When the first season of Emily in Paris dropped in October 2020, it was the show that everyone loved to hate. The show’s understanding of the French culture was seen as cliched, and Emily felt a bit overbearing but let’s be honest here, despite all of that, Emily in Paris is the kind of show that you could start watching on a weekend and as you cringe at her antics and laugh at the silliness of the plot, you are through the ten episodes. Emily in Paris is not the show that will flex your cerebral muscles and neither does it promise to be, it is candy floss and who doesn’t enjoy that?!
This time around, Emily in Paris continues to treat us with the things that we grew to enjoy in the first season. Emily’s fix-it nature at work where she has ‘won over’ her colleagues, her confused love triangle situation with her friend and her boyfriend, and her various love interests keep us going from one episode to another. Honestly, how she floats along in her marketing job is beyond me but such is the nature of the show where fantasy reigns supreme and there is just no place for real-world problems. That is probably why the show does not even entertain the idea of a pandemic. For instance, look at the costumes of Emily, and even Mindy who is also living her version of a fantasy. Every garment they wear, every accessory they sport is worth pinning on a Pinterest board. It might not be your personal style, but man do they bring their A-game even when things don’t seem to be working out for them in the paper-thin plot.
Emily in Paris has been created by Darren Star (also the creator of Sex and the City), which is probably why many of Emily’s misadventures in the ‘city of love’ take us to an alternate timeline where Carrie would have moved to Paris, and things wouldn’t have worked out for her (everyone deserves better than Aleksandr Petrovsky!). But Emily is an updated version of Carrie, just as self-involved and clueless about what’s happening around her, but wholly aware that she has a job with deadlines. In fact, she is a bit too aware because even in this frou-frou world, Emily does not stop working. Much like the last season, every man she meets instantly wants to be with her, and we’re not complaining. Because remember, this is a fantasy and what good is a fantasy if you can’t even eat your cake and maintain that wrist-sized waist.
Lily Collins is a charming woman and she does her best to get you to like Emily, even when she is planning to break the heart of a fine English man, for another fine French man. Ashley Park (playing Mindy) and Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (playing Sylvie) are just as lovely as they were in the first season. The woman who steals the show this time around is Kate Walsh as the American corporate executive Madeline Wheeler. While her animated appearance is tackily funny, it strangely enhances Emily’s character arc. Her presence in the last two episodes actually gets you to acknowledge that Emily has grown quite a bit in her time in Paris, and you don’t want her to lose that just yet.
Emily in Paris isn’t the show where every shot, or camera movement holds subtext but it is the show that feeds your fondness for guilty pleasures and in a world where something like Money Heist has developed a ‘cult’ following, Emily in Paris doesn’t deserve as much hate anyway.