New Netflix show, Emily In Paris, labelled "embarrassing" and blasted by French critics
That's probably what Lily Collins is thinking right now if she's reading the French reviews of her latest show, Emily In Paris, which landed on Netflix over the weekend.
On the surface the show is completely harmless.
Created by Darren Star and with Lily Collins in the titular role, we already know that half the people watching are die hard SATC fans who are hoping to re-live some of the 'Carrie in Paris' magic and in its defence... it kind of does.
The reason it's being dragged mercilessly by French critics is the blatant stereotypes used and we have to admit, it can be cringe-inducing at times.
As a nation, we endure potato questions whenever we go abroad, so I do feel the pain of the French people with the characters written with in-built snooty attitudes and absolutely no desire to speak English to the 'American hick' (their words not mine).
It's a pretty shallow portrayal, falling just short of having onions draped around the necks of every Parisian in sight.
What's potentially worse than the snootiness though, is the zero work ethic, the fact that every French person is flat-out smoking cigarettes regardless of the deathly consequences, and that ALL of them are mean.
That's not me being dramatic, they're all unabashedly awful to the lead character in the first couple of episodes.
In a review in Premiere, Charles Martin declares it a cliché culture-shock saying, "We learn that the French are "all bad" (yes, yes), that they are lazy and never arrive at the office before the end of the morning, that they are flirtatious and not really attached to the concept of loyalty, that they are sexist and backward, and of course, that they have a questionable relationship with showering. Yes, no cliché is spared, not even the weakest."
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Elsewhere, on the popular French TV and review site, Allocine, they awarded it a 2.9 out of 5 with many reviewers, again, calling out the blatant caricatures of the French one explaining, "Embarrassing series... as if Paris was all about fashion, romance, and croissants. No"
In my own opinion, similar to Devil Wears Prada, I find those "We're awful people just because you're new to the company'" workplace plots rarely hit the right tone. Having worked in enough media companies over the years, generally people are fairly welcoming and it's down-right rare that you'll have an offensive nickname hurled at you from across the office on your first day.
We all know there's a lot more to Paris (and the French in general) than fashion, romance and croissants, but I will say that Emily In Paris is a love-letter to the city, it's not trying to change the world and it makes you feel good!
Lord knows we all need a bit of escapism now and again.
Donnez-lui une chance, nous aimons Paris!