Is Emily in Paris good?
There’s only one way to answer that question about Emily in Paris: Oui!
Before we get into the specifics of what makes Emily in Paris good, let’s start with a little basic French language lesson. “Oui” means “yes.” Just wanted to clarify that in case there are those who didn’t know and thought it was some obscure reference to a yogurt brand.
While we’re on the topic of translation, for those who don’t know what the rest of the French in the title means, “Mais oui, mes amis! C’est tres bon!” translates to “Yes, my friends! It’s very good!”
Now that you know I’m in that camp that loved Emily in Paris (because there’s always two sides to every story, which I’ll get to), let’s look at what doesn’t get lost in translation and what makes Emily in Paris a good binge.
Emily in Paris cast is really good
Emily in Paris stars Lily Collins as Emily Cooper, an American whose job in a Chicago-based marketing firm finds her relocating to work at her company’s newly acquired firm in France.
It’s a fish out of water story as the bubbly ingenue who doesn’t speak French gets schooled in cultural differences while finding herself falling in love with the city, new friends and her handsome downstairs neighbor, Gabriel, played by Lucas Bravo.
Emily in Paris has Sex and the City vibes
If you’re a fan of other Darren Star shows, especially his other romantic comedy-dramas like Sex and the City or Younger, you’re likely to find Emily in Paris good, too.
It’s not as “sexy” as Sex and the City, but sex and sexual situations definitely factor into play. Plus, there are plenty of F-bombs…and that F doesn’t stand for “French,” mes amis.
That’s why it earned a TV-MA rating, even though at first blush it seems less edgy than Sex and the City and more “cute” like Younger.
The Fashion is excellent
If you enjoyed all of Carrie’s outfits in Sex and the City, plus all those her BFFs wore, you’re going to love Emily’s fashion. Some combos are hits, others are misses, but it’s fun to see what Emily will wear next.
Whether you’re a die-hard Francophile or just curious how the Parisians live, Emily in Paris’ setting will transport you to the City of Light.
Although it’s also known as the City of Love, Emily doesn’t find a lot of from her French co-workers or neighbors at first.
To compare Sex and the City and Younger again, if you enjoyed the wit and play-on-words in those shows, you might also find the dialogue amusing in Emily in Paris, too.
Emily in Paris is full of cliches
Emily in Paris invokes every anti-American French cliche possible, such as:
- The French are rude, especially to Americans, and even more so to those who visit France without speaking the language.
- The French wonder why Americans are so fat. (Emily is far from and yet the subject still comes up.)
- The French work to live, whereas Americans live to work.
- Americans smile too much and are too concerned about being happy.
Many of the French people Emily encounters at first, from her landlord to her new boss, are so very rude to her. Most people would balk at such treatment, but for the most part, Emily brushes it off. Still, she wants them to like her, but her attempts to win people over leads to faux pas after faux pas.
She’s perhaps the cutest American ever trying to force her American ideals and standards on people from a different country. Will Emily be able to get anyone to conform or is she the one who will do the most transforming?
Plucky Emily proves she isn’t anyone’s punching bag or doormat. She’s resourceful and creative and even though she doesn’t speak the language, there are apps for that. Much to the horror of her French co-workers.
With support and guidance from her newfound friend and fellow ex-pat, Mindy (Ashley Park), she gains insight on how things work in Paris.
There’s also her neighbor Gabriel, who always seems to be able to help her out in a pinch and who she finds herself attracted to. Trouble is, there’s one small thing standing between them: Gabriel’s super hot and super sweet girlfriend, Camille (Camille Razat), who Emily is also friends with.
Emily’s work life is as compliquee as her love life. At her job in Chicago, Emily had a great relationship with her boss, Madeline (Kate Walsh), but her boss, Sylvie Grateu (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) at Savoir, her new firm, not only doesn’t want to have a good working relationship, she sabotages Emily at every turn.
It doesn’t help that Sylvie’s lover, Antoine Lambert (William Abadie), who’s one of Savoir’s clients, hits on Emily.
But with a little help from her co-workers Julien (Samuel Arnold) and Luc (Bruno Gouery), Emily learns to navigate French workplace politics.
The show features short episodes
Another thing that makes Emily in Paris good are its bite-sized episodes. They’re just under 30 minutes long, which makes this not only an easy-to-binge series, but a quick one too.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m in the camp that found Emily in Paris good. I didn’t know I wanted to escape into a modern-day fairy tale until I gave this show a shot. Because while it is very charming, it’s also completely unrealistic.
Which is at first why I was reluctant to give it a try. At first glance, it looked a little vapid and adolescent.
But I’m glad I gave it a shot.
That’s probably why those who didn’t like it found it a “brightly colored car wreck,” as BuzzFeed put it.
Refinery29 examined the phenomenon of the love it/hate it debates that gripped social media soon after its release. This is one of those shows with very little wiggle room. It seems you either hate it or you’re cast under its spell and find Emily in Paris good.
Which camp are you in?
We’re hoping Emily in Paris season 2 is coming to Netflix soon!