Why is Emily in Paris such a hit? A young woman (Lily Collins) from Chicago flies to Paris and works for a French marketing agency… when she doesn't speak any French. Her fashion is way, way over the top. She’s mediocre at taking photos, yet surges as an Instagrammer. And, at least in those initial episodes, she is culturally clueless.
Most unfairly of all, while Emily in Paris received two nominations at this year's Golden Globes, I May Destroy You got nothing (rectified, thankfully, by the Emmys). Why has this show topped the charts? Despite being renewed, there's so much to say that this series wouldn’t and shouldn’t get a second season.
Emily (Lily Collins), Mindy (Ashley Park), and Camille (Camille Razat). Photo: Netflix
And yet: there's an engrossing charm about this silly series, the latest from Sex and the City creator Darren Star. The costumes are fabulous, the locations are lavish, and the stories are… well, they’re basic, but also addictively romantic. You want to see how Emily’s relationship with her hunky downstairs neighbour Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) will go, despite his relationship with the mega-rich Camille (Camille Razat). And then there’s Mindy (Ashley Park), Emily’s best friend: a nanny who can sing beautifully.
Perhaps these are the reasons why the series shot to the top. More than being a textbook lockdown watch, with so many indulgent visuals and Parisian hotspots, it’s perfect comfort-viewing. With unreal beauty and a cheeky lack of logic, Emily in Paris became the guilty-pleasure hit of 2020.
Emily with new character Alfie (Lucien Laviscount). Photo: Netflix
At the recent Netflix showcase Tudum, they released a small trailer for season two. Little has been revealed in terms of story, but the trailer shows a trip to Saint-Tropez – enjoyed by Emily, Mindy and Camille (a vivid trio). These scenes were mostly shot at the famous Four Seasons Cap Ferrat hotel in the French Riviera.
Emily clearly hasn’t told Camille that she’s slept with her former boyfriend, which could create friction in their friendship. And Emily’s not Instagramming her experience either, claiming she’s on vacation. Is she still planning on returning to Chicago? She was only meant to be in Paris for a year, but maybe the city and the country has enchanted her to stay.
Left to right: Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu as Sylvie, Samuel Arnold as Julien, Bruno Gouery as Luc. Photo: Netflix
Other plot details for season two include a greater emphasis on the French characters. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Darren Star describes the reasons why there was a noticeable lack of subtitles in season one: 'Because the show was done for an American network initially, I didn’t know how much French with subtitles an American audience was going to tolerate. Knowing that we’re reaching a global audience, there’s a lot more subtitled content.'
With its place on Netflix, a very international streaming service, the subtitles are less of an obstacle – especially when considering the global popularity of French shows like Call My Agent! and Lupin.
Emily with Gabriel (Lucas Bravo). Photo: Netflix
There are also rumours of a queer storyline with Emily in season two. The love triangle between her, Gabriel and Camille could become even more complicated, which is hardly surprising. Despite Emily getting with men only in season one, she had a few ambiguous moments with Camille.
Whatever you think of Emily in Paris, there’s no denying its attractive, propulsive appeal during an apocalyptic time. Who knows what real-world horrors await between now and season two, but happily this lush and ridiculous comedy will be waiting. A sugary escape from all the chaos.
Emily in Paris season 2 is available on Netflix from Wednesday 22 December.
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22 Dec 21 – 22 Dec 22, ON NETFLIX
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