Sacré bleu! The French are fuming after the cliché-filled fantasy, Emily in Paris, hit Netflix. Lily Collins plays Emily, an American sent to Paris to totter about in heels – good luck on those cobbled pavements – and set up a new branch of her marketing firm. Creator, Darren Star (also of Sex and The City) has clearly never been to Paris, or if he has, was looking at it through Laurent-Perrier tinted glasses. Where are the pick-pockets, the almost visible stench of urine, the shots of the mouldy, dilapidated metro, and the smog? OK MustWatch did a summer in the wrong end of town and we do know that it’s these grotty and great things that make Paris a real place, and not a TV set. However, this comic-book version of Paris is the perfect setting for this series of stereotypes, the most real being in the Frenchies’ disdain for Americans and Emily’s refusal to adapt to French culture. To be honest, we’d shrug her off too. So, it’s an annoying show, but what’s even more annoying is that we didn’t completely hate it. Underneath the berets and the chain-smoke, there’s a cosy if trashy treat, because let’s face it, we all love a cliché.
Naturally, the critics hated it. There is even a Telegraph article bashing Emily in Paris for ruining Netflix entirely – Michael Hogan claims that these ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ shows are leaving less room for actual telly bangers, resulting in them getting decommissioned. Now there’s a 2020 conspiracy we didn’t see coming. Ed Cumming in The Independent warns “anyone who’s eaten a croissant” won’t enjoy this show, calling it “nonsense.” The Guardian’s Rebecca Nicholson also wasn’t a fan, calling it “an excruciating exorcism of French clichés.”
We did like it honestly – and guess what dear Emily, cliché is a French word…
First shown October 2020.
You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.