If you’re looking for an escape from the pandemic’s throes, look no further than Netflix’s new collaboration with Darren Star, Emily in Paris.
The series benefits largely from the scenery as it filmed in a pre-COVID world right in the heart of Paris. The sights are stunning, and while Star and the producers didn’t know it at the time, upon its premiere, it would be a reprieve filling in a void of wanderlust for many who have been confined to their homes (and home offices) since March. It especially piqued my interest as my May trip to Paris was cancelled due to the pandemic. I’m living vicariously through Emily while also knowing I wouldn’t have nearly as many epic adventures or flirtatious romances.
Falling in love with the picturesque scenery is one thing, but it’s the show, and the titular character, Emily (Lily Collins), that has to sell audiences.
The pilot episode sets the scene: Emily works at a big marketing firm in Chicago, her boyfriend is forgettable, and the moment her boss finds out she’s pregnant from one of her several one-night stands and can’t go to Paris to complete the merger of luxe firms, she sends Emily. Emily’s boyfriend isn’t too pleased and they attempt the whole long-distance thing for a bit, but it’s clear that Emily’s mindset is international while her boyfriend is happy staying local forever.
To audiences, Emily is likable as a lead character, but to her new co-workers at Savoir, especially her uptight manager Sylvie, she’s “ringarde,” or what we later know is a “basic bitch.”
While Collins does a wonderful job carrying the show, the heroine is far too peppy and optimistic for the likes of Paris, and her fashion, though always impeccable, makes her stick out like a sore thumb. Seriously, how does she get around in heels in such a breezy fashion?
She doesn’t follow rules and she’s fearless, which should be admirable, but everything comes so easily for her that it’s not relatable nor is it charming in the way it’s supposed to be. She’s not just a regular gal — she doesn’t have financial burdens (or school loans for that matter), she managed to bring all those staple fashion pieces in one suitcase, and she her biggest issue is which French man she’ll sleep with and to convince her boss to like her.
So, it’s clear why Sylvie has it out for her.
Though, one can argue we don’t ever learn much about Emily other than she came from Chicago where she had a boring life and now she’s living out every American girl’s fantasy.
In our current pandemic climate, it’s also a little hard to digest the notion of an American swooping in as the hero and telling everyone the right way to do things. However, we can all learn from the secondary lesson that hones in on the idea that we can all achieve so much more if we just worked together.
Marketing comes naturally to Emily — and it’s not just because of that Master’s she mentions — as does being an influencer as she stumbles into it after having only a handful of followers upon her arrival in Paris. Look, we’ve all tried to become influencers and can, without a doubt, attest that it isn’t that easy.
Being a Parisian, however, doesn’t come as easily to her. As she helps Savoir evolve and market their clients, those around her both at the company and in her personal life help her navigate her new lifestyle. It’s a gentle reminder that if we just stopped to give each other a chance instead of pointing out difference, we could all learn a lot from each other.
Throughout the 10-episode run (they’re less than 30 minutes each, so they’re digestible), Sylvie is one of the only people that almost never comes around to the idea of Emily. She just doesn’t get why everyone adores Emily, and that’s fine, but her hatred is a little far-fetched and borders on cliche.
Along with Emily’s Americanized notion of the world, the series is riddled with cliche’s and stereotypes from the French disdain for everything to chain smoking up to the men talking freely about sex. Even America’s sweetheart, Brooklyn, is a walking stereotype and a clear example of why people generally don’t like Americans. And Julien, Emily’s gay co-worker (and only person of color on the series) plays right into the “gay co-worker” stereotype and serves little to no purpose other than to provide catty remarks and support.
With Sylvie, all of her hatred is fueled by jealousy especially as, again, most things come fairly easy to Emily including workplace successes and romance. It seems every man she comes across, even Sylvie’s lover Antoine, is somehow infatuated by her.
Since the series hails from the creator of Younger, the dynamic between the older boss and the younger employee slightly parallels Liza and Diana’s, but where Diana excels as a feminine goddess that we love to praise, Sylvie falls flat.
Her distaste for Emily doesn’t always make sense — the more Emily succeeds and proves her worth, the more Sylvie hates her — and though the series attempts to paint her as this chic woman, she just seems like a bitter woman unable to embrace change. At one point, an old client said the firm she’s running is “dinosaur” and it’s fitting; she wants the status-quo while Emily is here to shake things up as every ounce of publicity. You know the saying: even bad press is good press.
There’s progress made towards the end of the series when Sylvie un-fires Emily after she once again saves the day after messing it up, but it’s clear that Emily’s journey of proving herself will be an uphill battle. Don’t worry, she’s ready for it.
