This Is Why Critics Find Emily In Paris Problematic

What the trending Netflix show, Emily in Paris tells us about French stereotypes and clichés
Emily in Paris
Image source: Pinterest 

It is safe to say that the pandemic has us all hooked to Netflix, which isn't shocking considering all the entertaining shows Netflix has been releasing one after another. 

From the hilarious sitcom Schitt's Creek to the dramatic romance set in the Regency period Bridgerton, everyone seems to be discussing one show or another. 

Among the most popular and slightly controversial shows on Netflix at the moment is Darren Star’s Emily in Paris which has caused quite the stir among critics. 

What is “Emily in Paris” all about?

Emily in Paris is a lighthearted rom-com television series on Netflix starring Lily Collins. The creator of Sex and the city, Darren Star, brings life to another glamorous show with views of the beautiful city of Paris, a wardrobe full of Chanel, and unfortunately multiple clichés. 

The show revolves around Emily, a Chicago marketing executive, as she finds her way through a new job in a new city. With only one season out, it makes for the perfect show to binge-watch.

So why is it getting all this hate?

Emily in Paris can’t speak French?

Emily in Paris
Image source: Pexels

That’s right! Emily decides to accept a job in Paris when she doesn’t even know a word of French (unless you count the ‘très bien’ she sprinkles in every other sentence). 

Even though Emily somehow finds all these French people who are fluent in English, it is considered rude to talk in English in France unless absolutely necessary. Learning basic French would’ve been a good idea for someone working in France.

The American perspective in Emily in Paris 

American perspective in Emily in Paris
Image source: Pexels

Throughout the show, Emily tries to bring the “American perspective” to the French marketing firm she works at which is what she’s there for.

However, she refuses to learn anything from the French people at her office. It isn’t hard to see why most people at her workplace dislike her. 

When visiting or working in a new country, one must try to learn a thing or two from the culture of that place but Emily does the complete opposite. 

French stereotypes in Emily in Paris 

French stereotypes in Emily in Paris
Image source: Pexels

The show is full of French stereotypes and paints French people as rude and lazy. Emily who is considerably younger than most people in her office tries to teach them about work ethic. Moreover, she has no experience in working with luxury brands which is what her job’s all about.

Extramarital affairs in the workplace don’t seem to bother the French people in the show, they smoke even inside the office which is just unrealistic and are depicted as being sexist and insensitive.

While Emily is painted as a dedicated, full of energy young American who will teach the French all about doing things the “American way”.

Darren Star’s Response to critics 

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter Darren star comments on the critiques, the show has received

The show Emily In Paris is a love letter to Paris through the eyes of this American girl who has never been there. The first thing she is seeing is the clichés because it's from her point of view. I'm not sorry for looking at Paris through a glamorous lens. It's a beautiful city, and I wanted to do a show that celebrated that part of Paris.

Is the Fashion in Emily in Paris bad? 

Fashion in Emily in Paris
Image source: Pexels

Emily’s wardrobe is full of Chanel and Louis Vuitton but fashion critics are not happy with the way she styles these pieces. 

Instead of bringing some classic Parisian chicness to her outfits, she wears some truly questionable outfits that make her look like an ignorant tourist. From a shirt with a Paris print on it to Eiffel tower charms on her handbag, our hopes of seeing the stunning Lily collins in beautiful Parisian outfits were definitely lost.

Why Emily Lacks character development 

As the episodes go by, one expects her character to become more mature and for her to learn from her experiences. Alas, if only that would’ve happened.

Even after losing a two million dollar watch, sleeping with a seventeen-year-old and being fired from her job, Emily stays the same.

The characters that change are the French people. Sylvie, who is Emily’s boss becomes more sympathetic towards her and a renowned French designer takes Emily’s advice for his Fashion show in order to be more modern.

Emily as an influencer sets unrealistic standards 

Emily as an influencer
Image source: Pexels 

Emily becoming a social media influencer overnight is yet another unrealistic aspect of the show.

When she arrives in Paris she only has 48 Instagram followers but by posting a couple of pictures with cringeworthy captions, she gains 20k followers! 

Her character undermines the efforts that go into creating engaging content as an influencer. Moreover, she posts pictures of people without their consent which is just unacceptable and rude.

Will there be a Season 2 of Emily in Paris?

On 11th November 2020, Netflix confirmed the renewal of Emily in Paris for Season 2.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lily Collins (@lilyjcollins)

For better or for worse, another season seems necessary considering the last episode of season 1 left everyone with a lot of questions about Emily’s future in Paris.

When will season 2 of Emily in Paris be released?

Although Netflix hasn't announced a release date for the second season just yet, we can only hope for a late 2021 release. 

A delay in shooting due to the ongoing pandemic can result in an early 2022 release as well. We'll just have to wait and see. 

What to expect from Season 2

Emily in Paris Season 2
Image source: Unsplash

We can only hope that we’ll get to see a more mature version of Emily in the second season of the show. It’ll explore Gabriel and Emily’s complicated relationship and a deeper look into the lives of supporting characters. Maybe we’ll see her style evolve into something more sophisticated as the show continues.

In an interview with Harpers Bazaar, the star of the show, Lily Collins talked about what she hoped for Emily in season 2.

I really hope we get to go into more episodes, because there's so much that it leaves you hanging with. Emily has had to kind of pivot so many times in this experience already that I think she's ready and able to kind of just go with it and see what happens.

Is Emily in Paris worth the watch?

Although Emily in Paris is a show with resounding cultural dissonance and way too many stereotypes, it can be a good show to add to your list of guilty pleasures. It’s one of those shows that people just can’t resist to watch and once they do they love to hate it.  

An avid reader, Netflix enthusiast and a passionate writer.

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