Meet Emily – a bright, vivacious and a tad bit annoying American who suddenly finds herself in Paris for a new job. She lands in Paris, makes an Instagram account to document her year in the city, posts a picture of a croissant on Instagram and boom she’s hit 20,000 followers. And you’re just like, where, what, when, HOW? But that’s what Emily in Paris is about. It requires you to leave all sense and sensibility aside and just immerse yourself into Emily’s world.
Created by Darren Star of the Sex and the City fame, Emily in Paris has been produced by the show’s star Lily Collins and follows Emily as she navigates her life in Paris and tries to add an “American touch” to the firm she works at. She breezes through life with the mantra ‘fake it till you make it’ and still manages to get everything right and save the day while running around the city in her cutesy clothes and heels (Again, HOW?). She makes friends on the street, has a hot neighbour, gets invited to all cool parties and events in town and eats all the butter and chocolate croissants she wants without gaining a pound. With all this, who wouldn’t want to be Emily? Or live in her world – where everything can be solved via Instagram engagement?
As a 20-something girl living in Pakistan, I can say with full conviction that every girl in the country wants to be Emily in Paris. She wants to be able to live her own life in a charming city like Paris, away from the prying and judgmental eyes of the society and relatives, do a job she loves, post pictures on social media without a care in the world, and eat and drink as many croissants and Starbucks as she likes without putting on a pound. She wants to be able to walk free on the streets without worrying what awaits around the corner or if she’ll make it home safe. She wants to be able to date and hang out with whoever she wants without being labelled a s***. She just wants to be free to live her life the way she wants. And the way Emily does.
It is rare for a show like Emily in Paris to trend at number one on Netflix Pakistan, given the show and movies that nab the top spot are either all-time favourites (Diriliş: Ertuğrul, Friends), Bollywood films, action/crime (Money Heist/Sherlock) or soft porn (365 Days). For Emily to make such an impact proves my earlier stated point and shows that Pakistanis love an absurd rom-com just like any other. They are done with love triangles and saas-bahu stuff that are shown regularly on television, most of it which is also not relatable.
Emily in Paris is far from reality but the beauty of it is that it doesn’t even pretend to be real. Even the French have accused the show of stereotyping French people and culture and presenting an image of Paris that even they don’t recognise. But the creators of the show knew exactly what they were doing. They wanted to transport their viewers to the charming, cobbled streets of Paris and give them a stress-free vacation right in their living rooms. The episodes are short and crisp – less than half an hour each – and easy. They don’t demand you to use any of your brain cells. That with lots of eye candy including good-looking people (Sigh Gabriel), dreamy locales, beautiful clothes (though I have to add Emily’s wardrobe did not impress me) and some witty one-liners (courtesy Julien), Emily in Paris is trash television at its finest.
“Don’t you want to go to the movies to escape life”, Emily asks her colleague in one of the episodes. That one dialogue is the gist of the whole series and the reason why you should also be watching it.
Meanwhile, latest reports have suggested that Emily in Paris will be renewed for another season. In an interview, the show’s creator Darren revealed that he has plenty of ideas for season 2 in which “Emily is going to be more of a part of the fabric of the world she’s living in. She’ll be more of a resident of the city.”