Emily Cooper might have been on to something when she said, “I like Paris, but I’m not really sure Paris likes me.”
A French politician slammed the popular Netflix show “Emily in Paris” accusing it of fueling the climate crisis and conservative values.
David Belliard, Deputy Mayor of Paris, penned a scathing review of the sitcom in the Libération newspaper on Thursday.
“It’s a snapshot of an unchangeable Paris, a Disneyland, which is confined to the ultra-centre, inhabited only by the richest people in a uniform architectural heritage,” Belliard wrote. “In short an ‘Instagram Paris’ with impeccable colors and ideal views.”
The show was first released on Netflix in 2020 and began streaming its third season last month. The rom-com centers around a young American woman in her 20s who moves to Paris for her advertising job and stumbles over cultural differences while effortlessly always ending up on top — and going viral.
“This fable is neither desirable nor viable… there is the complete erasure of the constraints of climate deregulation and the rarity of resources,” Belliard, leader of the Greens party in the left-wing coalition, said.
“We have to get out of nostalgia for a stereotypical city and invent a new aesthetic coherence that is adapted to a changing world.”
The show, starring Lily Collins as the titular character, has been dragged by critics and viewers for its stereotyped — and insufferable — characters while continuing to be watched at record rates, according to Nielsen data.
Millions of viewers tuned in to watch the latest season, but Belliard was not excited to see Emily return to the screen, galavanting around France before returning to her tiny apartment in the attic of an old building in the 5th arrondissement, known as the Latin Quarter.
The 19th-century building where Emily lives, at 1 Place de l’Estrapade, with her best friend Mindy Chen (Ashely Park) may seem like an adorable shoebox for the two girls on screen, but the deputy mayor warns the setting is just another unrealistic detail of the series.
While the show has seen Emily and Mindy adorably stumbling over one another’s overflowing suitcases in the tiny studio, lounging around their designer apartment in the middle of the day, Belliard notes that these old units have become intolerable with the recent European heat waves.
“The flats on the top floors, often occupied by the poorest people, become unbearable ovens in hot weather,” he ranted. “A simple solution… would be to paint the roofs with white reflective paint. But are we ready to abandon the color palette of Paris?”
These issues are of particular importance to Belliard whose duties focus on the transformation of public spaces, transportation, mobility and road management.
Belliard is one of 34 deputy mayors of Paris serving under the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, a member of the Socialist Party. He claims that the portrayal of his city in “Emily in Paris” appears as conservative propaganda, resisting efforts to adapt city infrastructure.
“The vision portrayed in the show plays into the hands of conservatives who are resisting the council’s efforts to adapt the city to modern needs,” he insisted.
Despite Belliard’s damning notes of the show, “Emily in Paris” will return for a fourth season although some have accused the show of becoming too boring to even hate-watch.
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