Emily In Paris: Taking Sex and the City International

Image courtesy of Culture Whisper

By: Kat Kaderabek 

Sex and the City creator, Darren Star’s newest Netflix project was recently released and it brings another, modern spin on the iconic character Carrie Bradshaw. In other words, the main character Emily Cooper, played by Lily Collins, really is another Carrie Bradshaw. The plot lines are very similar and the creator’s fingerprints can be seen all over this new show, which basically brings Sex and the City to the international city of Paris.

This new series is not related to his previous work at all; however, there are elements that are very similar to his previous work. Namely, a young girl intertwines herself in the fashion and marketing industry while simultaneously dealing with the struggles of her love life and her wild, dramatic friends. This new show, Emily in Paris, follows the young, hard-working Emily as she is sent to live in Paris last minute to represent an American perspective at a small marketing firm.  

The costuming of the show is beautiful and dynamic, especially the finer clothes Collins sports in gala and auction scenes. The beauty of Paris and its sights is accentuated in every episode. Given the current quarantined state, this show will surely have viewers longing to travel even more. 

The depth of the show is fairly surface-level and the perfect watch for a rainy day. There is little moral or ethical development and much of the content is rather superficial. It’s a light, airy show about a girl in Paris, which is exactly what its description promises. It is both a romanization of Paris and its glamour, and a rationalization of the downsides to the city.

Collins is a beautiful girl who plays the creative, rule-following Emily very well; however, while Collins herself is a delightful, relatable person who is very open about her struggles and challenges, her character Emily is less likeable. Emily, like many other characters in the show, is a cliche character. She is a bold, yet sweet and romantic girl with hopes and dreams of a successful career. Her morals steer her path, even if they lead her against the wishes of her stern and bothersome boss who loathes Emily’s presence in Paris but secretly delights in Emily’s success. 

Likewise, Emily’s closest Parisian friend is a spunky, guy-hungry girl who encourages Emily to break out of her shell, effectively completing the cliche romantic-comedy friendship. In terms of Emily’s love interests, the main plot point cannot be more predictable and unoriginal. Her charming, sexy downstairs neighbor Gabriel becomes fast friends with Emily only to reveal his girlfriend, Camille, is also one of Emily’s newest friends and clients in Paris. Their secret kisses and magnetic connection is barely hidden from Camille, and Emily soon finds herself in a completely predictable entangled web between friendships and relationships.  

The entire series is predictable; however, this does not make it any less entertaining to watch. If only for the beautiful Paris landscape and exquisite food and fashion, the show is worth a browse. There are few surprises, and even the season finale is expected; the show caters to stereotypes seen consistently before. 

Her array of love interests is very rotational and the end of season one brings an unclear conclusion as to who Emily should end up with in her Paris excursion. Again playing into the romantic comedy series stereotype, Emily cannot decide between a host of men and instead decides to embrace being single in the city; however, it is not unpleasant to see the vast array of sexy Parisian men that make their way through Emily’s complicated and often embarrassing life. 

An interesting and new facet of Emily in Paris that reflects modernity is the advent of influencer culture and social media presence. Emily’s job is entirely based in marketing and carrying a brand, which she uses social media to propagate. Her own Instagram account @emilyinparis quickly gains popularity after she posts several images of Paris reality, and decides not to romanticize her adventures but rather show the stark contrast between living in the states and the rather odd, uneventful happenings on the city streets of Paris. Her account quickly gains thousands of followers and her social media presence is enhanced by her life in Paris, rather than dictated by it. In other words, this series shows a more healthy view of social media and its relationship between a person’s life and their content. 

Overall, the show is not very original yet, it is a feel-good, beautiful experience to watch and therefore perfect for days when everything seems gray. Paris and its sights are enough reason to watch Emily In Paris, and the drama, though predictable, is entertaining to see as it unfolds on the young and naive Emily Cooper.

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