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Emily in Paris TV

Just started watching this series on Netflix. Great Paris scenery, some fun info on culture and language.

In one episode she visited the Atelier des Lumieres which has this amazing Van Gogh exhibit with several of his classics projected on the walls as if your almost inside it. I can't figure out how long the exhibit will be there and whether I can see it next fall when I hope to be in Paris. Fingers crossed.

Posted by
99 posts

I’m surprised the exhibit is still there. I saw it last October in Paris. It was wonderful, although some of the music choices were jarring to me. I still sat through it almost 3 times. .

Posted by
6807 posts

I've only watched one episode so far. Just a note that this series has gotten a lot of negative criticism for indulging in stereotypes: both of rude Parisians and of clueless arrogant young Americans. Maybe something to learn from watching with that in mind.

(added) just realized the star is the daughter of Phil Collins (the singer).

Posted by
810 posts

Concur with the comments that the stereotyping is a bit much but I still think the show is fun, love getting a free language lesson and seeing the sights. If streaming this means missing political ads right now, count me in.

Posted by
6732 posts

I saw wanted to love this as I love Paris and our trip this year like many of yours was aborted. Alas the first episode introduces characters to grating and annoyingly stereotypical that I am hesitant to watch more of it. NO American company would send a twit like Emily to represent it. I wonder if they chose that name to suggest the character in the film 'Amelie' where a similar twit (but this time a French one and one with some charm) cavorts in Paris. A 'cute' 'adorable' stuffed animal of a character can be charming but it is really irritating as a supposedly high powered business woman.

We will try again because we love Paris, but the first episode was close to unwatchable managing to insult the character of both Americans and the French. It reminds me of Hallmark movies where some young naif walks into the business and rescues it with a 'few clicks of the mouse' -- 'Website' -- who knew?

Posted by
494 posts

Janetravels44...I agree 100%. I couldn't get through the first episode. Maybe I should try watching it with the sound off. Who writes this crap?

If you can tolerate subtitles, as an alternative, I recommend Call My Agent.

Posted by
2444 posts

I think the criticisms of Emily in Paris are valid. But to me, it's just another box of candy from Darren Star - shallow, silly fun, with a totally sanitized image of Paris. I'm having fun watching it.

Posted by
7708 posts

Parisians have been amusing themselves making fun of the show, making pastiche video montages of Emily’s “real” ride in from the airport etc.

Writing a piece mocking the show seems to be a mini cottage industry right now among writers in both the anglophone and francophone press . . .

But I can only imagine that watching something that lets you avoid the political ads during these last few weeks is INDEED a huge relief !! That would count for a lot.

Posted by
76 posts

The show started off as cringe-worthy but as the episodes went on, we have started to enjoy it more. I haven't finished it yet, but I was surprised her phone hasn't been grabbed out of her hands yet.

Exhibit scene was great. It was interesting in real life too. I haven't been to what they're showing now, though.

I did think it was funny how they shot a scene in Montmartre at La Maison Rose, then they went all around central Paris, and then ended up on the same street they started at in Montmartre and acted as if they had never been there.

It's a nice escapism series for the covid-19 era where Americans can't travel to Paris for leisure and where some of us in France remember how it was not than long ago.

Posted by
119 posts

As someone who watched the complete series last night, the criticism noted in the comments above are accurate. I only pressed play on episode 2 because well it's got views of Paris. Episode 1 is terrible. At about episode 3 the show grows on you. Yes, the characters are shallow, the plot is super predictable, it's full of cliches, the love triangles are ridiculous, but it's also fun. Paris is, of course, the best character in the film. Give it a try, but you were warned, you will only miss Paris more if you watch this film (a blessing and a curse).

Posted by
2444 posts

Yes, the characters are shallow, the plot is super predictable, it's full of cliches, the love triangles are ridiculous, but it's also fun. Paris is, of course, the best character in the film. Give it a try, but you were warned, you will only miss Paris more if you watch this film (a blessing and a curse).

Exactly!

Posted by
810 posts

Thanx guys. Starting to feel I never should have mentioned the show. Plenty of serious shows to watch out there. Every now and then a little fluff is fine. I am bummed I won't see the Van Gogh show.

Posted by
1894 posts

I decided to give it a miss for now, based on the reviews I read online.
Paris deserves better!
Right now I'm obsessed with Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen's great film.
The music!!!

Posted by
119 posts

sj,
If you liked Midnight in Paris then you will love Emily in Paris too. It thought they conveyed the same cliches, love triangles, and the like. No going back in time though

Posted by
8513 posts

I thought it was hilarious, playing up the learning curve, starting with the 5th floor, without elevator.

Good article from Madame LeFigaro, Barbra, but what struck me was no mention of the stereotyping of the American who arrives like a bulldozer and all her faux pas.

