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Stale, stereotypical, slow: Why we love to hate 'Emily in Paris'

 – Photo by Twitter

Netflix’s new romantic comedy show “Emily in Paris” is a show that you love to hate. 

“Emily in Paris” is about an American girl, Emily, who moves to Paris, France, to join a luxury Parisian public relations firm, yet is faced with challenges of love, a language barrier and navigating a foreign land. 

Written by Darren Star, the TV show was expected to be reminiscent of his work on shows like “Sex and the City” and “Gossip Girl.” Yet, nothing from season one of “Emily in Paris” is comparable to those iconic shows.

As a viewer, I did expect that Emily’s story might be a combination of Carrie’s fashion with Upper East Sider wit, but it wasn't.

The theme of an American in Paris is common and generic — it was even explored in “Sex in the City” when Carrie followed her Russian lover, but this show was all about cliches and stereotypes. 

The French in “Emily in Paris” were portrayed as stylish men and women who are cold and snobbish with the love of infidelity and a hint of arrogance. One character even said “French men are flirts.”

It was a shock the number of stereotypes one can cram into a show, from the assumption that all French people smoke to no French person can be in a relationship without cheating on their partner or spouse. All symbolized by every married or partnered man flirting with Emily and Sylvie, Emily’s public relations boss, role as mistress with a client Antoine. 

One of the show’s plots was the typical “hot” neighbor story. Emily first moves into her new Parisian apartment to only accidentally find out she has a good-looking male French chef neighbor named Gabriel (which sounds way better if you say it in French). Sooner or later, Emily discovers that her new Parisian friend, Camille, is Gabriel’s girlfriend.   

I was shocked to discover that French actors and actresses agreed to this role despite how despicable the show portrays in being French. 

The stereotypes of an American was also very apparent, and Emily herself fulfilled that stereotype. Emily is a hot-headed Chicago native who comes to Paris without an attempt to learn French while pushing her American work ethic and belief to an already cultured environment simultaneously by being ambitious.

During the 10-episode run show, Emily attempts to learn French by taking a course in an episode, but she still cannot carry any conversation afterward. 

Emily accidentally has sex with a 17-year-old boy, Camille’s brother, due to how she did not understand “collège” meant high school, not college. One can only learn from Emily that everyone should be familiar with the country’s language one is entering.   

Emily’s friend Brooklyn, an American actress visiting Paris for a red carpet event, expanded on these common stereotypes. Brooklyn was the opposite of Emily’s American personality — she always seemed high on marijuana and so naive that she forgets to return a 2 million euro watch. 

Emily was supposed to look over for the watch. Still, her self absorption of "accidentally" kissing Gabriel, the second time at this point, results in her not keeping tracks of Brooklyn’s disappearance. 

Considering that “Emily in Paris” was styled by Patricia Field and was highly advertised as a fashion TV show similar to “Gossip Girl” and “Sex and the City” formats, the fashion was stale. I imagined Emily’s outfits to be influenced by Parisian style, yet many outfits seemed to be a take on American contemporary through clothes from French-based designers. 

In the scene of Emily’s arrival in Paris, she wears a basic red and black cardigan. Throughout the show, numerous hints of designer bags and heels were everywhere but styled in a “not in touch with her environment” type of way, as said by Mathilde Carton, editor in chief of French Grazia, according to Vogue. 

The outfits might have represented Emily’s inability to adapt to the French way of life. Still, even that seems to be an extreme and an excuse for the horrendous print matching and overdone layering. Emily’s look against Sylvie’s effortless appearance to Camille’s chic little outfits is very apparent how "unstylish" she might be. 

Even with the hundreds of red sole Louboutin shoes Emily wears and the numerous Chanel outfits, the fashion did not save this show. 

Overall, the clichés and the questionable fashion is why one should watch this show. What mistake Emily will make next or what opinionated Parisian will say to Emily is simply why “Emily in Paris” is the show to love to hate.  


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