They always say Paris is for lovers,so you didn’t think there’d be a series without a few romances in the city of love, did you? It’s clear from the beginning that Emily has chemistry with her fourth floor neighbor, Gabriel, but he, of course, has a girlfriend he fails to tell Emily about.
Darren Star found plenty of success with an effective love triangle on Younger, so it’s not surprising this would be the crux of the series. However, unlike on Younger where fans are torn between #TeamJosh and #TeamCharles, there’s no doubt that Emily and Gabriel belong together. All the other men she’s rendezvoused with, including the snob Thomas, Antoine, youngester Timothee, and Mathieu, are just frogs that had to be kissed on her way to charming.
The biggest obstacle in this relationship is Camille, who, like Emily, audiences have a sweet spot for. Maybe it’s cause we meet Camille before we know she’s Gabriel’s girlfriend, maybe it’s because she’s nice to Emily from the moment she meets her, or because she’s genuinely nice, but it’s hard to watch Emily and Gabriel’s relationship unfold knowing it’s going to hurt Camille.
It’s unfortunate to see her caught up in this whole mess and unknowingly betrayed by the two people closest to her.
If the series snags a second season, the relationship drama will amplify as Antoine invested in Gabriel’s career as a chef in Paris, which means he’s staying around and not moving to Normandy.
That seems like good news, but it’s problematic as Gabriel and Emily slept together thinking this was their final goodbye and he was done with Camille for good.
Camille is surely going to want her man back, but what does Gabriel’s heart want?
There’s also drama for Emily and Mathieu, heir to the Cadault fashion empire that she almost destroyed once before. If she wants to stay on Pierre’s good side, keep them as a client, and make Sylvie happy, she can’t ruin this relationship. And that’s why she should’ve listened to her “commandments” of not mixing business with pleasure.
One of the show’s saving graces is Ashley Park, who plays Mindy, and steals every scene she’s in. She’s the heiress to a zipper king in China, which is problematic in its own stereotypical “Crazy Rich Asians” way, but she’s also a nanny who sings in a drag club and encourages Emily to live her best life. I’d watch a show solely focused on her!
The pilot episode was admittedly a little bumpy, and while I was excited for the series, I found myself wondering if maybe the hype was too much.
The series isn’t groundbreaking by any means — not in the way Younger and Sex and the City were — but once you get into the groove, you’ll be hooked on Emily and her international lifestyle. All those complaints won’t bother you if you go into it thinking that it was always meant to be the perfect fantasy of what people dream up Paris to be in their minds.
Then, think about all those Instagram influencers you follow — you know their lives are unrealistic, but they paint a pretty picture; and yes, the show gives you the same dose of endorphins as mindlessly scrolling through your feed for hours.
If you’re in quarantine and looking for an escape, your vacation is only one click away with Emily in Paris. You don’t even need a passport. Just make sure you have a croissant and some macarons ready!
What to Watch April 2021 Guide: Manifest, Younger, The Handmaids Tale, and MORE!
Spring showers bring plenty of new content your way this April.
So, who is ready to do some serious binge-watching? We didn’t practice for this all of 2020 to give up now! Especially because there are some really great TV shows premiering and a handful of highly-anticipated shows returning!
Here’s what’s on tap!
Law & Order: Organized Crime – NBC (April 1)
Has there been a more anticipated TV return? Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) returns to the NYPD and joins a new task force while reuniting with ex-partner Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay).
Manifest – NBC (April 1)
What happened to Flight 828? TV’s biggest mystery continues into season 3. Ben pursues a tail fin that may have belonged to the plane he was on while the rest of the passengers continue to follow Callings.
Home Economics – ABC (April 7)
The new comedy series looks at the uncomfortable and frustrating relationship between three adult siblings from the Hayworth family.
Kung Fu – The CW (April 7)
The reboot of the 1970s drama of the same name stars Legacies actress Olivia Liang as Nicky Shen, a young Chinese-American woman who drops out of college and travels to a monastery in China only to return home to San Francisco and find it overrun by crime. As she doles out justice, she finds herself the target of an assassin.
Rebel – ABC (April 8)
Katey Sagal stars as Annie “Rebel” Bello, a blue-collar legal attorney who ruthlessly fights for the cases she believes in. The series is inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich.
Them – Amazon Prime (April 9)
The limited horror anthology hails from Lena Waithe and finds a black family in the 1950s moving into a white neighborhood in L.A. where they not only have to deal with terrible neighbors but also supernatural forces that mean to do them harm.
