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‘Emily in Paris’ Review: A Bumpy Escape to Paris That’s Filled with Berets, Instagram and Stereotypes

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*Spoilers ahead

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. 

Emily in Paris Review Netflix

EMILY IN PARIS (L to R) LILY COLLINS as EMILY in episode 101 of EMILY IN PARIS Cr. STEPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX © 2020

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! 


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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Freddie Prinze Jr. Is Back! Everything We Know About the ‘Christmas With You’ Heartthrob

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Everything We Know About 'Christmas With You' Star Freddie Prinze Jr.

Freddie Prinze Jr., the ’90s heartthrob, is back on our TV screens in Netflix’s newest holiday rom-com, Christmas With You. 

In the film, Prinze Jr. stars as a Latino single father, Miguel Torres, who teaches music class at his daughter Cristina’s (Deja Monique Cruz) school when his path unexpectedly crosses with Angelina (Aimee Garcia), a burnt out popstar looking for her next Christmas hit.

The actor, who starred in hits like She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer, admitted he felt pretty nervous getting back into the swing of things, but thankfully, it seems to be paying off as the film is being well-received by audiences for it’s heartwarming and important message. 

And now, we’re answering some of your burning questions about the leading man!

 

What Ethnicity is Freddie Prinze Jr.?

Since Prinze Jr. stars as a Hispanic father, the question of his ethnicity has come up quite frequently. The star reportedly embraces his Latin ancestry as his paternal grandmother was Puerto Rican, from Boquerón, so he is fluent in Spanish. His mom is of Italian descent, along with German, English, and Irish.

 

Does Freddie Prinze Jr. Have Kids?

Prinze Jr. shares two children with his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar—13-year-old Charlotte Grace Prinze and 10-year-old Rocky James Prinze. 

In fact, the actor told TODAY that his return to acting has a lot to do with his daughter, stating, “My daughter has taken an interest in acting and performing, dance and things like that. So both my wife and I wanted to take a more active role to show her the way, so to speak, because we have very different processes (with) the way we deal with success and failure, rejection and acceptance and all those things.

“We wanted to give her an opportunity to see that it’s not just being famous, limousines and millions of dollars and all that. It requires a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work, time away from the people you love,” he added. 

 

Freddie Prinze Jr. Age

Since many of us grew up watching Prinze Jr. in the ’90s and early ’00s, we still think of him as this teen actor, but the truth is that he is 46 years old.

 

Freddie Prinze Jr. Wife

As mentioned before, Prinze Jr. wed his Scooby-Doo co-star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, in 2002. In fact, the couple met on the set of 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, but didn’t start dating until a few years later in 2000. 

They recently celebrated their 20th anniversary together, with Gellar sharing a sweet photo from the nuptials in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Instagram.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Michelle (@sarahmgellar)


 

 

Who Plays Freddie Prinze Jr.’s Love Interest on Christmas With You?

Aimee Garcia, best known for her role as Jamie Batista in Showtime’s Dexter, takes on the role of Prinze Jr.’s love interest and pop sensation Angelina Chavez Torres, who visits the small town where Prinze Jr’s character, Miguel, lives with his daughter, who is preparing for her quinceanera. Her big holiday wish? To meet the pop star who remains the only connection to her late mom. 

Christmas With You is currently airing on Netflix.

 


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Virgin River Season 4 Episode 1 Premiere Review – All Is Not Calm In This Scenic Town

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Virgin River Season 4 Premiere - All Is Not Calm In This Scenic Town

All is not calm in this scenic town, but you already knew that? 

However, if you didn’t know what to expect when Virgin River Season 4 returned to your screens, you probably didn’t anticipate the first episode to kick off with a very pregnant Mel walking with Jack. You assume you’re getting a glimpse of what’s to come, but suddenly, Mark, very much alive, comes their way as a debate erupts over who the father of the child actually is.

Thankfully, it’s just a nightmare (though, Mel might see it as a dream), and a peek into Jack’s current mental state when it comes to how he’s coping with the pregnancy news. 

It doesn’t take long before the series dives right in where we left off dishing out the expected dose of drama, feel-good moments, and that gorgeous, picturesque scenery. 

 

Mel

Mel and Jack arrive at the doctor’s office where she’s classified as a high-risk pregnancy because of her previous stillbirth. Jack continues to worry about Mel throughout the episode, which isn’t helping her since she doesn’t want to make a fuss about it. She informs him that when she was expecting with Mark, they did everything by the book and still lost a child, so her plan is just to live her life this time around and hope for the best. It’s not an easy thing to accept, but who can blame Mel for not wanting to worry when anything can go wrong regardless?

