emily in paris french people

‘It’s absurd’: This is how French people really feel about Emily in Paris season two

‘The train Emily takes to St Tropez? There are no trains like that in Paris’

When the first season of Emily in Paris dropped on Netflix in 2020 the French were not happy. We spoke to a number of French people who told us the show was highly inaccurate, ridiculous and at times offensive. So two years and a whole new season later, how do the French feel about Emily in Paris now?

Emily in Paris focuses on the life of an American woman named Emily Cooper who transfers to work in the Parisian office of her company. In the first season she is bashed for being a “plouc”, ignored by colleagues and sleeps with her gorgeous neighbour Gabriel. The most recent season dropped on Netflix two weeks ago and brought with it more drama, ridiculous outfits and a number of French stereotypes.

Throughout the 10 episodes numerous references are made to things alluding to be “classic French”, such as not working on weekends and having a dinner party in the middle of the street.

Given the abundant criticism of an unrealistic portrayal of Paris last season, have the most recent episodes been a fairer representation of the City of Light? We spoke to three women based in Paris to see how they really feel about Emily in Paris:

‘The train Emily takes to St Tropez? There are no trains like that in Paris’

via Netflix

Eva is a 23 year old French journalist living in Paris. She told The Tab this season of Emily in Paris is pretty much the same as the first, “I don’t know if it’s more accurate, I think it’s pretty much the same. So not good.

“The depiction in itself is realistic because it’s Paris, but the things that Emily does aren’t realistic. For example when she eats with her friends for her birthday in the middle of the street, no one would do that – that’s absurd. And the train that she takes to go to Saint-Tropez too, there are no trains like that in Paris, not even for rich people. The best you can do is first class in a regular train, and you’ll have to sleep sitting down.” Well there goes my summer plans.

via Netflix

Eva says the show’s only similarities with real life in Paris are the places Emily goes to eat but the filming of the locations she goes to aren’t accurate at all.

She said: “I’ll say the places she goes to eat or things like that, those are real places. The fact that she only hangs out in the 5th and 8th district is not unrealistic but just boring because there’s nothing to do there.

“Sometimes she’s in one neighbourhood and then the editing shows another neighbourhood with beautiful shots of Paris, but that’s not the neighbourhood she’s in at all. The editing would show Trocadéro when she’s actually in Le Marais, which isn’t the same place.”

Another unrealistic part of Emily in Paris? Working on the weekends. Eva says Luc’s quote about not working on the weekend is incorrect as so many people have jobs which require them to work on Saturday and Sunday.

Eva said: “The show says ‘French people don’t work on weekends’ is just stupid because a lot of students and people who don’t earn a lot of money work every weekends in stores and in cafés, so a lot of people have to work on weekends.”

‘One thing which is quite accurate is the attitude to work’

via Netflix

Ffion is a 21 year old British student who recently completed an internship in Paris and regularly had people remark her life was like the show. “So many people said to me ‘omg you’re like Emily in Paris’ and I often thought ‘well it’s not actually like that’. Thankfully I was never called a plouc!” she told The Tab. 

Though Ffion said the majority of the show continued to be an “extreme and idealised” version of Paris, one aspect which was accurate was the attitude towards work.

One thing I think is quite accurate is the attitude to work. For example the difference between Emily as an American wanting to discuss work all the time and her French colleagues just wanting to enjoy their evenings and not talk about work 24/7.” 

Emily In Paris portrays a lifestyle which is extremely affluent and luxurious, something Ffion definitely disagrees with.

I absolutely love Paris and think it’s such a beautiful city and this definitely comes across in the show. 

“However at the same time there are also areas of Paris which aren’t so affluent which are definitely not shown in the series. Everyone you see on the show is well off and living a pretty privileged life really.”

‘Mindy and her band attracting that massive crowd was a bit over the top’

via Netflix

Sophia is 20 years old and has been living in France for the last 15 years. She found the second season of Emily in Paris portrayed the French characters slightly better and gave them a reasoning for their apparent “rude” behaviour.

She told The Tab: “In season one they were portrayed as super disagreeable and mean compared to Emily, but season two put more emphasis on the fact that they may seem ‘arrogant’ but it’s because they know what they want and aren’t people pleasers, and they value politeness in interactions above all else.

“The depiction of Parisian people through Luc and Sylvie was quite accurate (not representational of everyone obviously). I liked how the show actually allowed Sylvie and Luc to defend their culture this time instead of making Emily and Madeline get away being seeming all mighty and superior.”

via Netflix

However Sophia dislikes how the show makes Parisian people stand for all of France, “the show generalises it to ‘French’ people though as if Paris is representational of the entire population,” she said. 

Mindy and the band’s busking scene seemed extremely unrealistic to Sophia as people are too busy to bother watching performers.

She said: “The part about Mindy and her band attracting that massive crowd with the mimer was a bit over the top. People are usually too busy in their day to day lives to stop and watch a show on the street – it was very romanticised.”

Season two of Emily in Paris is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Featured image credit via Netflix

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