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By now, if you haven’t seen it, you have heard about this hot new Netflix series called Emily In Paris!

 

It is targeted to millennials and post-millennials, but others and mostly women, of all ages seem to be flocking to this 10-part series.

 

I get a few emails a day from friends and followers in my age group who are asking me if I have watched it.

 

The answer is, yes. It takes place in Paris so naturally I ate it up.

 

But let’s be clear, except for the gorgeous scenery, it does not portray the Paris I know.

 

In Emily In Paris, the French men are all handsome and rich and meet you at the Eiffel Tower!

 

Instead it is a whitewashed, much less diverse, all “sweet and airy” version, as Rolling Stone put it.

Reinforcing every tired old cliché you have ever heard about the City of Light.

Watching it I found myself wrestling between revelling in the fantasy of  Paris that I was fed growing up, and annoyance at all the stereotypes that Hollywood is still dishing out about the French and the modern day (pre-COVID) French capital.

 

I have not seen any woman wearing a beret in Paris in 20 years!

 

The story centres around an overly enthusiastic ingenue from Chicago named Emily, who finds herself in Paris working for a boutique agency that reps high-end fashion clients.

Emily’s role is to run the social media strategy (naturally) and bring a fresh American perspective.

One in which no one is particularly interested or wants.

Emily is really clueless about Paris, she does not speak French, knows nothing about the way the French do things, and as a result her boss, a chic, thin, chain-smoking, snobbish Parisienne of a certain age immediately takes a visceral dislike to her.

 

Emily’s boss is played by the well-known French actress Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu.

 

It is The Devil Wears Prada meets Sex and the City, with all of the exaggerations, which is no coincidence as the latter’s creator Darren Star is responsible for this new series.

 

 

I cringed when Emily keeps stepping in dog poop.  It still happens but it’s been illegal not to pick up after your pet since 1982.

I chuckled at Emily’s apartment,  “une chambre de bonne”, which originally were top floor quarters for domestic help and are the size of a garden shed.

Emily’s “chambre de bonne”  is expansive with several  rooms, a queen-sized bed, and a stunning view.

I chortled when Emily can’t sleep listening to French neighbours energetically having sex.

Ok well, maybe that is more of a common occurrence.

And I did relate when the shopkeeper constantly corrects Emily’s feeble attempts at French.

That happens to everyone, no matter how well you speak the language.

But you get my point.  Paris has evolved beyond this saccharin rendition.

 

An Audrey Hepburn moment for Emily at the Palais Garnier, the renowned Paris opera house.

 

I guess during this pandemic, we are more susceptible to cheesy fairy tales.

Hmmm, I might watch it again.

 

Have you seen Emily in Paris? What did you think? Please leave your comments below. 

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41 Comments

  1. Luci Rizzo on October 18, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Personally i loved it! I think it delivers to the North American female audience it was meant for. Sometimes reality is not as necessary as delightful light hearted entertainment, in my opinion. I will definitely watch it again!

  2. Julie Scolnik on October 18, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Ha! Diana, totally agreed with you! Clichés!! But I ate up every second because I NEEDED to feel as if I were in Paris right now. Pure candy. I lived in a chambre de bonne in 1977, and HA!! not one like that!
    That made me laugh, too. Many times I hate-watched it but couldn’t stop of course. Couldn’t stand the nanny friend singing in the Luxembourg gardens and drawing a crowd. etc etc. HOW MUCH DID THOSE GIRLS SPEND ON CLOTHES????? Agreed about the Berets, dog poop, etc! And why did NONE of the French people speak more French to each other? That annoyed me. BUT I did feel that many things about cultural differences were spot on, too: Camille’s mother, very accurate as a type! Meat discussion, raw vs cooked, Americans sending their TJ’s peanut butter to France. Snobby Frenchman that she met at Cafe Flore. I met a hundred men just like that. etc etc.. BUT, I still enjoyed it IMMENSELY. A sorely needed virtual trip to Paris. And might even watch it again.

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      Julie — i know. I loved it, despite myself.

      I loved loved loved Sylvie’s (Emily’s boss) wardrobe, and took note of a few things. But Emily’s wardrobe was just bad!. I suspect they were trying to achieve a look of unsophisticated, naive 20 something couture, but all I can say is that I put most most of her outfits into the category of horrific “mishmash” fashion.

      And the stilettos (on Paris streets — forget about it!) were just silly. Soooo not up to Carrie Bradshaw’s standards.

      But, yes, I still loved it all.