A new doctor blows into town, and since he’s a young, good-looking man, it stirs up a lot of gossip! Not only is Dr. Cameron Hayek a looker, but he’s also a great guy! But he’s no competition for Jack, even if the town’s people are hoping for some kind of love triangle strictly for their own entertainment.

Jack asks Mel not to tell her sister, Jo, about the baby as he wants to keep it a secret for a little longer, but Joey knows something is up when she calls Mel. When breaks the news to her, she informs her that she’s not sure who the father is. Either way, Joey is thrilled and knows this is what Mel has always wanted. 

 

 

Jack

Jack continues to worry about Mel throughout the episode, which isn

 

 

Hope

Anette O’Toole is back as Hope, but this isn’t the snappy and spunky woman we’ve come to know. Hope is recovering from a traumatic accident that led to a brain injury, so she’s not feeling like herself. Everyone is kind of tip-toeing around her as she deals with her new reality, particularly when it comes to Lily. Hope asks Doc if Lily is mad at her because she’s not returning her calls. Her brain blocked out the information that Lily passed away, and Doc does his best to avoid the topic at all costs because he doesn’t want to inhibit her recovery in any way. When Lizzie volunteers to take care of Hope, she accidentally reveals that Lily is dead. Once she realizes Hope doesn’t know, she panics and calls Doc who comes to inform Hope that she knew about Lily’s death and was actually on her way to the funeral when she got into the accident.

 

 

Doc 

As Doc deals mostly with Hope’s memory loss and recovery, he’s shocked to hear that there has been a young man looking for him claiming that he’s his grandfather. Obviously, since he had no children, he doesn’t really believe it. But at the end of the episode, Denny arrives on his doorstep and informs him that Rose Miller gave him Doc’s information. Doc recognizes Rose’s name immediately, but he also thought she died 49 years ago. The fact that he remembers how many years have passed means that she meant a great deal to him. Will Rose somehow be involved in the series?

Virgin River Season 4 Premiere - All Is Not Calm In This Scenic Town

Virgin River. Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in episode 401 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

Charmaine

Her appearance is brief, thankfully, but she does divulge that she’s expecting boys, a secret she’s conveniently keeping from Jack. I just feel bad for the kids because she clearly doesn’t value Jack as their father and is going to make being in their lives as hard for him as possible. 

 

Preacher

Preacher doesn’t have much action in the first episode, but considering the nature of his storyline, I’m sure it will change soon enough. He’s worried that he hasn’t heard back from the PI about Vince after he kidnapped Christopher. He considers taking the whole thing public but decides against it because he doesn’t want to spook Vince into hiding. Eventually, he’ll slip up and they’ll be able to find Christopher safe and sound. Hopefully. 

 

Brady

Brady is in jail, which is quite a scary place to be when you’ve betrayed a whole gang and are responsible for the raid that landed them all in prison, including Jimmy. He keeps trying to reach out to Brie and even requested a bail hearing, but things are moving pretty slowly. Jack suggests that maybe Brady was framed. He notes that Brady is a lot of things, but dumb isn’t one of them, so the chances of him driving around with the gun in his Jeep are slim. 

 

Brie

Brie goes on a job interview as she hopes to stay in Virgin River and make a life for herself here. After everything that transpired between Brady and Jack with the arrest, she chooses to ignore her former lover’s calls from prison. Will she eventually hear him out and let him explain his side of the story?

 

Hope is still in such a fragile place — how will she react to the news that Doc had a son and is a grandfather? Gossip travels fast in town, so it’s best if Doc tells her before she hears in the same way she found out about Lily.

Who do you think the father of Mel’s child is? It’s such a unique situation, and she’d likely be happy with either outcome. How will her pregnancy affect the storyline moving forward? Is the new doctor hitting on her or is he just super friendly?

Is Charmaine out of line? Will Brady survive in prison?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

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Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

It seems almost silly and trivial to prioritize romance when the world — specifically, Hawkins — is being taken over by a disturbed and power-hungry creature from the Upside Down, but it’s such a human emotion to value and champion love even in the darkest moments when everything looks bleak. 

As Stranger Things continues to prove, love, in all of its shapes and forms, trumps hate every time. And Nancy and Steve? They love each other. They might not know it yet or simply aren’t ready to admit it, but there are some strong feelings there that deserve to be explored, especially in light of a possible end-of-the-world scenario. Ask yourself, if not now, when?