I didn’t expect reality, so there was no disappointment. It was a good laugh at a learning experience that all of us who spent years living in Paris as single youngsters went through. It's a parody. That our lifestyles and finances were much simpler didn't affect what I thought of the show. I love the clothes, just like SATC. The one thing I hate is the too high heels on cobblestones. Ouch.

Posted by
512 posts

Like his other shows, Star's latest confection is a hyper-stylized, cliche-filled piece of fluff. And a light, entertaining watch, after the especially mis-tuned first episodes. Perhaps the tone moderates a bit as you go further into the series, as the principal character herself goes through an adjustment. I just take it for what it is, and take no offense.

I read through the French articles and see the objections there as well (but none complain about the cartoonish American characters). One of them linked to some social media content -- including recreation of her initial taxi ride into the city which showed the actual grime and grit of parts of Paris. I did see a misplaced critique that she must make 3x the SMIC (minimum wage) to afford such things as she does (in reality, an MBA-grad with several years of experience in a major US city on assignment could be earning at least 6 to 7 times that, and have her apartment paid for by the company).

Loved the Van Gogh exhibit at the Atelier des Lumieres.

Posted by
191 posts

I loved the Lumieres in Provence in a quarry! It is the same show that is in Paris. They develop a new show every year with different artists, and they shut down for a month (maybe January?) while they get set up for the new show. Van Gogh was 2019, the one I saw, and it was fantastic. I plan to visit the one in Paris next summer, no matter which artists are featured.

Posted by
2064 posts

Emily’s apartment is on the 5th floor, shown as the north corner apartment. In this building, if there ever were any chambres de bonne they would have been on the 6th floor. I've counted about 2 to 3 different interiors represented as her apartment at Place de l´Estrapade but the only interior that was certainly in this building was the one from where shots looking over the Place were included.

On the far side of the Place de l´Estrapade is indeed la Boulangerie Moderne. Next to the boulangerie is an Italian restaurant Terra Nera, shown in the series as les Deux Compères, a French restaurant. This is where the chef from the 4th floor of Emily’s building works.

La Boulangerie Moderne looks remarkable in the series but it serves very ordinary bread/pastries. It´s more of a snack/sandwich stop for the local students. The real gem, the pastisserie that should not be missed in this area is the Pâtisserie du Panthéon - Sébastien Degardin, located on rue St Jacques just a few minutes walk away.

The series is a lot of fun that no one should take too seriously.

Posted by
2916 posts

The current exhibition is Monet, Chagall, Renoir.

Not a bad collection of painters.

Posted by
1000 posts

I was prepared to hate it because of the negative reviews of how cringe worthy the show was. But much to my surprise, I’m enjoying it! Emily was the stereotypical loud American but she toned it down when it was brought to her attention. She’s also making an effort to learn French by going to classes. I love how the patisserie lady was helping her with her pronunciations.

Barbra, it is very interesting how they don’t show how she gets around other than walking in her high heels. She did say in one of the episodes that she’s scared to try the metro which I found interesting because she’s from Chicago where public transport is a must. I’m half way through the series so I’m looking forward to seeing more of Paris. I had a trip for last May that was cancelled.

Posted by
926 posts

I just finished watching this series last night and I really enjoyed it. Lots of overdone stereotypes, yes, but not taken seriously it was entertaining. I enjoyed the scenery. I too really liked the Van Gogh exhibit visit.

Posted by
2064 posts

I started to think about the chambre de bonne reference made by the real estate agent who shows Emily her new apartment.

  1. No foreign business entity would purchase a Parisian company, send their representative to Paris from the home office, and then house this person in a chambre de bonne. Chambres de bonne are tiny, located within the upper most parts of the building, have little to no insulation, certainly no elevator, and are not particularly comfortable places to live.
  2. Indeed, the woman living there would have spent most of her day working in her employers apartment at a lower level. Chambres de bonne were mostly found in buildings having apartment owners of sufficient means to employ staff. Examples of such buildings would be those of the Haussmann style of the mid to late 19th century or the Art Nouveau buildings of the late 19th century, very early 20th century. By the end of WWI, life changed dramatically and those employing staff or service personnel were few. I don´t believe that much of the post WWI construction included provisions for chambres de bonne.
  3. Emily’s building is in an older neighborhood, one that did not see a great deal of elaborate 5 or 6 story structures which would have included chambres de bonne on the 6th, 7th, and 8th floors. Indeed, I have always found the Place de l´Estrapade a bit creepy as I have always assumed that there was indeed an estrapade used there. By the end of the 17th century, I believe that the practice of torture using an estrapade had died out but the Place remains.

I think that it is very likely, that in the building Emily calls home, there never were any chambres de bonne. Perhaps modest accommodations or storage on the 6th floor but I don´t believe that the building was ever designed for owners who employed staff.

