‘Emily in Paris’ tests negative for COVID-19

Physically I’m here, but mentally I’m in Paris

The popular Netflix's series captures a world without  a global pandemic.
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Netflix’s latest bingeworthy show, Emily in Paris, has been the perfect way for me to escape the harsh realities we’re facing today. From the bright, vivid colours to its amazing soundtrack, the show captures the magical essence of Paris. I was a little hesitant to watch the show, but gave it a chance after realizing Darren Star was the mastermind behind Emily in Paris—surely the creator of Sex and the City wouldn’t let me down.
 
Before watching the show, I mentally prepped myself for a watch that would bring out my inner cynic. Was this series going to confirm my beliefs that real life sucks, and will never be anything like television and movies? In case you’re wondering, my inner cynic didn’t emerge, and if anything, Emily in Paris had the opposite effect.
 
To watch a hot new show that takes place in a world without COVID-19 is strange. These past few months, I’ve been stuck on old sitcoms in which smartphones aren’t even a thing, let alone coronavirus—and Grey’s Anatomy, which is incorporating the pandemic into its storyline, is far too real for me right now. 
 
Emily in Paris is full of whimsy and colour; from the fashion to the music and sex positivity. The show follows Emily on her journey from Chicago to Paris after she’s offered the opportunity to work for a marketing firm in France that her previous company acquired. Her new job is to bring an American perspective to their firm. There’s just one catch: Emily doesn’t know any French.
 
Emily is chipper and motivated to get started until she realizes the disconnect between American culture and Parisian culture is more intense than she had expected. As she makes friends in the city and slowly tries to pick up some French, she begins to let loose and go with the flow of a Paris lifestyle. Throw some of the cutest outfits—seriously, I can only wonder how much Emily is being paid to afford clothes like this—fun music, and love triangles into the mix, and you’ve got your latest binge.
 
The show does have a few problematic moments though, which has been a common thread of criticism among its viewers. From an unconsented grope by Emily’s friend’s brother to a package of lingerie that’s delivered to Emily by one of her superiors, many people online have deemed the normalization of these moments on the show to be unproductive and wrong. When I first watched these scenes, I was quick to agree—Emily’s such a feminist, so why doesn’t she address these issues through that lens on the show?
 
That’s just another harsh reality of the world we live in today—we can’t consume media without critical analysis. At times it’s exhausting, but it’s necessary. And if a show makes you think while keeping you entertained, perhaps it’s doing its job.
 
I really don’t know if  I’d enjoy Emily in Paris more if certain scenes didn’t exist. Right now, I like the show and am invested enough to trust Emily's character will develop. I think that’s what we’re supposed to like about Emily: she’s not perfect, but she’s not a mess. She’s quite average, but in a charming and relatable way.
 
During these strange times, I’ve often found myself limiting my dreams and hopes for the future. But watching Emily in Paris reminds me of a different world and reality, one ripe with opportunity for adventure. 
 
The show doesn’t capture what the world used to look like before the pandemic, but it certainly resembles the romanticized version in my head. While I can’t move to Paris right now, at least I’ve started daydreaming about it again. Without this show, I don’t think moving to Paris would even be an idea in my head—it would’ve been far too cluttered with thoughts about the reusable masks I plan to buy, online learning, racial tensions around the world, and much more. 
 
As corny as it sounds, this show reminds me to dream big. Maybe a “Live, Laugh, Love” sign above my bed could do the same thing. But for me, Emily in Paris gave me the inspiration to not lose hope that one day, I’ll live a life in a world where I can work for a bougie marketing firm, wear glamorous clothes, and find love in Paris. Emily in Paris is relatable and reminds us that any one of us could be Emily.
 
I’ve been to Paris before, and while I wasn’t swept off my feet by beautiful men or working at a fabulous marketing firm, I felt pretty unstoppable while standing underneath the Eiffel Tower. Emily in Paris makes me want to feel that way again. 
 
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