Fear the Walking Dead – AMC (April 11)
Season 6B picks up with John Dorie reuniting with an old friend who helps him through a dark moment.
The Circle – Netflix (April 14)
The highly-addictive reality series, described as Big Brother meets Catfish, returns for a second season. Contestants move into the same apartment building but never meet face-to-face as they’re only allowed to communicate through a special social media app.
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me – Netflix (April 14)
The sitcom, inspired by Jamie Foxx’s relationship with his daughter, Corinne, finds him playing the role of a single dad and cosmetics brand owner who must navigate raising a teen daughter.
Younger – Paramount+ (April 15)
The seventh and final season of Younger wraps up Liza’s journey at Empirical/Millennial and hopefully reveals if she ends up with #TeamJosh or #TeamCharles once and for all.
Big Shot – Disney+ (April 16)
John Stamos moves on from Uncle Jesse in a new role former men’s basketball coach who gets fired and is forced to become a coach at an elite all-girls school. If you’re looking for a new sports drama with heart, look no further.
Cruel Summer – Freefrom (April 21)
Hailing from executive producer Jessica Biel, Freeform’s newest thriller takes the spot left behind by Pretty Little Liars. Set in the 90s, it follows the disappearance of a popular and charming girl and the nerdy wannabe who is blamed for the crime.
Shadow & Bone – Netflix (April 23)
In the fantasy series, based on a book of the same name, sinister forces plot against a young woman who has the powers to unite her world.
93rd Oscars – ABC (April 25)
As they say in show biz, the award show must go on. The 93rd Oscars, which originally mandated an in-person attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic, have reversed course and are allowing remote participation.
The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu (April 28)
June and her fellow Handmaids go beyond the walls of Gilead following an uprising as they seek freedom in the dystopian series.
Concrete Cowboy – Netflix (April 2)
Stranger Things‘ Caleb McLaughlin stars as a teen who befriends a community of Black cowboys in Philadelphia when he stays with his estranged dad (played by Idris Elba) for the summer.
Thunder Force – Netflix (April 9)
Dynamic duo Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer are former childhood best friends who invent a formula that gives them superhero powers.
Stowaway – Netflix (April 22)
A stowaway crashes a mission to Mars and risks the lives of the whole crew on-board. The sci-fi thriller stars Anna Kendrick and Daniel Dae Kim.
Without Remorse – Amazon Prime (April 30)
Michael B. Jordan stars as John Clark, an elite NAVY Seal who uncovers a covert plot while investigating the death of his pregnant wife.
Netflix Renews Spanish Drama ‘Elite’ for Fifth Season Ahead of Season 4 Premiere, Adds News Cast Members
We’ve got some elite news!
Spanish drama Elite has been renewed for a fifth season at Netflix!
The news isn’t all that shocking considering the drama, set in the ritzy private school of Las Encinas in Spain, is one of the streamer’s best performing Spanish originals.
Not only is the cast incredible, the first few seasons were hinged around an intoxicating murder mystery and plenty of steamy love scenes.
The renewal comes ahead of the fourth season, which currently doesn’t have a premiere date. In 2020, filming was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and an outbreak on set.
It’s possible the series will return in the spring/summer of 2021.
The upcoming season will see a handful of familiar faces including Samu (Itzan Escamilla), Guzman (Miguel Bernardeau), Omar (Omar Ayuso), Rebeca (Claudia Salas), and Ander (Aron Piper) as they were held back due to their shenanigans. The drama will also welcome new students Manu Ríos , Carla Díaz , Martina Cariddi and Pol Granch to shake things up.
Deadline also reports that the fifth season has added Argentinan actress Valentina Zenere (Soy Luna) and Brazilan actor André Lamoglia (Juacas) to its cast.
What to Watch in March 2021 Guide: Good Girls, Coming 2 America, The Irregulars, and MORE!
Can you believe it’s almost March?
2021 is flying by, and I have to credit the fact that there has been so much good television available!
Despite COVID-19 still holding a grasp on the world, plenty of our favorite TV shows were able to return to production and deliver outstanding seasons that are keeping us entertained every single day of the week.
March sees a return of some favorites on primetime along with some new additions to streaming.
Here’s everything to watch on March 2021:
Debris – NBC (March 1)
Calling all sci-fi fans! Two international agents are tasked with investigating mysterious wreckage that falls from the sky. As British agent Finola Jones and American agent Bryan Beneventi lead the charge to track down all the debris scattered across the Western Hemisphere, they realize it’s a race against time!
