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Why Sylvie Should be the Main Character in ‘Emily in Paris’

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

Does anyone else agree that Emily in Paris‘s character Sylvie has a better life story and drama than the main character Emily? 

In case you don’t know, Emily in Paris is a Netflix show released in 2020. It is about Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins), a young marketing executive from Chicago who gets the opportunity to work in Paris. She is to replace her boss, who is pregnant and unable to travel to the French branch of the marketing company and bring an American perspective to the team. 

If you haven’t watched season three, I suggest you do because this article will contain MANY SPOILERS!


Season 3 starts with Emily having to choose between moving back to Chicago to work for Madeline or staying in Paris to work with Sylvie. Concurrently, she starts working on having a genuine relationship with Alfie while also strengthening her friendship with Gabriel and Camille without interfering in their relationship. It was a bizarre season for Gabriel and Camille. They get engaged while Camille is cheating on Gabriel, and Gabriel also isn’t hiding the whole being-in-love-with-Emily thing very well. However, that doesn’t stop them from throwing a spontaneous, impromptu wedding at the end. Long story short, at the altar, Camille says that Gabriel is in love with Emily and leaves, leaving Gabriel in shock. After hearing the confession, Alfie ultimately breaks things off with Emily. Before the credits roll, Emily and Gabriel meet outside the church and stare at each other for a while until Gabriel confesses to Emily that Camille is pregnant. Is it just me, or is it always the same drama?

I’d like to start this off by saying I have nothing against Lily Collins; she is a great actress. However, I feel that Emily lacks “main character energy” this third season, and it is more interesting to watch Sylvie being a total girl boss! For brief context, Sylvie Grateau (played by Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), is in charge of the French branch of the American marketing company. She ran Savour until the second season. I didn’t mention Sylvie in the season three recap because this article will discuss in detail moments from this newest season that made me realize that Sylvie Grateu, rather than Emily, should be the main character of Emily in Paris. Are you interested to know why? Keep reading!


As much as the character of Sylvie has a young spirit, the actress (and character) is 59 years old, which is crazy for how young she looks. 

I love that we explore more of her chaotic love life this season. She is in a relationship with Mathieu, hasn’t officially divorced her “ex” husband Laurent G, and still maintains a friendly relationship with his ex-lover and longtime client Antoine Lambert. Nonetheless, in the end, she only cares about her independence and her own happiness. Although she enjoys the company of all these men, she isn’t dependent on anyone. She doesn’t have  anything to prove, especially to any woman or man who might think she is involved with too many men (like Antoine’s wife, Catherine). The only person Sylvie is willing to answer to is herself, which is refreshing to see in a female character. 

Career-wise, Sylvie is the definition of a hard-working boss who knows what she wants and doesn’t settle for anything less. She is intelligent and expects that same intellect in her co-workers. She’s brutally honest and sometimes can seem rude or harsh, but I think she only seeks the good of the company and keeps standards high to attract big clients. 

Going back to the season three recap, Sylvie now has her own company, which might seem like it happened too easily. However, throughout the episodes, we see her struggle with dealing with paperwork, finding an office, building her team again, and, most importantly, finding clients. Things don’t happen overnight for her, and it’s an approach to reality that we don’t see in Emily’s life. Emily gets what she wants without effort, and while she’s passionate about what she does, I haven’t seen her really earn things. 

In addition, I found that this season unveiled the toxicity and sexism in the marketing industry, thanks to characters like Nicolas De Leon and his father, Louis. In episode eight, “Fashion Victim,” we learn more about Sylvie’s past. Sylvie talks with Louis De Leon, head of the JVMA, a company that handles marketing for luxury brands. Sylvie and Louis talk about how Sylvie started working for him as an assistant decades ago. He calls her “feisty and beautiful.” But Sylvie, skilled at playing his game, claims to “remember everything” regarding working with Louis and implies that he was creepy to her. It is incredible how she uses men’s egos and immaturity to her advantage. 

Her character is a unique portrait of a middle-aged woman who is navigating the peak in her career and wants to focus on enjoying life without judgment. It is not very common to see female characters around their 50s, 60s and older living life to fulfill their own happiness, but I’m happy to see Sylvie joining the list of powerful middle-aged female characters like in Grace and Frankie (Netflix) and the And Just Like That squad (HBO Max). 

So please, Darren Star(creator), give us a show about Sylvie! Until this happens, I guess I’ll have to wait to see her in season four once it comes out on Netflix. Au revoir!

Montse Pineda

UWindsor '25

Montse is an international student from Mexico. She is a film production student at UWindsor. She enjoys watching movies, getting to know female directors, and talk about the film industry in general. In her free time, she enjoys creating and sharing her art with others.