Review: Emily in Paris (Season 2)

Emily in Paris is about a 29 year old marketing professional who moves to Paris, France. It follows both her work life and her internal life, and, surprisingly for a show so camp and heavily exaggerated in places, it actually has some fairly relatable elements. For example, Emily’s inability to switch off from work and her anxiousness about doing her job perfectly are common real-world side effects of hustle culture that I’m pretty sure many people have experienced.

The programme is a hit – romantic, funny and certainly binge-watching material. But be warned that watching the show will inevitably lead to daydream after daydream about a rather unrealistic Paris (Emily in Paris is all sunsets over the Seine and no dodgy tourist scams). Lily Collins’ Emily Cooper gallivants across the French city, surrounding herself with many notable attractions, but together with the titular metropolis, the series has also been captured in lovely locales, which include the Loire Valley.

When season two hit Netflix, fans were at last reunited with the ultimate love-hate relationship that forms between the viewer and the protagonist herself. Whilst she can be immensely irritating, overly chipper and painfully frustrating, Emily also has the potential to be a good friend, and to treat people with kindness. Season two saw Emily continuing to soak up the City of Light, with a couple of lapses of judgement along the way – like lying to her friend Camille about sleeping with swoon-worthy chef Gabriel.

The brand new Emily in Paris season two is ready to watch exclusively on Netflix and it is composed of 10 episodes – not forgetting the previous 10 episodes of the show’s first season which are also still available to stream. While some Netflix series have episodes that run close to an hour, Emily in Paris’ episodes are a lot shorter. Due to its position as light entertainment, most of the episodes fall between the 26-30 minute mark – which is very refreshing compared to some of Netflix’s long and heavy dramas. I enjoy a story most when it’s broken down into manageable bite-size chunks and Emily in Paris delivers just that.

Out of the entirety of season two, my favourite scene has to be in ‘Do You Know the Way to St. Tropez?’ when Emily goes out to find Camille at the first light of day after their wild night of partying. Emily finds Camille at an lovely little church and the two have a calm, peaceful heart to heart. Camille recounts how she previously brought Gabriel to the church, where they had enjoyed a meaningful day together, accidentally crashing an intimate marriage ceremony.

When the first series of Emily in Paris appeared on Netflix in 2020, a great deal of viewers criticised its dependency on conventional ideas of French people. It was criticised, especially in France itself, for promoting archetypal impressions of the country and its residents. The French were not happy; a lot of them saw the show as ridiculous, insulting and heavily flawed. However, the show did redeem itself from an angle that originally came across as unpolished and tone deaf in its first season, by moving to a different take in season two.

In the most recent episodes, we see a satirisation of the role American culture plays within French, and more broadly European, society. By making Emily as big a presence as possible, the show begins to pull off a subtle critique on the invasive nature of Americanism around the world. Everything from Emily’s bold fashion to her constant enthusiasm begs to be the centre of attention. Even the simplicity of the insertion of her name at the beginning of the title shows a level to which she attempts to dominate, even in a largely unknown environment; it implies that the series could exist without Paris but never without Emily, as though Emily could implant herself into any city and remain the star of the show.

The hit Netflix show Emily in Paris was such a success in seasons one and two that an announcement has already been made to affirm that it will return for seasons three and four. As such, that leads the way to a plethora of questions about what is next for Emily Cooper. As the end of season two sees Emily being offered the lucky chance to stay in Paris for longer, a choice she at no time thought would be at hand, it becomes plain that Emily Cooper won’t leaving Paris anytime soon. I look forward to indulging in not one, but two more series.

Bridie Adams

Featured Image Source: Still via Youtube // Emily in Paris Season 2 | Official Trailer | Netflix / Netflix

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