Stranger Things Season 4, through all of its darkness, found a light with Nancy and Steve. Hero hair aside, Steve underwent massive character growth from your stereotypical and shallow jock to a father figure, caretaker, and most importantly, a man who knows what he wants. Steve and his voluminous Herbal Essence commercial hair ran towards danger countless times for the greater good and for his friends. Steve’s emotional glow-up wasn’t lost on Nancy either, as she took notice on several occasions, and at times, found herself taken aback by his newfound maturity. As some people pointed out on Twitter, Season 4 Steve Harrington just hits different. 

Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

Credit: Netflix/ Stranger Things

Yes, he’s portrayed as a ladies’ man, but on the inside, Steve is a softie with a mad crush and a dream of having a real relationship with the right one. He acknowledged the progress he’s made since season 1 and how much he’s grown in the swoon-worthy speech to Nancy that further drove him into heartthrob territory with audiences while proving to Nancy that those butterflies she’s been feeling whenever he looks at her aren’t just a result of an unexpected trip to the Upside Down. Steve Harrington told Nancy flat-out that he was to have six kids (six nuggets, to be exact) with her, and if that didn’t convince her that he’s top-notch boyfriend material, I honestly don’t know what would.

Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

Credit: Netflix/ Stranger Things

I wouldn’t have blamed them if they took advantage of the moment and used the “apocalypse” excuse to sneak in a passionate kiss, but that’s the other point — despite his desires, Steve never made a move on Nancy because he respects her and their friendship. He knows that she’s with Jonathan, and he’s not going to cross that line even if they might never get a chance to pursue these feelings again. At least not without Nancy making a move and giving him the go-ahead. 

Deep down, Steve cares about Nancy as a friend. He proved it not just with words, but also with his actions as he stood by her when Vecna put her in a trance. He could’ve left the Upside Down at any point to save himself, but he would never leave her there. And, in turn, Nancy proved that she would risk it all for Steve when she jumped into the water and swam into the Upside Down to go after him. She’s always had a soft spot for Steve, but now that he’s become a man worthy of her, there’s no denying the attraction. 

There’s also a love and understanding between them that has provided for a solid foundation that would be helpful if they were to pursue a romantic relationship. 

Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

Credit: Netflix/ Stranger Things

Stranger Things benefited from the love triangle this season, in particular, as it kept tensions high and provided a personal escape for the characters, but it also cannot be dragged into the final battle. The bottom line is that Nancy and Jonathan can’t string each other along as Steve continues to pine Nancy — it’s not fair to any of their very deserving characters.  

One might argue that Jonathan has always been the underdog so he deserves the girl, but even that’s starting to change as Steve grows into his own and figures out his real connection to Nancy that’s only intensifying as time goes on.

This brings me to Jonathan.  I know it isn’t entirely his fault that he wasn’t by Nancy’s side when the fight against Vecna began,  but it speaks volumes that he was on the other side of the world. The reason Mike was with Eleven when it mattered is because he willingly made the trip to go see her. Neither Nancy nor Jonathan chose to visit each other despite being apart for so long. The chance was there, but they both decided to stay put and deflect.

Stranger Things Season 4: Nancy Wheeler Owes It To Herself to Give Steve Harrington a Chance

Credit: Stranger Things/ Netflix

There was a time when Nancy and Jonathan were the right choice for each other, but there’s nothing left between them but a forced relationship that continues because it’s comfortable and safe. The spark between them barely has a pulse. When they were finally reunited at the end of the season, it didn’t seem like a romantic relationship but two friends who care about each other. And that’s the thing — they’ll likely always love each other and feel a connection through shared trauma, but they are not in love with each other anymore.

They aren’t on the same page anymore, no matter how much they hope to be. They want two different things out of life, but they’re refusing to come to terms with the fact that their paths are taking them in opposite directions. Nancy wants to excel in college and make something of herself, while Jonathan didn’t even apply. The worst part is that they both know that time is running out on their relationship, so they are avoiding the hard conversations. Neither of them has the heart to tell the other the truth. 

Even if nothing happens between Nancy and Steve in the upcoming season, in the face of the unknown and a potential apocalypse, Nancy and Jonathan owe it to themselves to be honest about their feelings and go after what their hearts desire. I’m not sure what that is for Jonathan at the moment as he seems pretty lost about his future, but for Nancy, I think that definitely involves six little nuggets with Steve Harrington somewhere down the line. 

Who Dies On ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4B?


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