There has been a lot of talk about Paris recently – not because Paris Fashion Week just wrapped but because Emily is in Paris. The Emily in question, is of course, the plucky Chicago transplant Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins) from the trending Netflix series Emily In Paris which dropped its entire first season on Oct 2.
If you’ve not caught it yet, here are the CliffsNotes: Emily’s the ingenue from Chicago who has just arrived from across the pond to bring her “American point of view” to the way a French marketing agency ran its social media game. Along the way, she gets involved in a love triangle.
Emily Cooper, played by Lily Collins, wants to bring her “American point of view” to Paris.
The brainchild of Sex And The City creator Darren Star, the show has all the makings of being a SATC 2.0 on paper – the small girl finding love in the big city narrative, the messy romantic relationships, and the Patricia Field-designed wardrobe.
But alas, in a span of 10 30-minute-long episodes, Emily In Paris has single-handedly raised the ire of the French public, the Sarah Jessica Parker fan club, American expats in Paris, viewers of cancelled Netflix shows Glow and Teenage Bounty Hunters, and even real-life social media experts.
Life’s not quite roses for Emily In Paris on the Internet and social media.
Part of the argument lies in the way the show is riddled with so many cliches about what being French means (read: the overt sexism, the blase attitude towards extramarital affairs, smoking cigarettes in the office, et al) and how the creators have chosen to fetishise Paris as a tourist fantasy.
Then there is the camp who ridicules it for Emily’s chaotic and tacky-looking wardrobe. Her lack of finesse in pulling off pret-a-porter has one American publication describing her aesthetic as “cribbed from a smooth TikTok algorithm”. Indeed, SJP Emily is not.
If the thought of a green Chanel jacket over a green plaid dress, with a matching bucket hat and printed green scarf gives you a migraine, seeing it on screen verges on the vertiginous. To be fair, though, her aesthetic does evolve by the end of the show.
Some digital experts have also picked on Emily’s outlandish and flippant attitude towards marketing on social media. Peyton Dix, the special projects editor at InStyle was quoted by the magazine as saying: “Although I am obsessed with the show (I live for white mess), I would both block and report little miss @emilyinparis in an instant. She uses hashtags not a single soul would engage with, proposes half-baked social projects, and goes viral by reclaiming the vagina??”
With Emily In Paris drawing so much attention from viewers, we decided to ask a group of Frenchwomen for their unvarnished opinions about the show. Scroll below to see their verdicts.