Cliché but binge worthy

Lavette Williams, Editor-In-Chief

Excusez-moi, have you seen the Netflix-original show, “Emily in Paris”? The comedy-drama made its debut on the platform on Oct. 2 and since being released, has sparked a conversation of the possible release of a season two.

“Emily in Paris”  immerses its viewers in the life of Emily Cooper,  a bubbly marketing executive from Chicago whose dream becomes a reality when she is asked to travel to Paris for work as a replacement for her boss. Jubilantly, Emily accepts. Despite not being able to speak nor understand French, she leaves behind her American life, her boyfriend and perhaps, her familiarity to live a life just about every little girl glamorizes, a life in the “City of Love.”

However, Emily realizes rather quickly that with the language and cultural barrier, living in Paris is going to be harder than she presumed. She finds that it is more than sweet, buttery croissants, sight-seeing and romance. In taking on the marketing position at Savoir, she would also have to endure the bitter.  

While others may have cowered in fear, it is through this bitterness that we are able to witness Emily truly thrive. Over the span of a few episodes, Emily goes from this “clueless American girl,” who always needs a translator, who has no friends, who has no backbone to being able to comprehend and speak French, to having a solid group of people to hang around, and to standing her ground. 

One good example of her growth can be seen in Emily’s relationship with her coworkers. In the beginning, all of her coworkers despised her for bringing in her Americanized perspective on social media. At least, this is the way it seemed because they treated her so poorly. Her coworkers excluded her from eating lunch with them and from important meetings, they called her names, they left her nasty gifts on her desk. After a friend tells her that it is in French culture to be blunt about their feelings, Emily learns how to fight fire with fire. By calling them out for their name and giving them nasty items, they begin to warm up to her.

“Emily in Paris” is the kind of show you can lay down and binge in one sitting. The storyline is good but, perhaps, it is too good … good to point where it is kind of predictable. Girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, boy is taken but is secretly in-love with girl, and I’m sure you can guess the rest.  

In some instances, I would even say that the show is unrealistic. I loved that Emily was ambitious enough to step outside of her comfort zone and travel 4,000 plus miles to take on a position. I loved that she did it despite not knowing how to speak French. I loved that she spoke up even when she was instructed to be quiet. 

But I felt that her character lacked depth. Outside of her workplace or her social media platform, we don’t know much about her. Where did she come from? Was she originally from Chicago or was she there for work? How old is she?   

Personally, I wanted a little bit more out of Emily. I wanted her to express more emotion; instead, she was a little too happy-go-lucky. 

Put in a predicament that might have made anyone else need days or at least, extensive thought, Emily was ready to leave her life in Chicago behind without reconsideration. I know that if this were me, I would have had a hard time departing not only because of my relationships but my emotional connection to the city I live. I understand that everyone is different, but I found myself wondering where Emily’s sense of nostalgia was and why she was in such a hurry to leave. 

In those situations of uncertainty, like when she broke up with her boyfriend, when the water went out or when she was temporarily fired,  I waited for her to cry, to get upset, to cringe …. Anything to show that she cared. 

Even still, I grabbed a handful of popcorn and watched on, successfully predicting each episode’s ending.  

Although “Emily in Paris” is a cliché, it is the trite of the show that makes it effortless to watch. With everything going on in the world, the COVID-19 pandemic, the civil rights movement, the election, I’m sure all could use a break from the disorderedness to watch Emily shine Paris.