Film & TV

Fixing Emily In Paris? A Season 2 Review

Photo credit: Netflix

By Jasmine Jones

Emily In Paris is back for a highly anticipated second season, with the same light-hearted humour that made it such a global success last year. It brings back the same loveable characters, irreverent storylines, and of course a lot of clichés. With the mixed reviews regarding season one, I was eager to find out if the show had changed in any way, and what crazy unrealistic journey of living in Paris was I about to embark on as I tuned in.

Season 2 picks up straight from the ending of Season 1 and immediately reminds us of the quirky characters that make up the friends and colleagues of Emily. Played by Lily Collins, the show continues to follow Emily as she navigates her job and love life in the bustling and challenging city of Paris. Her naivety and outright arrogance about French culture makes for a charming yet uncomfortable viewing that many viewers love about the show.

The drama only grows in season 2, arguably with juicier storylines and more stressful decisions for Emily to make. Should she have spent a steamy night with Gabriel? Will she tell Camille about it? Will she continue the romance with Gabriel or pursue Matthieu or Alfie?

Whilst these questions all seem like the perfect recipe for trash television it is worth remembering that the show was awarded a Golden Globe nomination for best comedy and was Netflix’s most popular show of 2020.

The love triangle between Emily, Gabriel and Camille that enthralled the audience in season 1 is seemingly put to bed when Emily meets Alfie, a handsome yet cold British man who is also in Paris for work commitments. In contrast to Emily, he refuses to immerse himself in French culture and his sarcastic approach to life is what draws Emily to him. They have a playful relationship where they seemingly bring out the best in each other, a stark contradiction to the previous romances we have seen on the show.

The dramatic romance storylines are however mirrored by the continuity of Emily and her colleagues’ relationship in the new season. She is still somehow creating successful advertising campaigns for top brands and famous individuals despite only posting one Instagram post with no hashtags, or a ridiculous product placement on a truly cliché French item, enough to drive anyone with any knowledge of marketing up the wall. There also seems to be a lack of character development over the course of the show, with Sylvie continuing to be the same chain-smoking, cold-hearted boss with 3 lovers, and Gabriel with his passion to open his own restaurant while fighting to decide whether he wants to be with Emily or Camille.

Like the previous season, season 2 ended with a cliff-hanger; an ultimatum where Emily is about to decide whether she will stay in Paris to work at Sylvie’s new firm, go back to England with Alfie, or return to Chicago for her big promotion. Whilst we don’t know for definite, there is much talk surrounding a season 3 which would suggest the answer to that question.

The Netflix original show is known for being entertaining and highly binge-worthy and yet at the same time has a unique knack of driving viewers crazy. The hundreds of cheesy moments, the unrealistic and often strange narratives, and the millionaire lifestyle on a grand salary all make for a terrible yet amazing watch. Season 2 provided more romance, more cliches and a lot more chaos, but ultimately the show remains as “ringarde” as ever.