Emily in Paris: Review
Netflix recently released the first season of 2020’s newest rom-com with a French twist, Emily in Paris. So far, it’s earned a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a solid 7.2/10 on IMDb. Since its’ debut, several film critiques have given their two cents on the show and the message it communicates. A handful of reviews have described the show as a light-hearted, comedic distraction whereas others have highlighted the stereotypes and assumptions made throughout Emily’s time in Paris.
Here’s another review from a compulsive Netflix viewer, in attempts to decide whether Emily in Paris is worth the watch. I will do my best not to include any major spoilers so proceed in peace.
Starting with the positive, Emily in Paris is a relatable show as she expresses the common confusion everyone goes through when moving countries. From her moving in, to finding interesting restaurants, sampling cultural cuisine, and interacting with local people, the season is very engaging for viewers that enjoy the romantic comedy genre with a side of glamour. Although I do enjoy the occasional Gilmore Girls or Riverdale, I find the events in this series quite predictable (or ringarde as Paul Cadault from the show would say). However, this may be an advantage for the show as science considers predictability in media as a point of comfort and reassurance. In fact, this potentially explains why we re-watch old shows when we are bored or stressed. Building upon this, Emily in Paris is a great show to watch without particularly focusing on the events. It’s also great to re-watch as background noise when you clean the house or if you’re home alone and the quiet gets too loud.
On the other hand, the technical issues with this très chic rom-com begins when careful attention is paid to its narrative. To begin with, there are several stereotypical portrayals of Parisians, and Paris herself that aren’t necessarily true. Emily often generalizes all French people as mean, which is evidentially an overstatement and out of line. As a review by Buzzfeed rightfully pointed out, it’s always great tourist etiquette to learn a few basic greetings in the national language when moving to or visiting a new country. In later episodes, however, Emily does get called out for her weak French skills, so maybe this was intentional. Further into the show, Emily describes Parisian infrastructure as old and archaic, but realistically speaking, it is far from her observation. At present, the city is loaded with innovative developments, with most of its’ water systems upgraded enough to drink from.
In addition to this, the way the show depicts Parisian men is visibly stereotypical. To illustrate, Emily is instantly invited for a coffee or an evening wine & dine, as soon as she lands in the city. This becomes typical of almost every interaction Emily has with a man, either sooner or later. I am confident in the common consensus that not every individual belonging to the male species will take advantage of every opportunity, just like all women won’t. We have several social media movements that fight against negative ideologies of women and forcing womenkind into a stereotypical box, but we shouldn’t agree with this happening to men either. Let me just say I was at Episode 7 and WAITING for someone to say no, or even better, just be a platonic friend.
There’s more to this show that I could write about in this review but I’m afraid I might spoil the whole season for you. For this show, I would agree with iMDBs rating of a 7.2/10. It is the perfect distraction to use as a break from assignments, work, or stress from the pandemic. It may not be the most realistic and inclusive in its message, but then again, it’s a fictional romantic-comedy.