You’ve heard it all before. A perky American moves to Paris, charms the locals and lives her best life, all while sporting an immaculate designer wardrobe.
Welcome to Emily’s in Paris. Now back for a third season, the show has managed to maintain a loyal following that accepts its glaring flaws which, now that we’ve reached a third season, honestly aren’t worth holding against.
Yes, it’s still condescending to French culture, and Emily’s social media stardom remains ridiculously unexplainable, and her endless relationships won’t. If you’ve made it this far, you know what awaits you.
But even with all of that in mind, Emily’s latest Parisian escapades may disappoint even the most indulgent fans.
Lily Collins returns as Emily Cooper, sporting a new hairstyle. This time around, she’s faced with a big dilemma: stay in her current (probably exceptionally well-paid) position as marketing manager at Savoir and possibly return to Chicago with Madeline (Kate Walsh), or commit to her life in Paris. with his new friends. at Sylvie’s rival firm (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu). Emily is torn by her allegiance to both, and inevitably her indecision comes back to bite her.
Nor are divided loyalties unique to his professional life. Emily is still caught between two men – longtime crush Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) and her cheeky, cheerful boyfriend Alfie (Lucien Laviscount). Indeed, love turbulence is the theme of all the characters this season: Mindy (Ashley Park) is the object of adoration by two men, Camille (Camille Razat) struggles with her loyalty to Gabriel, and Sylvie argument with a jealous partner.
This show is admirable for possessing much of its core awkwardness, and its undeniable fluff factor managed to keep us all on our side despite meager storylines. These aren’t entirely devoid of interest (we all love a bit of romantic tension, and Mindy’s slightly unrealistic but inevitable journey to musical stardom has a certain quirky charm to it), but the pacing barely allows the one of those stories to turn into something meaningful.
Some feel awkward and rushed; others are laborious and unnecessary. Interesting tensions – like professional jealousies between Emily and Julien – seem to arise out of nowhere before expiring for lack of oxygen. The strongest change this season, compared to the beginning of the series, is the attention given to secondary characters like Sylvie and Camille, who have become more independent and take their turn in the spotlight. Unfortunately, Leroy-Beaulieu and Razat turned in lackluster performances that sap the show’s momentum and leave us desperate to get back to Emily’s ridiculously meaningless life.
Trouble is, having so far thrived on being easygoing and familiar, Emily in Paris is now trying a little too desperately to prove herself to something more outrageous and complex, tackling fluid sexuality (though in a relationship with Gabriel, Camille explores her feelings for another woman) and the toxic relationships – between Mindy and her new flame. Half of the ten-episode runtime is wasted repairing the damage from last season’s scandals to get everything back to square one, which feels like a betrayal of the audience – do twists and cliffhangers matter? back as fast as they jumped in? Why rock the boat if it’s only going to make you seasick?
Even the show’s silver lining — Emily’s once undeniable chemistry with Gabriel — is barely showing. Gone are the longing stares, lingering touches, and excessive sexual tension, and instead we meet what feels like genuine friendship. Yet even with that tension kept to a minimum, it’s like someone forgot to tell the showrunners. We are constantly reminded of a flame that seems to have gone out.
Emily in Paris will always have an amiable observability, but that seems to be all she has going for her. You can keep giving her the benefit of the doubt, but the charm is starting to wear off.
Emily in Paris season 3 is streaming now on netflix