Love it or hate it, “Sex and the City” creator Darren Star has made another bingeable guilty pleasure with Netflix original series “Emily in Paris.” It stars Lily Collins as a millennial marketing executive from Chicago, who, upon arriving in France, expected her new co-workers to be super thrilled to hear about her “American point of view.” You’ll soon learn just means improving their social media strategy…with the help of her budding career as an influencer.
There were a lot of moments that forced me to suspend my disbelief, like whenever she goes viral for a super basic Instagram post. Still, I get that the showrunners probably wanted us to just focus on the picturesque city, Emily’s cute outfits (framed as signifiers of her adorkableness since they lacked a sexy Parisian je ne sais quoi) and the messy romance—the series could have been titled “Sex in a Different City.”
However, I just can’t help but wish that Emily was more likable. It was too much for the show to ask us to root for her because of (and not despite of) her indifference to her many mega-cringe faux pax. Unpromptedly emailing your American company’s corporate commandments to everyone in a foreign office even though you know how much they clash with the work culture? That’s arrogant, not cute.
I haven’t even touched on all the stereotypes on the show that French critics have called out. My soul kinda left my body when I heard the line “The entire city looks like Ratatouille” and the discussion on P.B.O. (pussy body odor) in the Paris Métro. But even with all of these blunders, I was one of the people who finished the first season in one sitting. Yes, I’m not partial to Emily, but I’m invested in her love life. We exist. Here are my thoughts on who Emily should end up with.
They really set us up to be on Team Gabriel. We all want that meet-cute with a hot French chef (Lucas Bravo) who lives a floor below our gorgeous Parisian apartment. Who wouldn’t start harboring a crush on the cute neighbor who offers their shower to you when the building’s ancient plumbing system acts up during a workday? Gabriel is chill, talented, considerate…and taken already.
When I found out that he had a girlfriend he didn’t mention while he was flirting and smooching with Emily, he was out of the running for me. How is that not a giant red flag? And if that’s not the worst of it, the person he’s dating ends up being one of her closest friends. Listen to your own advice and don’t go into a compliqué relationship, Emily.
Verdict: Hot, but she deserves more than a French cheater.
Should you or should you not date a rich playboy? That is the question. I don’t really have much against Mathieu Cadault (Charles Martins), a nephew of a designer and the person running the business side of his uncle’s couture house. If I were in Emily’s shoes, I’d be down to go on expensive dates, too. He also gives off that mysterious Frenchman vibe which is pretty sexy.
Emily did say that she’s against workplace romances, though. Still, she broke this rule with Mathieu—I hope that her career won’t get affected when they decide to split up. He’s still a contender in my book.
Verdict: Intoxicating, but not happily-ever-after material.
As a sapphic, I was really hoping that we’d get bisexual Emily because her meet-cute with Camille (Camille Razat) at a flower stall had so much potential. Imagine a French girl helping you order flowers and inviting you to a gallery opening. Imagine the same girl inviting you to her family’s chateau in Champagne.
But, alas, Emily is flirting with Camille’s boyfriend behind her back and had sex with her underaged brother—which no one batted an eye at. Can we please talk about how that’s 100% not okay even though she didn’t know what his age was? Can we please have repercussions for Emily? Thoughcast members are hoping for an eventual throuple, I’m not super sold on the idea yet.
Verdict: They could have been a power couple, but there are too many outside forces that got in the way.
Mindy Chen is the Asian-American best friend who’s there to hype up our white protagonist. She’s the typical rich heiress who escapes to a Western country because she doesn’t want the life paved for her. She’s there to give us a few laughs and so the show doesn’t get called out for a lack of diversity. She’s a cliché.
But in another universe where they’re gay, Mindy is actually the perfect match for Emily. They’re both unafraid to bulldoze over anything and anyone so they can get what they want. They bond over their love for the idea of French culture while joking about French stereotypes. They also encourage each other to reach for their dreams and never miss out on the chance to eat brunch together. Mindy also gets a bonus point for becoming roommates with Emily by the end of the season.
Verdict: They would be so annoying together, but they’re a good match.