Posted by
512 posts

Since it is really not a chambre de bonne, but a 2 piece for all intents and purposes, I don't think it is that unusual to have an apartment like that, in that district, for a person like her. Especially since the company is not that large, and the unit does have a great view (however, if it was secured for her US boss it is likely not nice enough). I've done the expat thing in another French-speaking city and ironically, lived on the top floor of the building (but in a more spacious room) -- I had a healthy budget but chose one for 50% of that based on location and view.

Down south, I did consider buying a Hausmann-style apartment that came with an actual chambre de bonne on the floor above (complete with WC down the hall).

It is so true about the Atelier -- it normally would be packed with people littering the floors (I should share the picture reality vs. emily that I could construct). But everything else is idealized, so why not that as well? I view everything in Star's work as an amplified version of a tiny bit of reality (and she has been unsufferable).

Posted by
7708 posts

Were/are there apartment buildings with 7th and 8th floors? I thought there was a cap at the sixieme etage?

We have eight floors (European) in our apartment building, which was built in the early 1930s. I think the building next door (also Art Deco) is the same height.

Yes definitely would be nice to get the chance to sit for a while at the Atelier rather than having to stand through the whole thing.

Posted by
349 posts

On the topics of the chambres de bonne and foreigners in Paris there is an enjoyable RomCom movie called "Les femmes du 6e étage" ("Las chicas de la 6ª planta" in Spain), starring Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain and Carmen Maura.

It is set in Paris in 1962, and it centers on the Spanish maids who lived on the 6th floor and the their relation with the serious but uptight stockbroker who owns the building.

Posted by
7708 posts

Directed by the wonderful François Ozon. That is a great addition to the list.

Posted by
1894 posts

Well, I did give Emily in Paris a try after all, and ended up binge watching half the series last night!
I was surprised how much I'm enjoying it.
I do have to agree that her apartment is not a Chambre de Bonne; and I kept thinking: "Don't put your bag/phone/parcels on the seat next to you in cafes!"
No property thefts in this series!
It's a fun series that takes a lot of liberties in the name of Hollywood, but entertaining to watch anyway.
I love the b----y boss character who thinks she's God's Gift to everything!

Posted by
1246 posts

I thought it was a travel show so I watched the trailer. I couldn't sit through it, looks absolutely awful.

"film 'Amelie' where a similar twit" - but Amelie was not a twit.

Posted by
1813 posts

Thank you all for encouraging me to keep going. Episode #1 made my teeth hurt, but I do love the atmosphere and scenery. I did give Emily props for at least learning some basic terms.

I was also fascinated that she knew how to spell “plouc” on the first try.

Posted by
1894 posts

Watched the rest of the series last night, and now I’m hoping for Season 2!
Need to know what’s next!

Posted by
2341 posts

As a Chicago boy, I found the notion of making an entire series of Chicago put-downs to be de classe to the max.

Anyone can dump on anything. For instance, in Paris, there is dog-crap everywhere, and this is not allowed in Chicago. The pizza in Chicago is also better, and Lou Malnati's is particularly good. If you order Malnati's through the internet, there were deals available until Oct 14 based on the show.

Classless, really.

Posted by
810 posts

Paul, I watched the entire series and wouldn't classify it as an "entire series of Chicago put-downs". The Paris views are certainly idealized versions without the massive traffic or crowds. Most shows don't give an accurate view of any city - good or bad.

Posted by
1246 posts

"If you'd read the posts, you'd see that some of us find it worth watching." - I saw the trailer before this thread was started and thought I was performing a public service by providing my short review. While I appreciate that many or most might like this kind of thing, it doesn't mean that I have to like it. And yes, I did read the previous posts - why do you think I was defending the lovely Amelie?

Posted by
8883 posts

I caught the Emily in Paris train late, but binge watched all the episodes yesterday. I don’t disagree with the criticisms, but I loved the escape from our current situations (Covid & politics to name just two) and being able to virtually see my favorite city.

Posted by
1132 posts

I started watching the show thanks to many of you. I did like Sex in the City when it was on and since it's from the same writer, this mirrors it very closely. I wonder why Darren Starr is so obsessed with women having a hard time adapting to Paris culture. Anyway, I have absolutely loved all of the articles and tweets from France about the show. There have even been some funny memes and videos made spoofing it. What I do like about it is being able to see Paris and I also do like that they have some nods to the culture differences (first floor, dates inverted, la gardienne, etc). For those of us who have lived and navigated the French, there are some truths and some hyperbole. Don't we all wish we had hyper-attractive neighbors interested in is and what's the deal with nearly all by 2 Parisians being fluent in English. Laughable but I get it...it's in the script. It is also a love letter to Paris and Parisians. I love when Emily goes off on her boss telling her that she already has what American women want...that French sexiness that only comes from being French.

I gotta say this makes me miss France even more. I didn't think that it was possible.