Remember when Emily could go to Paris?


Art by Emma Inge

Laney Green, Staff Writer

There may not be a consequential point in watching Emily in Paris, but you probably still should.

This new Netflix series is filled with heart, ambition, and stereotypical references that frame main character Emily, played by Lily Collins, as an underdog you can’t help but root for. 

The series begins with wide-eyed, overly optimistic Emily being offered the opportunity of a lifetime: a sporadic promotion and relocation to Paris. As she jets off to the city of love to work at a French marketing company that her Chicago based firm just bought, you’re thinking: “what could go wrong?” Unfortunately for Emily, a lot can. 

Upon arriving in Paris, Emily is quickly faced with a break-up, culture shock, and a snooty new work environment. Her French boss and coworkers don’t take a liking to a seemingly “know-it-all” American that’s trying to change the way they do business. Not understanding a lick of French also doesn’t help her case. 

The show itself relies heavily on the stereotypical, patronizing French attitude with just about every French character introduced. This harsh portrayal didn’t really come as a shock, however, as this isn’t the first time the cliche has been used. 

Throughout this series, you may find yourself wondering why you continue to skip the extra five seconds of wait time and instantly click “next episode.” I think a big part of it has to do with the show’s charm which reflects relatability. Emily is your everyday “girl boss” that’s been portrayed a million times, and as cheesy as the stereotype is, we all still want to be that girl. 

While this series falls into the genre of a romantic-comedy, the storyline of Emily’s love life is secondary to her work as a badass marketing executive. Her work ethic and determination to weasel her way into projects can be inspiring for other young women. On more than one occasion Emily’s mind gets her in trouble because she’s always thinking of the next big thing to promote, and often upstages her new boss’s ideas. 

The entertainment value of the show lies in the portrayal of experiencing a new culture and coming into yourself when you’re on your own. Learning how to struggle and keeping an optimistic mindset about your abilities, even when they don’t seem wanted, is something every young adult has to face. As Emily takes on a whole world of new challenges, you feel as if you’re right alongside her, cheering on her grit and next best idea. 

This series also sheds light on the fight women often encounter to be taken seriously in the workplace. In her first few days at work, Emily’s looks catch the eye of an important client of the marketing agency. This strategic plot point forces Emily to keenly use the client’s infatuation toward her to gain trust and have her ideas heard. While her looks were noticed first, it’s her brainpower that ultimately helps secure her place at the company.

Emily is really anything but one in a million. As an average straight, white, hot American girl, her everyday problems are minuscule compared to people facing actual oppression. However, her ability to seize the day and not look back is something to be admired. Throughout all the triumphs, struggles, and haphazard romances, I think many young women will find more than one thing that they can relate to in Emily in Paris.