What have we done to deserve this Netflix “orginal?” No wonder the French were up in arms. But I suspect for all the wrong reasons.
Emily waltzes around Paris in designer outfits unable to mangle all but a few simple French phrases, and she expects to be accepted because of it?
Emily gets to this position in Paris as she works fort a marketing firm in Chicago, until her boss (who is moving to Paris) falls spectacularly pregnant, thus passing the job onto her.
The standing gag is that Emily doesn’t speak French, and although she is convinced that she will survive on a “fake it till you make it philosophy,” she really only gets through on a cutesy American charm and ability.
The show serves up the most unfortunate cliches of Parisian life. The Patisserie filled with incredible “Pain Au Chocolates”, cafe life, men in designer suits, women in high fashion with small dogs etc.
But it is more an indictment of how Americans think they own the world. She is absolutely ignorant of the world around her. Even a block of wood applied vigorously to her head would not, I think, beat some common sense into her. That her nick-name around the Office is “Hick” is so approproate to her attitude.
Creator Darren Star (Sex In The City) seems to have missed the point, we are not laughing so much about Emily’s misfortunes, rather the impossibly arrogant view of an American come to show the Parisians how to run their IT (because Americans are so much better at it). I guess.
The shots of Paris are incredible and the creators have captured the feel of the city. Those tiny, one person, one bag elevators crammed into 19th Century buildings are what I remember most. The cafes with their expensive front row stall seats.
But perhaps the series is best summed up with the final scene of the first episode. Missing her boyfriend after a shortened sexting episode Emily plugs in her sex device a(nd unknowing about different power supplies) shorts out an entire city block.