      Thanks so much for the comment Julie! So great to hear from you, Diana

  3. Shardie Stevenson on October 18, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I watched the whole series in two evenings! Yes most of it was cheesy and there were many stereotypes and gaffs however… the photography of Paris was fabulous! I loved the opening of each episode!
    It made me long to sit in a cafe with a cafe watching the world go by ! ❤️

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      And that seems to be the consensus. We all need a little (OK a lot) of light hearted fun right now and this one fit the bill — as long as I didn’t look too hard at Emily’s wardrobe (horrific), stilettos on Paris streets, forget about it, and the fact that all the men with power in this series were white rich men!
      I will watch again however just to feel like I am back there.
      You are so good to comment BF. Thank you! Lots of love to you, Diana

  4. Jane Bradley on October 18, 2020 at 8:52 am

    I sorta kinda liked Emily in Paris!
    My questions:
    1) Do the French hate/have contempt for North Americans as viscerally as they do in the series (using your word, Diana)?
    2) Are marriages that awful? Women look great but have little power. Men called all the shots as women had to put up with their husband’s mistresses like it was the middle ages. The women were completely objectified and the misogyny was rampant throughout the series. If Emily had been plain or fat (Gawd forbid both), her personality, and what she brought to the agency would have been met with contempt and hate. She got away with it all due to her looks (and wardrobe). Not a great message for young women.
    3) Speaking of wardrobe, ah! the clothes on everyone. Emily, as a social media consultant who makes about $30K a year, had a magnificent wardrobe. So Darren Starr. She was the new Carrie.

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 5:10 pm

      Yes me too. I really kinda loved it just because it was about Paris but it also felt like a throwback to Paris in the 60’s or 70’s, sort of like movies from that era like “Gidget Goes to Rome”, remember that?

      Jane, for that reason you are asking all the right questions. so much has changed since then. Parisians have had a reputation for looking down their noses at North American tourists, but in this world of social media, even the waiters cannot be rude anymore.

      The French generally are more liberal about affairs of the heart, but I took offence to the cliches about cheating, the whole mistress thing, and the fact that the men with power in this series were all white and rich, and mostly, handsome.

      It was all overdone and I, wholeheartedly agree, I think it sends the wrong message to today’s young women.

      Love hearing from you Jane. Thanks for the comment. Diana

  5. Cancan on October 18, 2020 at 9:01 am

    I thought it was very fun fluff! Since our trip to Paris was cancelled this year, this is “Paris Porn” for my husband and myself. The character of Emily is rather annoying, but by the series end she is slowly changing. Paris does that to people. I hope there will be more seasons in this series.

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:57 pm

      Hi — Paris Porn…how true that is. Well done. That’s why I loved it too.
      It will be fun to see if they can come up with Emily in Paris Season 2 — during the time of COVID.
      Thank you so much for commenting. Love hearing from you, Diana

  6. Eileen on October 18, 2020 at 9:05 am

    I’ve watched it twice, I think I may need a light hearted moment in this year of Covid. I loved Slyvies clothes, who makes these gorgeous clothes!

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:55 pm

      Yes, Eileen. Me too. I will be watching it again. Light-hearted fun.

      And I too want to be more attentive this second time to Sylvie’s clothes.
      The epitome of style and elegance. It’s her figure of course but also how it was all put together n’est-ce pas?

      On the subject of Sylvie (the fabulous Philippe Leroy-Beaulieu) I am afraid its true that French women smoke a lot,
      but they are not allowed to smoke at the office as Sylvie does in this series.
      Also if I am being picky, I was amused when Sylvie decides to skip lunch by saying she will just have a cigarette instead.
      No one ever skips a meal in France not even the thinnest of Parisian women. They might only have a salad but they will eat
      and likely drink a glass of wine.

      It will be interesting to see if there will be an Emily In Paris Part 2. I am sure Emily would find
      a way to make Paris all work for her even during COVID. Thanks Eileen. Great to hear from you, Diana

  7. Stacey Aarssen on October 18, 2020 at 9:11 am

    It’s funny I was going to ask if you’ve seen this funny light series in Paris. Although it may not share the exact pieces of Pais, I would still love to go someday. I loved the series as an alternative to all the violence in so many others shows. I can’t wait for a trip to Paris with you one day.

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:44 pm

      Oh I agree, Stacey. This series will certainly reinforce the beauty of the place. It’s absolutely “Paris eye candy.”
      And don’t get me wrong, I loved it too. Couldn’t help myself. But it reminded me much more of Paris in the 60’s and 70’s
      than now. So nice to hear from you, Diana

  8. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on October 18, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Can’t say I’ve been tempted to watch Emily-in-Paris, but after reading your review, I think I’ll take a pass!

