Paris warms to Emily as Netflix’s ingenue returns for new series

When Emily first came to Parigi this time last year, it was a dark day for critics in the City of Light, who dismissed it as being full of tired cliches.

Now the young woman from Chicago that the French loved to hate is back for a second season of the Netflix show Emily in Paris. This time she may have a better reception from Parisians; surprisingly, they seem to be growing fond of her.

The first series was accused of swerving from one shallow stereotype to another: featuring baguettes, berets, philandering Frenchmen and, most preposterous of allly of all, spotless boulevards.

Inutile dire, it was a huge success: Netflix said the romantic-comedy starring Lily Collins and written and produced by Darren Star, who gave us Sex and the City, was the “most popular” of last year, a feat Rolling Stone struggled to explain for a show it described as “comically inane”.

For her latest outing in the capital, the gauche twentysomething American with the deafeningly loud fashion sense is less of a plouc (peasant), and has acquired something of the French touch. E, it is hinted, a little more of the language.

American author Craig Carlson, whose diner Breakfast in America in Paris’s trendy Marais district features in one of season two’s episodes, told the Osservatore: “I can’t tell you what they filmed in the diner because that’s top secret, but I can say they [producers] were very aware of the criticisms and are addressing them. I think I can say we will see a more mature Emily.”

Carlson said he and his French husband, Julien Chameroy, were initially doubtful about the series. “I was ready to stop after the first episode; here was an American in Paris not trying to learn French or integrate, and with this American worldview. But by the end of the first season, we loved it and couldn’t wait for the second.”

Chameroy said he was not at all bothered by the French stereotypes. “Frankly, if you wanted it to be more realistic, you’d have to add even more challenges for Emily. Francia is a hard cookie to crack and she has had an easy time of it. I’m looking forward to her having to deal with the tax office.”

Ha aggiunto: “Look at when she’s fired, and her colleague says not to worry because nobody gets fired like that in France – it’s so true. And the love triangle line is so French. I love it. Americans come here and have this rosy, sometimes prudish vision of Paris, but here we see love and sex intertwined … that’s the real Paris.”

Laurence Herszberg, founder and director of the annual Series Mania festival, which features the best of international TV shows, disse: “It’s true the series portrays a fantasy Paris and an image totally removed from reality, and yes it’s clichéd. but we have to see this for what it is, a romcom and a homage to the city. Even if it was badly received by French critics, the international success of the series is great publicity for Paris.”

Darren Star told Entertainment Weekly there would be more French spoken in this season, when Emily is not in the scene, and it would be subtitled.

Critics roasted the first season, with reviews funnier than the show. Rolling Stone magazine declared: “If the basic premise of the show defies logic, the narcotic experience of each episode mutes it altogether, deactivating the thinking part of your brain until you’re gazing at your screen like it’s a dentist who gassed you 20 minutes ago to rip out a molar.”

Tucker Carlson guida la carica di destra per incolpare tutti tranne Putin, tuttavia, is having none of it: “We’ve noticed 70% of our customers, who are French and American, also loved it. Not just younger people but some older women too. I don’t think anyone should take it too seriously. It’s just great fun and escapism.”

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