Emily in Paris or Gossip Girl?


Darren Star has done nothing but single-handedly changed the game for female-led TV shows. He created 90210, Younger, and the most famous of all, Sex and the City. He brought every woman a character that they could relate to and situations that would remain relevant for the ages. His newest release has been Emily in Paris, a Netflix series about young adult Emily landing herself a job in place of her boss in no other than the "City of Love."

Emily from Emily in Paris Darren Star Productions

I was perusing Netflix one day, the typical activity during this pandemic, when I noticed the top ten section had a new show. I don’t typically research Netflix shows and had yet to hear the chorus lines of praise for this show; hence, I binged it. Little did I know, it would soon be the talk of the town on Instagram stories and podcasts that I relate to. They were letting me know how immature they felt the show to be, how silly, and seriously, what the hell is with Emily's style? Not very Parisian in the city that remains minimalistic.

It took me a total of three days to binge it from beginning to end, a series that has 10 total episodes. When I first started watching it, I felt cringe. Why was this twenty-something girl still taking selfies in the way thirteen-year-old me would in 2009? Why was she so obsessed with this man, her boyfriend, that was a total dud and kind of an asshole? What the hell was her wardrobe? Seriously, the wardrobe. I don't even respond to fashion as I did when I was a fashion major, and all I wondered was why the stylist chose these clustered pieces.

Paris streetview Montmartre cafe with pink flowers Photo by Marloes Hilckmann from Unsplash

Having been a longtime fan of Sex and the City and all of its glorious chaos, I was a little surprised by the lack-luster Emily in Paris offered. I watched as Emily moved to Paris to be the new coordinator of marketing at a firm that her company is working with. The people there are rude and arrogant, which is not unordinary for the typical Parisian. She tries so hard to get the admiration and respect from her boss, Sylvie, who mirrors Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. I watched as she developed relations with new men while attempting to salvage her long-distance partnership with her boyfriend (the boyfriend she eventually dumps). She soon gets caught up in this iffy love triangle between her newest friend in Paris, Camille, and her neighbor, Gabriel (who ended up being in a long-term relationship).

She only found this out after she had slept with Gabriel, of course. She develops the best friendship with Mindy, an au pair and aspiring singer, and Mindy was the highlight of the show, giving true Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones performances.

As I watched Emily continue to create these relationships I came to a realization. She may have to choose her affair with Gabriel over her friendship with Camille, just one problem: Gabriel intends to leave. He has this offer in Normandy to open up his restaurant, as he is the star chef at the restaurant conveniently down the street from their flats. The night he intends to leave, Emily shows up to profess her love, shocked to find Antoine, another man that feigned interest in her there at the restaurant with Gabriel. She finds out that Antoine has decided to fund buying the restaurant for Gabriel so he could stay and make memories of his own. This sparked confusion in me: why did the man wanting to sleep with Emily wish to fund a project for her boy toy?

coffee shop by large windows and plants Photo by Kris Atomic from Unsplash

This bids the question: will Emily and Gabriel end up together? Will Camille and Emily stay friends if Camille finds out the sparks that Gabriel and Emily have for one another? Xoxo, Gossip Girl. Oh, right. This is not Gossip Girl, though it completely reeked of the hit 2007 sitcom. All in all, Emily in Paris gave me vibes of the type of show I would have adored when I was a freshman in high school. As a 23-year-old woman, I want something more sophisticated to invest in. By all means, try it, see if you like it. It wasn’t terrible, it was just very cliché if you’re into that sort of thing.