Emily in Paris – Idiocy and Courage

EXCEPTIONAL/REVIEW
by Maria Evd
20.12.2020
Emily in Paris (2020) is an American series by Darren Star, which was released on Netflix this October. It stars Lily Collins, who plays Emily — an American, who was sent to Paris on a business trip. As the description says, "marketing exec Emily Cooper embraces her adventurous new life while juggling work, friends and romance". Did it work? It's hard to say for sure. Why? Let's investigate it.
First of all, let's focus on the main character — Emily Cooper. She got sent from Chicago to Paris with an important mission: she had to bring an American perception of work to a respected French marketing company. While Emily's new life is going to be quite challenging, we can accompany her on this difficult path and see how she finds friends and love and figures all the things out.
Sounds promising, but there are some questions to this character. Although Emily is lovely, sweet and cute, she does not evolve and stays the same from the beginning of the show to its end. The creators do not explain why Emily gets what she gets — and this is the problem. We cannot see the character's development, so despite the crew's efforts to make the show taste like coffee and croissants, you can always sense a slight taste of cardboard underneath. No character development makes all Emily's victories look effortless and therefore kind of meaningless. No one explains how she succeeds in everything she does, things just happen, and Emily stays the way she was an episode before.
If the audience is bewitched by the sight of Emily conquering the city of her dreams, the critics say that too many important problems are left behind and the key circumstances are based on sheer luck. This is why there is an opinion that Emily is one of the most boring and cliche characters in cinema history. All of the difficulties she faces seem to be made out of nothing, which makes it impossible to worry about her or to empathize with her — you always know she will get whatever she wants.

However, it's not that simple. On one hand, it's a fair point: as soon as a new challenge is introduced, you already know that Emily will deal with it. But I would not say that it makes the series boring or pointless: it's 2020, and we are all fed up with drama and endless hardships. So such a graceful, easy to watch and kind of carefree show as Emily in Paris is what we crave. It doesn't really matter how idealized Emily's relationship with her hot neighbor or how unrealistic the success of her marketing strategy is. It also doesn't matter why she was sent on this business trip or why her ordinary lifestyle blog about Paris became so popular. People watch Emily in Paris to unwind and take a break from stressful and intense reality — and at this point, the series really does what it has to.
The plot seems to exist somewhere in a perfect world of 90's teen movies. You know the ones where charming and daffy main heroines wear plaid skirts, lead a fancy lifestyle and always get what they want. One might say the problem is Emily in Paris being not a 90s teen movie but a series about the modern world. This makes sense, but if the show was produced as an anti-reality pill, wouldn't the whole point be lost, make it serious? In a rush of our everyday lives, Emily in Paris with it's kinda nostalgic, lightweight and carefree plot seems to be an outlet for many of us.




There still is one thing about Emily in Paris that is truly unwarrantable. It's superficial. The show doesn't focus on any social issues — such things as racism, homophobia, sexism and many others simply do not exist in the world of Emily in Paris. Emily is white, straight, conventionally beautiful; she has a "trendy" job. She doesn't face any real challenges, never has to fight for her rights and leads a glamorous lifestyle. All the characters who were supposed to bring in any kind of diversity into the show have poor storylines and exist somewhere in Emily's background. We're not in the 90s anymore — these issues have become a part of our reality. Ignoring them is unacceptable even if you're creating a show aimed at entertaining. From this side, the show is so flat that I refuse to believe it was released in 2020. Maybe that's a secret spin-off of Sex and the City (1998-2004), which was lost and now found?..

Another disappointing moment about Emily in Paris is that this show has collected all the possible stereotypes about French people. And all of those are bad ones. It looks weird how the show mocks French people yet amateurishly appropriates their culture: Emily wears red berets, buys french baguettes. Also, the views of Paris appear every three minutes probably to lure the audience and remind them, "Ah, it's Paris!" That's unacceptable in 2020.
Despite its obvious flaws and drawbacks, Emily in Paris is definitely one of the most catchy and vivid shows of the year. Extremely glamorous and trying its best to be charming, it sometimes gets exaggeratedly cliched and obvious, still remaining truly lightweight and carefree. And, as if confirming it's right to be called the most contradictory show of the year, despite being totally out of reality, Emily in Paris is somehow exactly what we all need right at this time — at this insane, crazy 2020.
 
