Honestly when it comes to criticism I’m probably the Piers Morgan of reviewing series and movies. You did read my review of “Blood and Water” right? But then again I don’t believe in criticizing without cause. Emily in Paris is no where as bad as people want to portray it. It just seems that people love to jump on the trend bandwagon whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Emily in Paris is well-acted and well-produced in general. The biggest issues that people are raising are the stereotyping of French people and Chinese people. But as someone that definitely classifies as a social justice warrior on such issues I have to say that it’s a lot better than many other movies. I’ve seen reviews given by French people who said that there were obvious exaggerations but they were probably for TV. I mean Gossip Girl wasn’t really an accurate depiction of New York City. TV will never get reality exactly as it is but I think they made a good attempt. But I’m also someone that doesn’t ignore the bad in a series so let me get that out of the way.
The Bad: Paris is a pretty racially diverse city but it mostly portrayed white people even in the background. This is an issue that even POC French people have with French media constantly whitewashing series and movies. But also listened to a person actually working in Paris’s review and they mentioned that they were the only black person in their office. So maybe there is a lack of POC in higher up positions in society which is something that needs to be dealt with. It’s slowly changing but it should change faster. Something that no one seems to note though is that even though the producers were not French, the majority of the production team was French and would have been consulted over certain issues.
I went into watching “Emily in Paris” expecting the worst from it’s criticisms and it wasn’t anywhere as bad as I expected. People complained about the show being too American but then again the show is about an American moving to Paris so obviously it’s not going to be a French view of France.
I look at this from the perspective of someone who has moved to a foreign city where that they basically knew nothing enough and fell in love with that city. I could relate to a lot of what Emily went through. From having to adjust to a tough workplace to navigating relationships and screwing up a lot. Emily to me was relatable. Even her fashion choices to try and fit into the French beauty mystic (some call the stereotyping of French people French-face) are relatable because I remember going through a lot of fashion disasters as I adjusted to a new place.
The story is not about France but about a foreigner exploring France who has had no previous experience with France. A foreigners perspective of a country is either usually very demonized or romanticized. If you’ve read blogs about France you can easily catch onto that. People either love it or hate it. Foreigners do not usually have a neutral view of a place unless they have been traveling and staying in different places from a young age so look at things objectively. And this is Emily’s first time living out of Chicago.
Emily’s proficiency at her job has also been questioned. But I think she was killing it but like anyone else made mistakes that came from her still adjusting to a new place.
Most people that have actually traveled to a new city and many specifically France find Emily to be a character that’s really relatable. She’s nice, she’s mean, she’s confused, she’s well put together, she’s fallen apart and she’s human.
The supporting characters didn’t really have too much of a backstory but I personally don’t mind that after seeing many series that lose the plot by trying to make each character have too much of a story. Very few stories manage to pull off giving supporting characters too much depth. That’s why they’re supporting characters and not main characters.
I wouldn’t say that Emily in Paris is the best series I’ve watched but it’s decent. I don’t mind watching it multiple times but I don’t think I’ll vote for it to win any awards. Or maybe I’m just admiring the fact that Lily Collins is a great actress and producer.