit but it’s anything but authentic. The beret just made her look more like an American who is trying to fit in an office filled with Parisians. She looks more like a tourist than an actual person living in Paris.
Where is the metro??? The underground trains remain a go-to resource for any resident looking to go from one place to another. They just talked about it in one scene and that’s it. However, all we see is her walking around in high heels – which also remains unrealistic. Paris may be the glam fashion city but Parisians are hopelessly infatuated with sneakers due to the cobblestoned pavements.
Is moving to another country and taking low-quality selfies in Parisian cafes really enough to skyrocket Emily’s social media following from 230 to 20-thousand? In summary, it’s a hard ‘Hell, Nah.’ Despite my personal relentless posting, this Instagram addict has yet to crack a thousand followers. It’s a real-life proof that you stay lame, despite your location.
My personal questions:
Please remember that part in the last episode where Antoine’s wife Catherine talked to Emily and was all like, “I approve.” Is that her way of saying that she would rather have Antoine have an affair with Emily than with Sylvie? Is that why Antoine bought Gabriel the restaurant? That way, Gabriel wouldn’t have to leave and stay in Normandy? To make Emily happy?
Can we petition for Netflix to make the show a lesbian love story between Emily and Camille? Their accidental kiss, Camille’s unbothered “I’m not” to Emily apologies, and the one where they shared a bed may be the story to unpack here. Emily and Camille had more chemistry than all the gross and disgusting men Emily is being paired with.
Did you like Emily in Paris? Let me know!