Emily in Paris season 2 Review: The novelty is lost, but some of the entertainment remains
Emily in Paris season to premiered on Netflix on December 22 and it consists of 10 episodes
Is there anything more stereotypically French than riding a luxury scooter in Paris? Ranbir Kapoor did this in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani; so, why shouldn't Lily Collins in Emily in Paris? The cynics know that this is a marketing ploy to lure customers into burning a hole in their pocket for a consumer experience, but some of us still see why the ride could be fun. Emily in Paris trusts such people to sell its show, to capitalise on the idea of falling in love in and with Paris.
Creator: Darren Star
Cast: Lily Collins, Ashley Park, Lucas Bravo, Lucien Laviscount
Streaming on: Netflix
The burning question really is whether Emily can move on from Gabriel and remove herself from this complicated equation that she has got going with Camille and him. Her colleagues call it a ménage à trios (an arrangement with three people sharing romantic or sexual relations), and Luc even takes Emily to a screening of the French classic Jules et Jim that features such an arrangement. He asks rhetorically what better way there is to learn French than to watch a film she could relate to. Emily, however, finds the idea alien, just like she does the film.
Her reaction to what outsiders consider the French ways is a running gag now. It’s not new anymore, but it’s still entertaining. Her journey in which she hopes to stay away from Gabriel and retain her friendship with Camille, gets interspersed with a lot of risque moments and double entendres. Again, do we need it? No, but it still serves to reiterate the film's view of the French lifestyle. This interpretation has been criticised before and rightly so, but this continues to drive the show in the second season as well.
Emily in Paris Season 1 worked because it was a shiny new toy. This overdressed marketing professional's experience in a new country entertained and provided for a vicarious experience. Her prude sensibilities being shocked by the leisurely attitude of the French towards work, love, and sex, left us in splits. Season 2, however, doesn’t have too many fresh ideas to build with.
And so, we see Emily navigate the minefield that comes with having betrayed her girlfriend with the same sensibilities from the first season. She doesn't have it in her to come clean. The first half of the season sees Emily avoid the conversation altogether only to see everything blow up in her face on her birthday. The drama in Emily's life is created to keep us hooked, and despite knowing exactly what awaits her, the performances keep us invested.
An omelette pan in a toilet… Even better, a badly written French letter read by Lily Collins as though she were a 1960s French film heroine… The makers are self-aware, and the humour works. They understand that this exaggerated portrayal of the French lifestyle is why the show took off in the first place. So, they keep it intact and give us a character—Alfie (Lucien Laviscount)—who criticises Emily for everything the show was criticised for. When Alfie tells Emily that he doesn't buy into the hype of Paris, it is, of course, a cheeky nod to some of the criticism that has come the show’s way.
The season culminates in the question of whether Emily would choose Paris over her life in Chicago. It is an unsurprising cliffhanger, but Emily's journey is still fairly entertaining. She is a lot more used to the idea of life in Paris by now. So, now, the question is, what happens when this American has learned to live the French way? Let’s hope Season 3 answers this question.