To some, Emily in Paris might be considered a love letter filled with every little Paris and French cliché, but if you can get past them, Emily in Paris is the escapism that many have longed for in the dreadful year of 2020. With nods to Sex and the City (I mean, the show was created/written by Darren Star after all) and Gossip Girl, Emily is a simple Chicago girl — she’s got the job, man, the social life, and certainly the fashion sense to rival Blair Waldorf. Working in a marketing firm, Emily finds herself with a ticket to the city of love after her boss becomes pregnant and sends Emily to complete the job she set out for. The only problem is, when she gets there, they don’t care for her too much. Having to prove herself and bring her “American perspective” to the Paris staff of Savoir, it’s safe to say Emily is a fish out of water … at least in the beginning.
Emily in Paris is a show meant to be devoured in one go, which means there isn’t enough time to question Emily’s decisions before she gets swept away into another entanglement courtesy of her job or her love life. While the show pressures the fact that she is in fact an American living in Paris who works herself to the bone because she finds simple joy in being able to cross to-do’s off of her list, that’s not the case in Paris and this is an aspect that falls short of flat. This is truly one of the only downsides of the season that I hope gets explored more in-depth should the show get renewed for a second season.
However, what the show lacks in giving Emily personal growth, it strives in showing off the beautiful city that the show is based in, Paris. From the beautiful architecture and the elegant cuisine, the viewer gets to experience the city as Emily does: in crowded art galleries and quaint cafés — through this lens it really adds an authentic edge to the series. Collins’ performance makes Emily very likable, easily commanding the screen as the leading lady and showing off her comedic wit and timing with each and every character she shares a scene with.
The people around Emily are also part of what makes the show so captivating. Mindy (Ashley Park) is Emily’s first and best friend that she made in the city and is a great balance as well as a breath of fresh air. Although in some ways the girls are one and the same, with their exquisite fashion sense and a knack for handsome French men, Mindy helps Emily embrace the world and culture around her.
Another highlight in the show is Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu’s performance as Sylvie, Emily’s Parisian boss. For the better part of the series, Sylvie remains unconvinced about Emily’s will to succeed in Paris. With the obvious age barrier between the two, Emily has a lot she can learn from Sylvie — business and life-wise — that only projects her vision further.
It wouldn’t be a rom-com without a little bit of romance, and when you relocate to the city of love one would expect a lot of that … right? Well, Emily definitely has a few rendezvous around the city — some that land her in trouble and others that are more business than pleasure, but there’s still a little pleasure. On her first day in Paris, she meets her handsome neighbor, Gabriel, who is an up and coming chef. Gabriel and Emily, for a lack of better words, have a lot of roadblocks that they overcome in their friendship and as Julien says, “Happy endings are very American.”
All in all, Emily in Paris is the perfect show to sit down with a glass of wine (or two) and breeze right on through. With 10 episodes at roughly half an hour apiece, Emily in Paris should definitely be added to your list of shows to watch.
Emily in Paris season one is available to stream on Netflix now.