‘Emily in Paris’ lacks character depth

Brianna Carmack, Print Editor-and-Chief

Netflix has managed to release an abundance of new shows and movies that have been keeping people busy while we are currently facing a worldwide pandemic. One of the most recent popular shows that has come out is “Emily in Paris.” 

One of my favorite actresses, Lily Collins, was casted in this 10-part series, so of course I was meaning to watch it as soon as it came out. However, I was left more disappointed than expected.

“Emily in Paris” follows the young and ambitious Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) as she unexpectedly jets off from Chicago to Paris to work at a luxury marketing company. Because this year-long trip was so last-minute, the fact that Emily can’t speak French becomes one of the biggest conflicts throughout her time in Paris. 

Along with that, Emily also faces a huge culture shock that lands her getting into trouble at her job countless times throughout the show. However, Emily’s Americanized ideas help her excel in her career, despite the fact that she hasn’t taken a lot of initiative to learn the language or the culture. 

This is what I have the most problem with.

It seems like in any bad situation, Emily always has a way out, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for growth. This is a common theme throughout the whole show. In a way, it feels as though Emily lives in her own utopia where she is the only one who is allowed to resist personal development and growth. Emily states in an episode that she was always liked growing up and that she never left the state of Illinois. It’s quite possible that the show’s intentions were that her whole mentality throughout was based on her past of not experiencing life outside of her own bubble. If the idea is to make the main character feel like a winner in all cases, then the show does an exceptional job of doing that. But I feel like if there was more depth to Emily, her character might be more interesting. 

As mentioned before, Emily isn’t immune to pure luck. All of her friends that she meets in Paris speak English, including everyone she works with. This gives Emily an easy pass for a lot of the more complicated situations she faces. Emily’s boss, Sylive (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), antagonizes Emily the most throughout the season. Honestly, I can’t blame her. Emily’s lack of learning the language and culture while implementing American work ethics into the marketing branch seems ignorant in a way. 

Although season two has not yet been confirmed, director Darren Star said in an interview with OprahMag.com that “[Emily] is going to be more of a part of the fabric of the world she’s living in.” As much as I am glad that Emily won’t be as closed-minded in season two, I feel as though the plot will be weaker than in season one. Considering the way season one ended, I would think season two would start at exactly that place. However, if season two begins in a time where Emily has already familiarized herself to French culture, the transitional aspect of Emily growing and learning from her mistakes won’t be included. This will not add depth to Emily’s character, ultimately creating another bland protagonist. 

As much as I have criticized the show for the lack of struggle Emily faces, “Emily in Paris” was definitely binge-worthy. Even though I dislike Emily in many ways, I’ll have to admit, her character is pretty relatable. Other characters, such as Sylvie, Emily’s neighbor Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) and two of Emily’s goofy coworkers, Luc (Bruno Gourey) and Julien (Samuel Arnold), add a lot of humour to the show, making it quite entertaining. 

The scenery of the show is great as well. This could also be because I crave traveling right now and the film actually takes place in Paris. Plus, I’ll watch any show if it includes hot French men and let me tell you, there’s a plethora of French men in “Emily in Paris.” 

“Emily in Paris” is a great show… if you’re bored or happen to be living in a worldwide pandemic. It’s full of French cliches, hot French men and beautiful Paris scenery that is entertaining only if there is nothing else to watch and you are in need of something to pass time. But, when looking deeper, the show lacks of character development and interest.