Emily in Paris – Idiocy and Courage
EXCEPTIONAL/REVIEW
by Maria Evd
20.12.2020
Emily in Paris (2020) is an American series by Darren Star, which was released on Netflix this October. It stars Lily Collins, who plays Emily — an American, who was sent to Paris on a business trip. As the description says, "marketing exec Emily Cooper embraces her adventurous new life while juggling work, friends and romance". Did it work? It's hard to say for sure. Why? Let's investigate it.
First of all, let's focus on the main character — Emily Cooper. She got sent from Chicago to Paris with an important mission: she had to bring an American perception of work to a respected French marketing company. While Emily's new life is going to be quite challenging, we can accompany her on this difficult path and see how she finds friends and love and figures all the things out.

Sounds promising, but there are some questions to this character. Although Emily is lovely, sweet and cute, she does not evolve and stays the same from the beginning of the show to its end. The creators do not explain why Emily gets what she gets — and this is the problem. We cannot see the character's development, so despite the crew's efforts to make the show taste like coffee and croissants, you can always sense a slight taste of cardboard underneath. No character development makes all Emily's victories look effortless and therefore kind of meaningless. No one explains how she succeeds in everything she does, things just happen, and Emily stays the way she was an episode before.
If the audience is bewitched by the sight of Emily conquering the city of her dreams, the critics say that too many important problems are left behind and the key circumstances are based on sheer luck. This is why there is an opinion that Emily is one of the most boring and cliche characters in cinema history. All of the difficulties she faces seem to be made out of nothing, which makes it impossible to worry about her or to empathize with her — you always know she will get whatever she wants.

However, it's not that simple. On one hand, it's a fair point: as soon as a new challenge is introduced, you already know that Emily will deal with it. But I would not say that it makes the series boring or pointless: it's 2020, and we are all fed up with drama and endless hardships. So such a graceful, easy to watch and kind of carefree show as Emily in Paris is what we crave. It doesn't really matter how idealized Emily's relationship with her hot neighbor or how unrealistic the success of her marketing strategy is. It also doesn't matter why she was sent on this business trip or why her ordinary lifestyle blog about Paris became so popular. People watch Emily in Paris to unwind and take a break from stressful and intense reality — and at this point, the series really does what it has to.

The plot seems to exist somewhere in a perfect world of 90's teen movies. You know the ones where charming and daffy main heroines wear plaid skirts, lead a fancy lifestyle and always get what they want. One might say the problem is Emily in Paris being not a 90s teen movie but a series about the modern world. This makes sense, but if the show was produced as an anti-reality pill, wouldn't the whole point be lost, make it serious? In a rush of our everyday lives, Emily in Paris with it's kinda nostalgic, lightweight and carefree plot seems to be an outlet for many of us.
There still is one thing about Emily in Paris that is truly unwarrantable. It's superficial. The show doesn't focus on any social issues — such things as racism, homophobia, sexism and many others simply do not exist in the world of Emily in Paris. Emily is white, straight, conventionally beautiful; she has a "trendy" job. She doesn't face any real challenges, never has to fight for her rights and leads a glamorous lifestyle. All the characters who were supposed to bring in any kind of diversity into the show have poor storylines and exist somewhere in Emily's background. We're not in the 90s anymore — these issues have become a part of our reality. Ignoring them is unacceptable even if you're creating a show aimed at entertaining. From this side, the show is so flat that I refuse to believe it was released in 2020. Maybe that's a secret spin-off of Sex and the City (1998-2004), which was lost and now found?..

Another disappointing moment about Emily in Paris is that this show has collected all the possible stereotypes about French people. And all of those are bad ones. It looks weird how the show mocks French people yet amateurishly appropriates their culture: Emily wears red berets, buys french baguettes. Also, the views of Paris appear every three minutes probably to lure the audience and remind them, "Ah, it's Paris!" That's unacceptable in 2020.
Despite its obvious flaws and drawbacks, Emily in Paris is definitely one of the most catchy and vivid shows of the year. Extremely glamorous and trying its best to be charming, it sometimes gets exaggeratedly cliched and obvious, still remaining truly lightweight and carefree. And, as if confirming it's right to be called the most contradictory show of the year, despite being totally out of reality, Emily in Paris is somehow exactly what we all need right at this time — at this insane, crazy 2020.
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