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      Oh no! It is really fun to watch. That’s why I said I might watch it again. I just wanted to underline, especially to young women,
      that Paris has evolved from being a place where the French are intellectual snobs, where French women have mistresses, where white men
      still hold all the power, and where you can land in dog poop on every street corner. But it is worth watching just for the beautiful scenes
      of Paris, and you still kinda get caught up in the story — worth a look!
      Best to you Gretchen. Diana

  9. Diane Moreau on October 18, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Hi Diana,
    No I can’t bring myself to watch it … just yet, but I probably will while gritting my teeth through all the cliches. I have been married to a Frenchman for 48 years who has to be the least romantic man on earth but who embodies all the iconic characteristics of the French that are rarely promoted in fiction but can be seen on any daily news talk show— a sharp intelligence and wit founded on principles so realistic that it’s a struggle for them not to fall into cynicism, but instead maintain an intellectual curiosity always articulated with superb clarity of thought. That’s really sexy along with or without spectacular good looks.

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      Diane, i am absolutely blown away with your description of your husband and his French persona. So elegantly said.

      One of the things I love best about being with my French friends is the long conversations that we have around an apero or the dinner table.
      We get into the meaty topics — current affairs, politics, social issues, immigration etc. The French have an innate culture ability for the art of debate and often that can make their arguments feel or sound cynical. It reminds me of my days as a journalist, sitting around after work with my colleagues, rehashing our reports and stories, and looking at both sides of the debate. I enjoy that intellectual curiosity.

      Great comment. Thank you!

  10. Margaret Ann Gendreau on October 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Good Morning Diana! I agree with you totally but that said I did get a kick out of it because I needed something light and of course loved the scenery and cafe scenes. I also enjoyed Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu in her role, she plays it so very well. We are currently part way through The Hook Up which is a little more raw and perhaps more real, and oh, the drama! Have you watched it?
    Enjoy your week. My coffee and your post have been delightful, as always!

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Margaret Ann,

      I loved The Hook Up Plan — yes far more realistic and gritty but also just fun. Have you seen Call My Agent, definitely
      my favourite French series on Netflix so far. Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu makes an appearance in that program as well playing
      herself. If you have not seen it, I think you will love it.
      Thanks for commenting Margaret Ann!
      Diana

      • Margaret Ann Gendreau on October 18, 2020 at 8:04 pm

        Yes Diana! Loved “Call My Agent” and could easily watch it again.

  11. Tara Sorab on October 18, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Diana,
    I just binge-watched all 10 episodes last night. Your review is spot on! It’s not the Paris I’ve seen but I kind of knew what I was getting into the moment I saw Darren Star’s name in the closing credits of the first episode, so with that, delved into this series as a nice, “girly” escape and was pleasantly surprised by its charm. The scenes of Paris, gorgeous clothes, and Lucas Bravo (Gabriel) made for great eye candy, and I enjoyed every scene that featured Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (Sylvie) and Ashley Park (Mindy)!

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      I think YOU mailed it Tara. I loved it despite myself. As in another comment, it was like watching “Paris porn.”
      I couldn’t help myself. I just wish from a social comment standpoint it had been slightly more realistic.
      And i think it still gives young women the impression that the French look down their nose at North Americans,
      that men still hold all the power (did the fashion designers have to be all rich white handsome men?) and that
      they all cheat and have mistresses. That is so seventies!
      Great hearing from you! Diana

  12. Trudy Van Buskirk on October 18, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    I rarely watch Netflix but I’ll check out this series. I watch TV (you can see my age!) for several reasons – to learn about what’s going on in the world (news shows), to learn new ideas and things (TVO, PBS, documentaries), and among other reasons to escape. (I watch Hallmark movies on W channel – they serve as great background “noise” when I’m reading.).

    All this to say that I’ll watch this series as entertainment and grit my teeth when they use the American stereotypical views of France and French people 😃

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      Trudy — it really is fun! The shots of Paris alone are worth one’s time. The cinematography is probably
      the best part.. and the stunning clothes worn by Emily’s boss!
      Enjoy! Diana

  13. Nicki on October 18, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Sorry I was one of those people that asked you… lots of ads lately…
    I think despite being cheesy that Paris is being “focused & featured” for young people is awesome. What a great way to create or recreate those love stories or dreams for all young girls… maybe Paris was starting to get a bad wrap and needs a wee dust up ?

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      No I was thrilled to get the emails. I just couldn’t believe so many people were watching this series.
      I love it too — but just has to comment on where it was lacking.
      Thanks Nicki, I always love hearing from you! Diana

  14. Lynda Davis on October 18, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve watched five episodes and find the plot cringe-worthy. American whiz girl sweeps in on her white steed and shows the French how things should be done. Main character Emily is just annoying. But I watch for the fashions and the marvellous scenes of Paris. Wish I could be there.