The Voice – NBC (March 1)
The singing competition returns for season 20 with Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson at the helm!
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell – Netflix (March 1)
The documentary on famed rapper The Notorious B.I.G. celebrates his life and tracks his journey to rap king alongside rare footage and in-depth interviews.
New Amsterdam – NBC (March 2)
With the pandemic still in full-swing, season 3 kicks off with a plane crash in the East River.
Good Girls – NBC (March 7)
Your favorite suburban criminals are back for season 4! Beth, Ruby, and Annie continue their life of crime by pouring themselves into Boland Bubbles to wash money for “homeboy.” With the FBI hot on their trail, will they find a way to stay above water?
Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy – ABC (March 11)
After going on hiatus in December, the Shondaland shows return with a crossover that tackles the issue of human trafficking.
A Million Little Things – ABC (March 11)
After a nearly three-month wait, A Million Little Things is finally getting new episodes and it’s going to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the synopsis: “As [the virus] becomes more widespread across the U.S., Boston goes into lockdown putting Rome’s movie in jeopardy and forcing Maggie to return home from Oxford. Because the hospitals are overwhelmed with patients, Eddie’s back surgery is cancelled, leading him to take desperate measures to cope with the severe pain.
Love Alarm – Netflix (March 12)
The popular K-drama about an app that alerts people if someone in the area likes them returns for its second season on Netflix!
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal – Netflix (March 17)
You’re familiar with the college bribery scandal that brought down Aunt Becky and other wealthy parents who stopped at nothing to get their children into top-tier universities. The documentary synopsis reads: “Using an innovative combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients, Operation Varsity Blues offers a rare glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges, and angered a nation already grappling with the effects of widespread inequality.”
Everything you’ve heard is true. But you haven’t heard everything. Using real conversations recreated from FBI wiretaps the filmmaker behind Fyre brings you Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal pic.twitter.com/kwsqTCSkqq
— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) February 22, 2021
The highly-anticipated Marvel action series brings together Falcon and the Winter Soldier, who “team up for a global adventure that will test their survival skills — as well as their patience.” Starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, the action picks up after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” with the first two episodes airing on the streamer on March 19 and March 26, respectively.
The Irregulars – Netflix (March 26)
The Sherlock Holmes spin-off series follows a group of “troubled street teens” who are wrapped into solving crimes and saving London from supernatural elements by the “sinister Doctor Watson.”
Pooch Perfect – ABC (March 30)
Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson is set to host this dog grooming reality competition that’s based on a UK competition of the same name (also hosted by Wilson). The episodes will spotlight 10 dog groomers around the country competing in challenges.
— Jorge Bendersky (@JorgeBendersky) February 19, 2021
Coming 2 America – Amazon Prime (March 5)
Comedic geniuses Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite as Akeem and Semmi to take audiences back to Zamunda, the royal country made popular in the 80s. It’s worth the watch if only for nostalgia’s sake.
Raya and the Last Dragon – Disney Plus (March 5)
After being delayed the coronavirus pandemic, the film will finally debut months later. It’ll premiere simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access and in theaters on the same day! Per the synopsis: ” Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. However, when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior to track down the last dragon and stop the Druun for good.”
Moxie – Netflix (March 3)
Amy Poehler lends her talents to a second Netflix original about a shy 16-year-old who is inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and publishes an anonymous zine to tackle sexism inside the high school hallways.
Yes Day – Netflix (March 12)
Saying “no” to your kids can be difficult, so parents Allison (played by Jennifer Garner) and Carlos give their kids one day where they say “yes” to all their requests.
Paper Lives (Kağıttan Hayatlar) – Netflix (March 15)
The Turkish drama finds warehouse worker Mehmet (starring Çağatay Ulusoy) working in an impoverished neighborhood where he becomes responsible for a small boy.
Editorials1 week ago
All the Baby Yoda Merch Every ‘Mandalorian’ Fan Needs
Manifest7 days ago
Manifest Double Episode Review – How Is Noah’s Ark Connected to Flight 828? (3×07 & 3×08)
Manifest3 weeks ago
Manifest Review – Tailspin (3×04)
Cruel Summer2 weeks ago
Cruel Summer – Victim or Villain? (1×03)
TV Reviews4 days ago
Good Girls Review – Brother/Cousin (4×08)
Younger1 week ago
Younger Review – Raise the Flag (7×07)
Debris2 weeks ago
Debris Review – Do You Know Icarus (1×09)
Legacies6 days ago
Legacies Review – Hope Turns Into a Monster (3×11)