Emily in Paris: Ringarde or Not?

Emily in Paris has proved to be the latest buzz around Netflix series created by Darren Star. Darren Star is also the creator of Sex and the City, if nothing else he has complete knowledge of how to leave me wanting to pack up my bags and move to a completely different city throughout his shows.

The show is based around a young Chicago junior marketing executive that must relocate to the company’s Paris location after her boss finds out she is pregnant and can no longer attend. The part of this entire ordeal that seems to be the most enraging to French critics is the fact that Emily moves to Paris without knowing a lick of French and it comes off as “arrogant” and “ignorant”. Critics have mentioned it appears that Emily “arrives to explain to us how life works” sarcastically. I will agree that on the show it appears as if Emily does not initially seem to embellish the French culture but she quickly begins to understand the people and learn the language as well.

Emily in Paris Netflix It is interesting because Emily wears the most berets throughout the show while no other French person seems to be wearing them as much as she does. I actually thought that most of her outfits were a bit tacky and that is evident when the famous designer in the show Pierre Cadeau calls her “ringarde” which seemingly translates to “basic” although French critics have mentioned that that is not in fact the correct use of the word. I believe the true fashion icons of the show are Sylvie and Julien which are coworkers of Emily. My theory is that they have created her looks to appear seemingly tacky and not posh enough for France to then show character development in the later seasons and prove that she is becoming a French girl even through her upscale fashion.

Many critics believed that Emily’s rise to Instagram fame in the show was exaggerated and unrealistic however, I think that sometimes the most random of things can become viral on social media, maybe not selfies throughout Paris, but you really never know. This part really did not bother me a bit because although the thousands of followers Emily could have been gaining a day seems farfetched it is really viable that she could have been an influencer prior to if this was happening in real life.

One of the best parts of the show as well as one of the most unrealistic is the beautiful men that Emily meets all throughout Paris. It appears that all of these men have a sophisticated look, career drive, and are crazy over her. I feel although unrealistic, it adds to the viewer’s desire to watch the show because it is so thrilling. People do not want to see the realities of life throughout their entertainment and that is exactly why viewers use shows/movies as an escape. Although unrealistic, I feel that many American shows/movies use this tactic of having beautiful people all over to persuade viewers to watch, and it works.

The part that I disliked the most about the show is that Emily is making friends throughout Paris and meets this gorgeous chef that coincidentally lives in her building, Gabriel, and they enjoy a back and forth flirtation. To Emily’s surprise, Gabriel actually has a girlfriend, Camille, which she goes on to build a friendship with although she still has secret feelings for Gabriel. Emily and Gabriel sort of team up and deceive Camille while sharing secret kisses and leading her on when she is questioning why her and Gabriel’s relationship is going south. I think this pushes the arrogant narrative even more because it feels as though Emily is betraying Camille when all she wants to do is be her friend and help her fit in.

Overall, I felt the show was a fun watch. If you can get past its stereotypes on French culture and view it as a lighthearted watch then it becomes much better. It is not the best show you will ever watch but as a college student, I loved seeing Emily’s career drive in the marketing field and her ideas for campaigns, and her overall zest for content creation. I would recommend this show if you are bored and have nothing else to watch on your show recommendation list.