Emily in Paris: More Than Meets the Eiffel Tower

(Spoiler WARNING)


With award season winding down, I thought it would be nice to look back at the most interesting show to be nominated this award season, Emily in Paris. The show follows the titular Emily, a Chicago advertising executive who is unexpectedly shipped off to the French capital to fix up a marketing company her company just bought. When she arrives she must face off against a rude French boss who thinks “Americans are fat, uncultured idiots.” She also becomes involved in a love triangle with a French chef and her good friend in Paris. 

Now it might seem like that plot sounds very generic and stereotypical of the romantic-comedy genre. That is what I think, but the Hollywood Foreign Press does not agree with me. See, Emily in Paris was nominated for two Golden Globes for best comedy/musical show and for best actress in a comedy/musical show. I watched Emily in Paris weeks before the nominations were announced, and to say I was shocked would be like saying Nick Cage makes some peculiar acting choices. It forced me to rewatch the series. Below are my findings:


Plot: At first I reasoned the story of this show must be unique in order to warrant a Golden Globe nomination. It most definitely was not that. If the plot summary above did not make it clear, this show is chock full of clichés. 

The episodes follow Emily’s business adventures, which involve the influencer millennial showing all these old French people how to do marketing the new and cool way. Each episode follows the same structure: boss constantly limiting her, Emily messing up, and then Emily barely saving it at the last second. 

As for the love triangle, it’s a love triangle. Spoiler Alert: she ends up with “the guy” at the end. 


Characters: With the plot being a complete dead end, maybe the show is more of a character study with really interesting and dynamic characters. Emily herself is kind of interesting. Her actress, Lily Collins, does a great job giving Emily this bright and cheery demeanor which emphasizes the points where she is serious. However, I cannot remember the names of any other character, which is not a good sign. 

As such, I will from now on name the characters as I see fit. Emily’s best friend, Singer Nanny Lady, is a nanny who has escaped from her controlling and rich father to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. This sounds very promising, but ultimately she is not given too much to do and just falls into the raunchy friend cliché of rom-coms. Overall, I like her. There is something so inspirational about a character that is almost completely useless. 

That is the end of characters I like. Now on to everyone else. We got such classics as cynical French Boss Lady, French Pervert Coworker, French Pervert Client, Gay French Coworker, and of course, Hot French Chef. Hot French Chef is literally the most stereotypical person a show could have. I cannot put into words how absolutely bland and generically French he is.

Now I have not mentioned the other part of the love triangle, Hot French Chef’s Girlfriend. I did not mention her  because I forgot about her existence since I mentioned the love triangle. She is actually more interesting than Hot French Chef in how inconsequential she is. Unfortunately it is not enough to redeem her.

 Overall, given that I only like two characters in the show, I would say that it being a good character study is not the reason the show was nominated.


Paris: The second star of the show is the setting, the titular capital of France. This was my final attempt at finding some sort of originality that warranted a nomination. Emily in Paris embraces its setting wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, it embraces it in the same way Michael Scott forcibly kissing Oscar is embracing the LGBT+ community. 

The show features the previously mentioned Hot French Chef, because the French make good food and French chefs are hot. 

Emily frequents a bakery and visits many cafés to sit and have conversations with her bestie, Nanny Singer Lady. Speaking of which, when Nanny Singer Lady is persuaded to sing a song for Emily, she chooses “La Vie en Rose.” For anyone who does not know, “La Vie en Rose” is probably the most famous French song of all time by one of the most famous French singers of all time, Édith Piaf. I literally paused the show to have a good, healthy laugh at her singing it. 

I think at this point it is safe to say that Emily in Paris does not bring a unique vision to the “City of Love.”


All told, my investigation led me nowhere. In fact, I almost gave up on this article because I could not find a way to satisfyingly end it. Luckily, the world decided to throw me a bone. 

As it turns out the reason that the mediocre show Emily in Paris got two Golden Globe nominations was because Netflix, the producer and app where you can watch this masterpiece, shipped a bunch of the Hollywood Foreign Press out on an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris to “show off the set.” Now I am not suggesting that the voters getting to stay at a $1400-a-day hotel and eat fancy dinners might have convinced them to nominate Emily in Paris, but I am not not suggesting that either.