‘Emily In Paris’ on Netflix is a truly terrible show, but you won’t be able to stop watching

This image released by Netflix shows Lily Collins, center, in a scene from "Emily in Paris," premiering on Friday, Oct. 2. (Stephanie Branchu/Netflix via AP) (Stephanie Branchu, © 2020 Netflix, Inc.)

Have you ever watched a TV show or movie that is so bad that it ends up being pretty good in a weird way? That is what’s happening with Netflix’s new show, “Emily In Paris.”

It comes from the mind of Darren Star (who famously created “Sex and the City,” among many other shows) and follows 20-something-year-old Emily, who gets the opportunity to move to Paris for a year and work at her company’s Paris office, hence the name “Emily In Paris.”

Played by Lily Collins, Emily is your typical millennial who works at a marketing firm and knows everything there is to know about social media. She lives in a big American city, has a cute boyfriend and has gone through her life always being well-liked by friends and colleagues.

That soon changes once she moves to Paris and feels a culture shock for the first time in her life.

Everything about this show is a complete fever dream, and none of it would happen in real life. Once Emily gets to Paris, she decides to turn her Instagram (which only has 48 followers in the first episode) into an account following her Parisian escapades, with cringe-y captions like “#roomwithaview” and “Butter + Chocolate = <3” after posting a selfie with a chocolate croissant. By the fourth episode, Emily has thousands of Instagram followers and is getting contacted by major brands to be an influencer.

It’s not that it’s unrealistic for an attractive young woman to move to Paris and all of a sudden become an influencer, but it’s her basic, and almost troll-like captions that are questionable. In 2013, these captions may have been the norm, but in 2020? It’s hard to believe.

So instead of Carrie Bradshaw trying to become a famous writer, Emily is trying to become a famous influencer.

Another reason why this show is a hot mess is because of the way it depicts the French, specifically those who live in Paris. The show really turns out every tired and used stereotype there is about French people. Everyone smokes, everyone cheats on their significant other, everyone is rude and nasty; everyone hates Americans. It goes on and on and on. Even French critics have called out the show for playing into stereotypes about their culture.

So, when a show starts out with so much bad criticism, how is it fun to watch?

Part of it has to do with the times we are all currently living in. Every single day tops the day before it with outrageous and unbelievable news, so when a show comes along that is so mindless, it’s not surprising viewers can’t get enough of it.

It’s pure escapism at its finest. The stakes are so low for Emily, so you know nothing that bad is going to happen to her. Her biggest problem is that she’s too good at her job and her dreamy neighbor who lives below her has a girlfriend.

Not even her colleagues talking crap about her in French behind her back is going to stop her from living her #bestlife in Paris.

Sure, a lot of the jokes are pretty cheesy and the plot is a little too hard to believe, but for a quick 30-minute episode, you’re transported to the winding streets of Paris as you live vicariously through Emily’s Instagrammable life.

The best part is that people on the internet tend to agree. It’s a terrible show, but they can’t stop watching.

Can’t wait for season two!

About the Author:

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.