“Emily in Paris”? More like Emily in a Coma.
Season 3 of Netflix’s poisson-out-of-water comedy series about a Chicago simpleton who moves to France and causes a fracas is a total, crashing bore. The 10 episodes are so dull, you can’t even hate-watch them, for hate requires passion.
The time has come for exhausting Emily to pack up and leave la France for good.
When “Emily in Paris,” by “Sex and the City” and “Younger” creator Darren Star, premiered in October 2020, viewers were bitterly divided. Some — including me — found it to be an effervescent, sexy escape during persistent lockdowns; while an angry mob of dissenters decried the show as a campy insult to the French. (What’s wrong with that?)
Lily Collins’ Emily strutted around town in couture, proved herself to Parisians with gumption and began a hot flirtation with suave French chef Gabriel (Lucas Bravo).
A year later, Season Two stayed the course and added a jolt of energy in the form of studly British banker Alfie (Lucien Laviscount), who put a wedge between Em and her smitten kitchen catch. But Netflix just couldn’t manage a trois.
This time we get… workplace politics and songstress Mindy (Ashley Park) having a fling with a friend from boarding school. The effect is Le Ambien. The tedious office shenanigans involving the Savoir group, the relationship retreads and backpedaling and every clunky thing Kate Walsh does as the oblivious American boss Madeline all melt the mind like so much Gruyere.
Season 3 is mostly about Madeline dumping Savoir, then desperately wanting Savoir back in the fold, while the French employees of Savoir have secretly formed their own separate agency. Is this “Emily in Paris” or “Mergers and Acquisitions”?
I grew weary of the once-an-episode marketing pitches from Emily, a supposed industry wunderkind with the world’s most obvious, try-ketchup-on-your-burger ideas. Every time she is presented with a product, she exclaims, “let’s sell it as luxurious and boutique!” and then it’s a raging success. Every damn time.
And now she doesn’t even butt heads with boss Sylvie. The show’s best casting was always Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu as Emily’s coolly removed Paris manager. Now Sylvie half-heartedly respects Emily, but still puts on airs. Indecisive and dull.
But what about the fashion? It used to be fun gawking at Patricia Field’s brightly hued clothes, but now they look increasingly like the wardrobe of a Cirque du Soleil clown out on the town.
And the sizzling romance was once the plot’s saving grace. Nothing else mattered so long as viewers, devouring their pints of Ben & Jerry’s, could picture themselves moving to Paris and getting cozy with a gorgeous chef whose restaurant sits conveniently below their apartment. The role of Gabriel made a star out of Bravo (he went on to play Julia Roberts’ younger French lover in “Ticket To Paradise”) and he and Collins’ Emily had a cute will-they-won’t-they chemistry. At this point, we’re all saying “Will they please stop?”
Also sad is that Gabriel, either because of the newly womp-womp character or Bravo’s acting choices, is suddenly sapped and sparkless — even when he and Emily are alone without the pressures of his engagement to Camille. So, the show’s central pair is a wash.
There were bombshells in the season finale, and those too had all the force of a puff of smoke.
And then there’s snoozy Emily. She’s lived in Paris for a year, has a decent and influential job and a clique of French friends, yet she still behaves like a doofus with an upside-down road map. She doesn’t grow, she doesn’t change, she does whine.
“Emily in Paris” has been renewed already for a fourth season — but I demand deportation.
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