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      Yes, I think the creators know people are craving the feeling of travel without the travel and Paris is the #1 travel destination in the world. So many of us love it — even a saran-wrapped version. Great hearing from you Linda! Hope you are joining me for my interview with author Samantha Verant on November. That is a real life love story from Paris! Diana

  15. Lagatta de Montréal on October 18, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    I imagine that they shot location scenes over there as that would be easier and cheaper than a studio reconstruction. I haven’t seen it and don’t intend to. Hey, Black lives matter – Brown and Asian ones too. The shots look nothing like where I stay when I’m in Paris,. A couple of friends there are a Canadian of South Asian descent and a Mexican woman. Their teenage daughter is her own shade of brown.

    And once again, condolences and solidarity to the high school teacher who was slaughtered in a quiet suburb northwest of Paris.

    • Diana Bishop on October 18, 2020 at 4:14 pm

      Yes I am following that horrific event, and am deeply saddened too that it revives the issue of Islamic terrorism in Europe
      — The teacher such a tragic victim of a deranged, highly disturbed and misguided assailant.

  16. Lagatta de Montréal on October 18, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    More on that story: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/18/thousands-rally-across-france-in-tribute-to-dead-schoolteacher

    Please don’t think there has been an upsurge in Islamist extremism; it has been in a downwards trend. Note the condemnation from the Muslim community leader.

  17. Diane Moreau on October 19, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Merci beaucoup Diana your kind comments to my previous email. After I wrote it I realized that I may have been a little dishonest. I am sure that I will like “Emily in Paris” as much as your other readers for all the reasons that they and you have mentioned. I became a Francophile as a teenager for all the “clichés” still bringing joy to lovers of all things French — clichés always carry at their heart a grain or more of truth. The film “A Man and a Woman” (1968 with Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant) set me on a path to marry my husband! LOL

  18. Christina on October 20, 2020 at 10:51 am

    I watched it too and, yes it has its juvenile cringeworthy moments but forgiving those, with the beautiful city scenes, food shots, and some handsome frenchmen- what fun! We were in Paris just over a year ago and don’t know when we, or anyone, will be able get back (sigh) so this was a nice diversion. In fairness, I think the cliches went both ways – the young ‘loud’ American with etiquette and fashion mishaps and culture shock were meant to be lighthearted. I know many were indignant and found it unsophisticated and ‘lowbrow’ but in these challenging days it’s nice to take a break from taking ourselves too seriously and just enjoy a little francophile frivolity. (a glass of wine and macarons helped)

    • Diana Bishop on October 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm

      Yes I am with you Christina, you said it all even better than I did. Thank you for your comment and for reading my blog.
      And I hope you will be able to join me for my LIVE interview with best-selling author Samantha Verant…if you need a distraction, you have to hear this true story of finding love after 20 long years with a guy who you only met for one single day in Paris. It is sooo good.
      Best to you, Diaan

  19. marion dick on October 23, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Love it. On my to do list now that I’m settling in !!

    • Diana Bishop on October 23, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      You will enjoy it Marion! Thanks so much for the comment! Diana

  20. Tamara on October 26, 2020 at 9:52 am

    I will be watching, now! How can’t I. I am a constant scroller on Netflix and all of the movie/show sites. I will scroll for hours, not ready to commit to any of them. That’s a HUGE problem in a pandemic. I sit on it, scroll again and again, many movie titles and shows grab me, but, I ask myself, will I watch it? Will I fall asleep? Will I not like it? Will it be cheesy? Is it worth my time? Too much and then after hours, I may pop on FB to ask for suggestions… What’s wrong with me? LOLLL I may get a suggestion from a FB friend, saying watch this its spectacular. I look at it, watch a trailer, hmm and hawww. Then, after hours of searching for something light, comedic perhaps, something to really sink my teeth into, then, look at the time, too much time waisted. The choices are so many and new shows and movies all the time. Thank you for this Diana, I just may be watching “Emily in Paris” tonight. Or better yet, while I am still on hold, LOL Thank you for the blog on this show, I will watch for the cliches and many of the hints into what Paris is really like, once again. Bravo Diana. Truly a fan of your show. Though, there must be something wrong with me, lolll…sometimes I say to myself..”Will you just pick something to watch.” I do find things, I have been loving binge watching Schitz Creek, so fabulous and funny.

    • Diana Bishop on October 26, 2020 at 10:39 am

      YOu will love this series.. so much fun!

  21. Tamara on October 26, 2020 at 9:53 am

    *blog not *show

  22. Tamara on October 26, 2020 at 10:01 am

    LOL Diana, in a Pandemic, with above comments, and me not committing to a show…That can not be a good thing. LOL Love the suggestion of this show, for me…without a clue whats good anymore, or tolerable, wanting something light but fun, in this, YAY, I have a show to watch now. Let’s see the feeling I get from it.. need this…picking a show to watch, for me especially in a pandemic, is a travesty. Tell me I am NOT the only one??? LOLLL

    • Diana Bishop on October 26, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Many of us are a bit scattered these days! Ha ha!

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