Emily In Paris: Why I'm Not Mad At It

Emily In Paris is a fantasy, just not mine, and that‘s okay.

Emily In Paris / Lily Collins  takes a photo against a Parisian backdrop
STEPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX

I‘ve always been intrigued by Paris. From my nine year love affair with learning the French language to the fact that my own mother was born there, I've always felt a deep connection to the city. Having had the privilege of visiting Paris three times in my life I can definitely agree with some of the critiques people have about its rose-tinted representation in the media. I was definitely surprised as a preteen by how 'normal' the city felt when I first visited. There were way more people of colour than I'd ever seen represented on TV, people on the streets weren't dressed as if every moment was a fashion show and honestly, I was relieved! I didn't feel self-conscious or out of place at all, I felt free to explore the city however I wanted.


So naturally when I saw the trailer for Emily In Paris I was curious to see how they would play this out. As someone who has been searching for years for a show to replace my Gossip Girl obsession I wondered if this could be it? While the trailer didn’t give much away, I still hoped I would be pleasantly surprised and that it would have the depth I’d been longing for.


Unfortunately none of that happened and it’s safe to say Gossip Girl still remains undefeated for me. But what surprises me more is that I’m actually not mad at it. Maybe I’m just desensitised and have given up expecting the mainstream to represent POC in any sort of nuanced way. Perhaps being able to refer to shows like Insecure when I’m in need of a little culture and comfort has softened the blow of being overlooked in shows like Emily In Paris. Or maybe 2020 has just sucked so much already, that an escape from reality is just what the doctor ordered. Did it hit all the diversity cues that shows and movies seem to throw in purely for the POC/women’s vote of approval? No, but I’m actually kind of relieved to see a show that isn’t blatantly trying to pander to me. If they didn’t want to be inclusive, I’m glad they didn’t force it. Luckily in the times that we’re in, there’s plenty of amazing talent that know how to represent POC and do it justice. Emily In Paris is a fantasy, just not mine, and that‘s okay.

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