If you haven’t binged Netflix’s Emily in Paris yet what are you doing with your life?! This show breathes new life into our 2020 experience, with a taste of Parisian whimsy and the ability to transport us. Remember the Tiger King stage of isolation? Why does that feel like it was 3 years ago!? This Parisian dream of a show follows Chicago marketing exec Emily Cooper and her adventures abroad in Paris after landing her dream job in French luxury marketing. C’est Magnifique!
The show depicts Emily’s new life in Pahree juggling work, friends and romance! Created by the legend that is Darren Star, otherwise known as the creative genius behind Sex in the City, and Younger. If you know anything about Darren and those shows then you can expect ambitious women, fun friendships, delicious fashion, cosmopolitan lifestyle and sweet escapism, in the best way. Ooh la la, sign me up because this was such a joy of a show to binge and break free of the turbulence this year has thrown us, even for a little bit.
As an American abroad, I found myself chuckling at some of the stereotypical cultural parallels Emily faces in her new Parisian landscape. Drawing from real-life experiences I’ve encountered myself while living overseas, here are my top 5 reasons you’ll relate Emily in Paris if you’ve ever lived or travelled abroad.
1. Work to live ~ not ~ live to work!
Several times in the series her colleagues taunt Emily for her work ethic and associating her success with the amount of time and effort she puts into work. In episode 1 Emily arrives for work at 8:30am to find the doors locked, when her co-worker Julien arrives only 2 hours later and informs her they don’t start until 10am, judging Emily. In another scene, Emily mentions their lunches are extensive and she can take a 3-hour lunch break to The Louvre without anyone noticing. Again, at a work event, her boss chastises her for talking about work with a client…at a work event (lol the audacity)! The laid back work and life balance makes me wonder if they ever get any work done for their marketing agency? In American culture, this would be frowned upon, when life is all about the 9-5 grind, possibly skipping lunch, or eating at your desk, then staying late to finish work. Of course, it’s fantasy, but I have experienced the work-life balance benefits while working abroad, like going for coffee and pub lunches with colleagues, drinks after work, game nights, work events, parties and genuinely enjoying life, you know just LIVING.
2. Men thinking American girls are easy
Sacre bleu! Why does this one have to be true? In episode 3, Emily attends a party (remember those?) and meets a cute stranger, where they begin a flirty conversation in a broken mix of French and English. Emily finds herself apologizing for being American and not yet understanding French. Soon, the two find themselves strolling under the stars on the french cobblestones, and you can feel the romance building as they stroll and kiss. When suddenly the cute boy whispers in her ear, “I like American pussy.” Talk about cringy! Emily bolts and in my opinion rightfully so. What does that even mean? Is there a difference?! Is that meant to be flattering? I laughed out loud, I’m sorry but American girls are not another one of your sexual conquests. In fact, I’ve experienced this before which is both hilarious and not so shocking when you watch it play out for yourself on the big screen. I can’t help but think where the writers drew the inspiration for this scene from, clearly, it happens to a lot of women!
3. Being lonely abroad
In the beginning, moving to a new country alone can be daunting and at times downright lonely. It can be hard to make friends as an adult, and I’m sure that is heightened when you’re in a country that you don’t speak the language. Emily finds herself spending time alone, hoping to spark up conversations with people sitting at French cafés, and parks just people watching. This pays off when she meets Mindy, a fellow traveller abroad and a friendship blossoms. But it’s not always that easy. We even see Emily ask her colleagues out for lunch and they make up lame excuses to avoid her, later Emily walks past all of them having lunch together at a nearby restaurant and immediately feels left out. That’s just the reality of being the new girl in town! It takes time and effort to make new lasting friendships and I’m glad we see a glimpse into Emily facing those challenges early on.
4. Reversing dates
This one is a classic. In America, dates are written in reverse, meaning month, day, year. Obviously, in Pahree and ~ Sydney ~, we’d write the date, day, month, year. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made mistakes reading the date and making reservations for the wrong day (whoops!) I love that the show depicts this dilemma for Emily when her boss asks her to make dinner reservations at Le Grand Véfour, the first grand restaurant in Paris and culinary institution that boasts two Michelin stars. Clearly not a restaurant to book only hours in advance. Emily is pleased that she manages to land a miracle booking for her dinner party after spotting a cancellation on the website, only to find out she’d actually made a booking for 8/11, and not 11/8. Yikes, C’est la vie!
5. Old buildings, faulty plumbing
Sydney has its share of old buildings, I know nowhere near as old as Europe, I’ll give it that but, I have to say I’ve experienced far more plumbing issues than Emily. In the show, the water fails mid-shower and she finds herself in her robe in the courtyard yelling at her French-speaking landlord for help when her hot neighbour Gabriel comes to the rescue offering his shower until her’s gets repaired. Yeah, I wish. Some of Sydney’s oldest and most valuable properties come with their fair share of ancient plumbing issues, like low water pressure, clogging, and flooding! If only I had a hot french neighbour to come to my rescue!
Emily in Paris is full of clichés, and stereotypes that don’t always hit the mark, but it’s good, easy viewing to escape to a world of daydream. Let’s be honest, we all need a bit of wanderlust and fantasy to enjoy in our lives at the moment! Also, side note, Emily and her friends visit Paris’s Van Gogh Alive exhibit in the show and I had a fangirl moment because we’re lucky enough to have the exhibit in Sydney right now through December! If you wanna feel like Emily in Paris, in Sydney check it out while tickets last.
Catch Emily in Paris on Netflix, and tell us your favourite scenes in the comments!
Feature image: Netflix