There is something about Paris that is hard to explain. When you are there, everything just feels like it’s magic, as if every part of your body suddenly comes alive and things you didn’t understand suddenly make sense. It’s just a city that dreams can be reality.
And it’s also one of my favorite cities in the world. So yes, I may be a little bit biased, but I am okay with that.
Emily in Paris combines two of my favorite things – Lily Collins and Paris. So yes, I was a little excited when I first heard of the show over a year ago. The show stars Lily as a young marketing executive who is sent to Paris for a year to provide an American perspective to a French marketing firm that her company acquired.
The first episode, entitled, “Emily in Paris,” sets up the characters and the season.
Emily brings her can-do American attitude and fresh ideas to her new office in Paris, but her inability to speak French turns out to be a major faux pas.
Lets break it down –
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
Emily wasn’t supposed to be going to Paris. She’s got a happy life in Chicago. A job that she loves. A boyfriend that she loves. She was supposed to watch her boss go to Paris and she was supposed to stay living her life in Chicago.
But here’s the thing about life – it takes you where you are supposed to go. It shows you what can happen when you least expect it. And for Emily that meant her boss Madeline finding out that she was pregnant and can’t go to Paris.
So Emily is offered the job. A year in Paris and she’s going to be able to secure a promotion when she returns to Chicago. But that means telling her boyfriend that she is leaving.
A boyfriend that is unsupportive or second guessing your life is a red flag. He should be supporting your dreams. And even though he seems half interested, his shitty attitude makes me hate Emily’s boyfriend from the beginning.
I hate a walkup. Like HATE. But living in New York, I am used to walking an influx of stairs.
Emily arrives in Paris to her old building, to meet her realtor. He’s a hot French dude. The building is old, no elevator and she gets the apartment on the 5th floor. She learns quickly that things are different in Paris.
The apartment is small and cozy. A studio. And that view makes the walk up all those stairs worth it.
It’s fucking beautiful.
The realtor hits on Emily and she remains loyal to her boyfriend, which hey, I would like to believe I would do, but it’s Paris. And who knows what that French accent and French D would cause a person to do.
Emily changes her Instagram handle to ‘EmilyInParis’ and you know that it’s going to be a big part of her identity in Paris.
SHOULDA LEARNED THE LANGUAGE
Emily arrives at the office and she is full of hope and optimism. I love the joy on her face. The guy at the front desk – which totally didn’t catch his name (he’s played by Samuel Arnold) is to die for. Love him.
Her boss, Sylvie, is quite cranky and elitist. But at the same point she’s got a draw that makes you entranced by Sylvie. The French at the firm have a lot of shit to talk about Americans and their food and weight. And I can’t stop laughing, because I have a love for the French and their bluntness.
Emily is set to lead a meeting and she is so excited, but I have to wonder why she is shouting. That doesn’t make her easier to understand.
Emily has a lot of ideas and wants to help the French firm grow. They are all thinking that it will be a disaster. Sylvie is annoyed and says with her as Emily’s boss, she won’t last long.
Emily though – she’s not going to let the world get her down. She’s not had the best first day and hangs onto the little bit of home that she has left by calling her boyfriend.
OH HI NEIGHBOR
Emily gets home and accidentally goes to the wrong apartment. See the French count the ground floor and then floor one. So Emily thinks she’s on the 5th floor but it’s the 4th and tries to open the door to the wrong apartment.
She meets Gabriel – the hottest French dude, with the hottest smile and accent. I ship these two from the start, which means it won’t be easy. But the moment that you see them together, it’s like I always say – you don’t choose the ship, the ship chooses you.
And I am all in. I don’t care if she’s got a boyfriend, he gotta go.
Emily stops to get breakfast – a chocolate croissant – and I will be the first person to tell you carbs are worth it in France. I don’t know what they do to their bread, but it’s sooooo good. It’s like you know you’re clogging arteries and getting fat from eating it, but you’ll take it.
Emily arrives at work and can’t get in. She’s pacing back and forth. She’s waiting for someone to answer a phone. She doesn’t know what’s happening. She has been there since 830, but the place doesn’t open until 1030.
I will say that as an American, I was taught to work hard and work all the time. I find fulfillment and happiness from work, but I wonder if I should. I don’t know how to relax or find it in other places.
And that’s sad.
I think Emily is the same, so I am interested to see her journey and how she handles it. Because Emily is going to need to learn how to live a life of balance. Countries are all different and we need to adapt to their ways when in them.
And if the pandemic has taught me one thing, it’s that we all work too much.
Anyhow – Emily is going to have to adapt and not judge. Though she’s judging hard core.
Nothing is going right for Emily. Sylvie strolls in late. Patricia – who handles social media – is off put by Emily. She runs from her and doesn’t want to hear what she has to say. She is trying to make friends in the office, but they all seem annoyed by her and have excuses not to go to lunch.
So like the champ she is, she goes to the park and meets her first friend. Mindy, a nanny.
Mindy is from Shanghai and has been Paris a year. She loves the city and says the city is great, but the people are mean. She thinks that Emily is there on vacation and when she says that she is actually there working, Mindy shows Emily her first bit of kindness. She takes Emily’s phone and puts in her phone number and tells her that if she’s lonely, to call her.
You can see Emily’s face and she feels optimistic. She looks as though for the first time she looks as though she can survive anything that Paris throws at her.
Emily returns to work and see’s everyone who wouldn’t have lunch with her coming back. They call her La Plouc – which means The Hick. She’s just wanting to fit in but they aren’t giving her a chance. But that doesn’t mean she’s giving up.
IS THIS SEAT FREE
Emily leaves work and head out to explore. She stops and is at a cafe and texts her boyfriend, who is in a meeting. He asks her if he can call later.
Luke from the office runs into her, and tries to tell her that they are afraid of her. Her ideas are scary. The Americans live to work, but in France people work to live. There are two different ideals and there has to be a balance.
I think that the talk was good for Emily, but it also made her feel a little lonely. She is so excited to be in Paris, but in the same breath, I think she didn’t think about the cultural differences.
So in the middle of the night her phone rings – I guess her boyfriend hasn’t gotten used to the time difference. But he’s horny and wants to have cyber sex. He’s already stroking himself before she even starts. She wants to talk while they are doing it, but the phone freezes and so whatever he’s doing, he’s going have to do on his own.
Oh well, at least she doesn’t have to fake an orgasm – though maybe it’s easier for her to achieve one on her own. Emily is ready to take care of her own business, but hey – old Paris buildings aren’t meant for modern day vibrators. She knocks out power in the entire building trying to plug it in.
Girl, get yourself battery operated.
Have you started Emily in Paris yet? What are your thoughts?