At the time of its premiere on Netflix in October 2020, Emily in Paris It quickly became a platform hit and readings about the phenomenon were, like the charm of the series itself, well in sight. The Darren Star 10-episode comedy starred Emily Cooper (a charismatic Lily Collins, also a producer), a young woman with an orderly life in Chicago who must face a challenge when her boss requests a transfer to work as a marketing consultant in Paris for a firm that works with luxury brands. From one day to the next – everything moves at the speed of light in the series – Emily leaves her boyfriend, her family and her culture behind to enter a world that is completely unknown to her, and that ends up subjugating her .
Therefore, while he is getting to know every corner of the city, he is sharing it in a social network of incipient popularity and, as a consequence, with the viewers. A) Yes the main objective of the series was exposed: to transfer the viewer to a world glam that he did not know of pandemics or confinements, and that he avoided conflicts whenever he could. It is impossible to dissociate the success of Emily in Paris from the context in which it arrived at Netflix, one in which escapism reigned, something that the series amply provides. Each episode, lasting no more than half an hour, is easily consumed, and its tone light promises us that nothing serious will happen. Indeed, nothing serious happens. As for the narrative lines, in a nod to The Devil Wears Prada, Emily struggles to be accepted by her new boss, Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), who uses the cultural difference card to undermine her work.
On the other hand, a love triangle when the young woman falls in love with chef Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), boyfriend of the friend who helps her integrate into that new microcosm, Camille (Camille Razat); and a character like Mindy, Emily’s confidant, is also included to provide the quota of comic relief, something that The actress Ashley Park succeeds in spades, in addition to adding other layers to a woman more complex than the rest about which the creator of Sex and the City for The production that was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy, amid a strong controversy.
This Wednesday, Emily in Paris returns with its second season, also of 10 episodes, one that maintains the tone of the first installment, with the exception of a cliffhanger which finally tests the maturity of the central character.
On the end of the first season, Emily, believing that Gabriel will leave Paris, confesses her love and the two spend a night together. Within hours he learns that the chef was offered a business that he could not refuse: being a partner in the restaurant where he worked. Thus, the young man ends up staying in the city, but generating an earthquake in the life of Emily, who, at the beginning of this second installment, spends her time worrying about her friendship with Camille, recently separated from Gabriel. If something characterizes Emily in Paris it’s his lack of subtlety, everything is over the top, from the looks of the characters even the way in which conflicts are generated and resolved. There seems to be drama, but in reality it is a mirage. The solution to the inconvenience is always at hand, and a problem can be eradicated with, to mention a case, a disconcerting tribute to Jules and Jim by François Truffaut that will not go unnoticed.
Emily is correcting her mishaps thanks to resources that – conveniently – come to her with extreme ease. As for the guilt she suffers for having betrayed her friend, it lasts for several episodes and is constantly crushed, in part due to Camille’s unlikely inability to notice what is happening between her friend and her ex. Thus, Emily in Paris returns focusing on the romantic life of its protagonist, who drowns his sorrows in, for example, a trip to Saint-Tropez in which the series confirms its need to turn the viewer into voyeur.
When the show realizes that it can’t drag on the details of the main love triangle too much, uses a new character to give some freshness to this second part: Alfie, played by Lucien Laviscount, a young British man who is in Paris only for work reasons. In an attempt to flirt with the screwball comedy, fiction conceives the convention of meet-cute (the primal encounter between two characters who will eventually fall in love) in the context of the French classes that Emily and Alfie go to together and where they immediately collide. The conflict”? He hates the city and she tries to persuade him with phrases like “For something they call it The City of Light”, “It is so romantic”, and other variations of that appreciation that makes it clear that Emily in Paris feels comfortable on the surface.
Thanks to Emily’s persistence, the misanthrope Alfie becomes more and more cosmopolitan, and a romantic chemistry emerges between them that jeopardizes a possible second chance for the protagonist and Gabriel. When the fiction does not treat the new character as a simple pawn to move the plot forward, the exchanges between Collins and Laviscount work, although they do not have much room for development either. At the other extreme we find Mindy’s romantic and professional life, which undergoes important changes very well addressed by Park. The actress proves once again that she is the strongest point of the series with a nuanced performance that cries out for a spin-off.
Without going into the field of spoilers, the secondto season of Emily in Paris He makes a cunning move when an unexpected character re-enters to change the story on one of its less explored edges: the ins and outs of Emily’s work with Savoir. A resounding change that occurs forces the young woman to assume greater responsibilities, and to live with the consequences of an imminent decision that puts her between a rock and a hard place. That sense of urgency is welcome for a light fiction, since it opens the fan and gives his central character -and those around him- narrative possibilities of greater flight.
Also, in those passages Collins shows she’s not only charismatic and can shoulder a comedy, but also there is a dramatic actress who sometimes seeks to surface. The series in which he stars, at least for now, seems to be listening to that request for fleeting disruption.
When to see it. The second season of Emily in Paris is now available on Netflix.
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Netflix: with new love and a big surprise, Emily in Paris returns with a second season