I hope you are doing well despite the ongoing corona situation. I must say this year has been a challenge for me as I’ve been thrown out of my comfort zone. As part of this, I have also resorted to many different entertainment methods to pass these sometimes incredibly boring times including Netflix binges. One of my Netflix discoveries was Emily in Paris and I wanted to share my response to this series. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
So I stumbled upon Emily in Paris as it was one of the top 10 trending series. I was very excited to watch it as it was highly relatable. The story is about a young marketing executive who moves from Chicago to Paris. As some of you may know, I work in marketing and I did a year abroad in Paris, so I got nostalgic vibes. I’ll start off by saying that it was a fun way of going through memory lane, but there were some serious issues with this series that I thought I would address below:
Firstly, when Emily arrives she is given a chambre de bonne (maid’s room). This seems to be realistic as a lot of my student friends used to rent these sorts of rooms when they first arrived in Paris. But the reality is destroyed once we discover the chambre de bonne has a bedroom, lounge, shower and kitchen… My dear, a chambre de bonne is tiny and usually, there is a communal bathroom so this isn’t exactly realistic…
Secondly, the language used was very worrying. Let me start by saying that although a lot of the French language is evolving and now includes a lot of anglicisms such as ‘stopper’, ‘faire le buzz’ etc., it is highly unrealistic that everyone would automatically switch to speaking English with you… In fact, the use of anglicisms and using English in France is often frowned upon by those who claim we need to ‘protect’ the French language. Despite this, I guess we could praise the scene where Emily goes into a bakery and the lady refuses to speak English to her and criticises her French- this is much more realistic.
Furthermore, I am concerned about the diversity within this series. Yes, there are people from all age groups, but I really do not see diversity in terms of race. Including one black character in the series does not cut it and is seriously worrying considering the history and diversity of France….
My final point is on the obsession of fashion within the series. The way that Emily dresses within the series is almost a mockery of fashion as some of the outfits are ghastly and clearly not what you’d wear on an everyday basis. Also, the series perpetuates some sort of myth around Parisians being the most fashionable people in the world. Yes, there are some fantastic French designers and Paris fashion week, but let’s just be real and acknowledge that not everyone dresses up every day. I can only speak from my personal experience, but when I used to go to work people mainly used to wear jeans. And that was the case at parties too … Parisians are real people and they can dress up and down but this series creates a fantasy world…
Nonetheless, I must say the series was entertaining and I really want to go back to Paris as soon as it is safe to do so. I completely accept that series don’t have to represent reality as the screen is a way to escape from reality (highly needed right now), but I don’t think it’s right to perpetuate stereotypes about the French culture.
Anyway, that’s what I thought about the series. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Until next time,