The new Netflix rom-com Emily in Paris, from Sex and the City creator Darren Star, has divided the internet.
You are either obsessed with it or you despise the Netflix show for not leaving one French cliché untouched. You either love it or hate it. Or in some weird cases, you hate it, but you still can’t stop watching it. You could say Emily in Paris has left us all feeling indecisive.
Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) a young marketing executive from Chicago unexpectedly has to move to Paris for her new job at a French luxury marketing firm. But there’s one problem – she doesn’t speak a single word of French. Her new colleagues are skeptical and don’t particularly like her. She’s also struggling to make friends and her love life is a mess. Emily starts posting about her new adventurous life on Instagram and her fast-growing number of followers opens new doors in the City of Light.
Social Media Hype
Netflix launched the show on 2 October 2020. Since then, there hasn’t been a day on social media where I haven’t seen a post, a story, or a tweet about Emily in Paris. Everybody seems to watch it, the internet is flooded with memes, posts, and TikToks showing people or even pets wearing a beret and holding a baguette. If you look up the hashtag #emilyinparis on Twitter, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a heated discussion: whether it’s the worst or the best show ever. Opinions range from: “a waste of time” and “most cringe-worthy show ever” to “finished watching Emily in Paris in one sitting and I’m so in love”. And also: “I want to pack my life and move to Paris.”
Several things can be true at once:
1)Emily In Paris is one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen.
2) I finished it in one sitting.
3) I hate that I have to wait for season 2
— Phillip Henry (@MajorPhilebrity) October 6, 2020
Emily in Paris is honestly very fun if you just want to turn off your brain and immerse yourself in the same unchallenging non-jokes and slightly embarrassing earnestness of like, a cosmogirl! magazine from 2005
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) October 5, 2020
French clichés and American ignorance
Emily in Paris is a parade of French clichés and stereotypes. Name a French cliché and you’ll find it in one of the 10 episodes. For example, French people eat croissants and baguettes all day, drink wine in the morning, Parisians are rude, everybody has at least one affair and French people, in general, do not like Americans. The fact that her new colleagues do not like Emily is not very surprising. Emily doesn’t try to learn the language and expects everybody to speak English. She also acts like a little miss know-it-all and screams the phrase “I am here to provide an American point of view.” Overall, Emily is an ignorant American girl. Oh, another stereotype – but for once it’s an American one…
Furthermore, Emily sees Paris through rose-tinted glasses. She lives in a postcard kind of Paris. One without poverty, migration, and other socio-political issues.
Last but not least, the show creates an unrealistic and idealised image of being an influencer. Emily starts off with 48 followers and gains hundreds of followers overnight just by posting pictures of a pain au chocolat. Something that’s pretty much impossible in the real world. Anyone working in social media would tell you the same thing.
Despite all criticism, one thing is for sure. Emily in Paris allows you to escape the real world. Escape the new COVID-19 reality, escape lockdown just for a couple of hours. With Emily, you can explore the beautiful streets of pre-corona Paris, have lunch at lovely cafés, dress up, attend fashion shows, and glamorous parties. She’s everything we want to be. Emily is free. She’s allowed to meet her friends, she can travel, she does not have to wear a face mask or follow social distancing rules.
In short, it’s a “Oui!” if you are looking for a light-hearted getaway from the pandemic. A “Non!” if you’re tired of stereotypes and clichés being reproduced or know what life in Paris is really like.
Which team are you on? ‘Love it’ or ‘hate it’? Watch the trailer and let us know. Au Revoir!