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Series / Emily in Paris

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Emily in Paris is an American TV series created by Darren Star. It debuted on Netflix on October 2, 2020, and has aired three seasons with a fourth upcoming.

Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) is a young and ambitious Chicago ad exec who is sent to Paris to be the American connection in Savoir, an ad agency specializing in luxury brands acquired by her company.

But when she gets there, she gets the Culture Clash to end them all and has to learn to adapt to her new reality.

Emily in Paris provides examples of:

  • Accidental Kiss: When Emily meets Camille for the first time, a misunderstanding with the local "a kiss on each cheek" custom results in the two women briefly locking lips.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT mention Durée Cosmetics in the Savoir office.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Emily gets one with Gabriel after he helps save her business dinner... Only for it to be subverted minutes later when she learns her new friend is also his girlfriend.
  • Costume Porn: Most of the characters are dressed in expensive, fashionable clothing.
  • Culture Clash: This is the show's central theme. Emily, who is a young American woman, goes to Paris and finds her attitude and views clash with that of French people's on many things. For instance, she finds an ad which consists solely of a nude woman walking over a bridge problematic (at best) — the French simply don't get what the issue is. She's pretty surprised by how casual Antoine and Sylvie are about having an affair, of which his wife is aware. When her colleagues are told about her firm's "corporate commandments", which include avoiding workplace romances, Luc heatedly accuses her of seeking to "kill their French soul". In addition, they also find a lot of her ideas for marketing too overly crass and unconventional for their tastes. Nonetheless, some like Camille and Gabriel are still charmed by her.
  • Dinner Order Flub: While having lunch with Mindy, Emily accidentally orders a condom with her croissant thanks to her awful French.
  • Disapproving Look: Emily is on the receiving end of many disapproving looks, especially from her manager Sylvie.
  • Doomed New Clothes: After convincing designer Pierre Cadault to donate a dress for an auction, Emily herself ends up modeling it at the event. To her and Pierre's dismay, the dress is bought by avant-garde designers Grey Space, who promptly proceed to ruin it by pouring black paint all over it... on the auction's stage, with Emily still wearing it.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Mindy had hidden from her Chinese friends that she had quit singing and was working as a nanny in Paris, but when they show up in the city for a bachelorette party and she works up the courage to tell them, it turns out they knew it.
  • Family Business: The small champagne company run by Camille's mother, which she expects to pass on to her children.
  • Flipping the Bird: Emily ends her short-lived relationship with semiotics professor Thomas by giving him the middle finger.
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Emily learns that "shower" is "douche" in French. She immediately declares to Gabriel, her love interest:
    Emily: I had a wonderful "douche".
  • Gay Paree: The series takes place in an affluent, picturesque white-washed Paris populated by French stereotypes.
  • Germanic Depressives: In the first episode, this is the subject of a joke by Emily's new French colleagues.
    Paul: Without pleasure, who are we?
    Sylvie: German.
  • Grammar Correction Gag: Thomas, after Emily dumps him at the ballet:
    Emily: Thomas, since you're a professor of signs, I'm sure you won't have any trouble recognizing this one. [flips the bird at him, starts walking away]
    Thomas: That's more of a gesture.
  • Hammerspace: Where Emily's Unlimited Wardrobe is being apparently kept in. She has exactly two racks for her clothes in her apartment — too small to contain even a third of all the things she wears just in the first season. By season two, when Mindy moves in, this goes into an overdrive.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: At the beginning of an episode, Emily is woken up by the noise of Camille and Gabriel's morning sex. Later on, it's her orgasms with Thomas preventing them from sleeping at night. Camille is amused about it, Gabriel not so much.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • In the very first episode, Luc (who had been complicit in mocking Emily) gently but firmly calls Emily out on her arrogance of coming to work for a French firm without speaking a word of French, imposing her ideas on them even though she has zero experience working with luxury brands and expecting people to just go with it.
    • Doug is written as a Hate Sink, but he does bring up the fact that Emily doesn't know a lick of French as a reason why she shouldn't go to Paris.
    • For those who aren't a fan of Emily, when it comes to the conflict over the problematic perfume ad, it's hard to argue with her basic logic that a marketing firm should try not to offend their consumer base, not every culture supports Parisian values or surrealism, and an advert where a naked woman is apparently being objectified by several men is not going to translate well to an audience in the US.
    • In season 2, Madeline comes to France to review Savoir's work; she is portrayed as the culturally clueless American who is stifling the French staff's creativity and relationships — however, many of the issues she raises (such as Sylvie cutting a deal on fees with a client while having an affair with said client, as well as the staff being unwilling to adhere to the new rules set out by Madeline's company, which is the parent company of Savoir) are actual significant workplace missteps. Subverted when Madeline's heavy-handed means and lack of any care for cultural nuance ends up with Savoir losing clients and employees, essentially leaving her with an empty shell of a company.
