The beautiful thing about television is that through characters, drama, romance and comedy, viewers can be transported to any time and any place in the world. Netflix’s “Emily in Paris,” a comedy-drama series by Darren Star, creator of “Sex in the City” and “Younger,” does just that as it follows the life of Emily (Lily Collins) in Paris as a social media strategist.
Like any good romantic comedy, the plot is unrealistic and overexaggerated, but that is also what makes the series addictive.
“Emily in Paris” begins with Emily gaining the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Paris and work at a well-known marketing firm in order to offer an American perspective. Emily quickly adapts and takes on Europe, despite not knowing the language and being alone.
This Parisian fantasy continues when she immediately makes the nicest friends, suddenly grows a large following on Instagram and many French men fall head-over-heels for her, which later on makes for a predictable plot.
Collins’ wit and charm were undeniable in the series, but many of the characters, including Emily, seemed two-dimensional. As the series went through its 10 episodes, she faced issues most people would stress over, but of course, it didn’t affect her. Who needs to worry about not speaking the language, not being able to communicate with people or being looked down on in the workplace?
The series had the opportunity to dig deeper into the characters’ feelings but did not really tap into them aside from the romances, which in retrospect were brief as well.
The show also lacked emotional development in the characters. There were plenty of serious topics that were tapped into, but again, they remained superficial. Harassment in the workplace, age and gender discrimination and normalized sexist behavior were issues Emily faced daily. The problems were all excused by the fact that they were supposedly part of the French culture. Granted, Emily did not make an effort to learn the language and was given opportunities without any true sacrifice, but that didn’t excuse the behavior people exhibited toward her.
Given that the series made an effort to represent our millennial generation today, it questions the standard our generation is held to. It makes the younger generation seem like it is only driven by the number of likes on a post and enchanted by the concept that minimal effort can bring success.
On a positive note, the shots in the series were dreamy and resembled a Pinterest board you never wanted to end. Bright colors, romantic night lights and good-looking cast members made binging all worthwhile. The Instagram-worthy aspects gave the show a seductive feel that made viewers feel as if they were in Paris.
Along with the beautiful scenery came the outstanding fashion statements created by Patricia Field, the show’s stylist. Emily’s style has inspired people all over the world to make Parisian fashion a trend this season. Tik Tok, Instagram and YouTube videos exploring Emily’s various styles have gone viral, and the audience’s response has kept the show on the top 10 Netflix chart for weeks since its release.
Though much of the romantic-comedy series was unrealistic and sometimes controversial, the show was lightweight and a good distraction from the current world issues we are facing. If Paris is on students’ travel bucket list, they are encouraged to stream “Emily in Paris” to experience all the best clichés the city has to offer like romance, drama, delicious food and, of course, the Eiffel Tower.
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