  • Mean Boss: Madeline, bordering on Pointy-Haired Boss. When she arrives to Paris in season 2, she makes it clear to everyone that they can either make things her way, or take the highway, completely disregarding the fact she's no longer in the States nor dealing with Americans. This bites her back to comedic proportions: her clients resent her or end up offended and quit (but not before chewing her out) and then all her employees leave, too, taking said clients with them.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In season 2, Mindy tries to set up her bandmate Benoit with Julien. It backfires because Benoit is actually straight and crushing on Mindy.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: This series discards Smoking Hot Sex and instead indicates an intercourse happened with using the strategically placed bedsheet.
  • Monochrome Casting: This is 21st-century Paris, yet there is only one regular Black character (and even he is more peripheral compared to most of the other office staff featured) and no North Africans!
  • Mrs. Robinson:
    • Emily sleeps with Camille's teenage brother, mistaking the French school system of collège for its American meaning, and because Camille announced they'll meet her adult brother but never clarified having two brothers. Fortunately he's 17, so no statutory rape under French law (which has a normal age of consent of 15 years of age, except for adults with authority over the teenager).
    • Madeline hoped young handsome Frenchmen would fall for her, citing French president Emmanuel Macron, who married a former teacher of his who is 25 years his senior, as proof that the French live by this trope.
    • In Season 2, Sylvie has an affair with a young Dutch photographer, who is at one point mistaken for her son by a waitress.
  • Really Gets Around: For all her comical prudishness, Emily has a particularly active sex life, sleeping on average every other episode with another man.
  • Scenery Porn: Both within the plot and in establishing and transition shots, nary a moment goes by when you're not reminded of how beautiful Paris is.
  • Spoiling Shout-Out: Emily and designer Pierre Cadault talk about Gossip Girl and the latter reveals the identity of the title character.
  • Those Two Guys: Luc and Julien, Emily's coworkers, are rarely seen far from each other and usually speak to her in tandem.
  • This Is Reality: A theme for the early episodes as Emily's views of Paris were all from romantic movies and novels. She quickly gets an eye-opener to what the "real" city is like with some of the residents openly sighing they're tired of Americans not knowing the true Paris culture.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: When Emily receives lingerie from a married man (who is already having an affair with her boss Sylvie) Mindy encourages her to have an affair with him. She's not out to sabotage Emily; instead, she's just a person who makes bad decisions all around without a shred of self-awareness
  • "Ugly American" Stereotype:
    • Pretty much every single extra character that's American fits the trope to the T, being either crude, rude or both. And all of them are overweight.
    • Downplayed by Emily, who's generally nice and more ignorant than arrogant. Still, she goes to France not speaking the language, not simply as a tourist but for a job there, while expecting her colleagues will simply conform. Additionally, she tries to impose American values somewhat in the company (this does not go well) and negatively compares some French things with US culture.
    • Season 2 takes it a step further with Madeline, her boss, who in short order drives the company to the ground by being absolutely unable and, more importantly, unwilling to adjust to the local style of doing business.
      Pierre Cadault: Darling, you can speak all the badly-accented French you like, but I will never understand you and you will never understand me.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Pretty much no character wears the same outfit twice, and Emily and Mindy are always in stylish outfits despite living on a marketing professional and nanny's salary respectively. Emily's fashion is one of the biggest talking points of the show, whether you love or hate her outfits.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Or actors; Lily Collins who plays Emily revealed that while Emily's age is never specified, she envisioned the character as being 22 years old; disregarding the fact that Emily is supposed to have a Masters degree (in Marketing or Communications, the show flip-flops between both) and enough work experience to be a natural choice for her company to send her to Paris — which suggests Emily is a genius who graduated school young, or more realistically Collins doesn't know how long it would normally take to work to that level of experience. The show eventually revealed Emily is the more plausible twenty-eight but this makes Emily's sleeping with a seventeen year old even more Squick.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo:
    • Emily goes with Camille to a gender-segregated Turkish bath, which is essentially a sauna, wearing a bathrobe. Not only this completely defeats the purpose of being there, she's clearly uncomfortable with every other female being naked.
    • She also ends uh having sex with Camille's younger brother, Timothée, who is 17. She completely freaks out when finding this out... and is the only character who has any sort of issues with this (not to mention people openly poking fun out of her reaction).


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Peyton Loves Emily in Paris

Thanks to Emily in Paris, Peyton now speaks love.

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