Emily in Paris Season Two | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, June 27th, 2022  

Emily in Paris (Season Two)

Netflix, December 22, 2021

Dec 22, 2021 Photography by Carole Bethuel/Netflix Web Exclusive
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After a very successful first season, Darren Star’s candy-coated, Instagram-filtered Emily in Paris returns with a much more captivating and appreciable second season. The series’ soap opera narrative style and the overly-dramatic performances are still in place, but, thankfully, the new season doesn’t seem to take itself as seriously as the last one did.

It dives right into the love triangle left open by the first season’s conclusion, in which Emily (Lily Collins) tries to balance her relationship with her downstairs neighbor Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) and her friendship with Camille (Camille Razat), who also happens to be Gabriel’s girlfriend. As Gabriel has decided to stay in Paris to head up a new restaurant, Emily is mainly focused on addressing the aftermath of her one-night stand with Gabriel and making sure that Camille never finds out about their affair.

While the love triangle concept takes up much of the season’s first few episodes, there are a variety of other narrative threads that intertwine throughout the series. Some of these include: the daily life at Savoir, the marketing firm where Emily works, the lives and happenings of Emily’s co-workers, her boss and her roommate Mindy’s (Ashley Park) struggle as a starving artist in the city. Most of the events in these narrative subplots are relayed specifically through Emily’s perspective as her “year abroad” becomes ever more complicated.

Season One of Emily in Paris was filled with shoddy dialogue, an unrealistic view of Parisian life and loads of secondhand embarrassment watching Emily’s actions and line reads. All of these qualities are still present in the second season, but are significantly less obnoxious. This can be attributed to the fact that, like Emily, viewers don’t have to acquaint themselves with what’s happening in her world anymore. The characters are familiar and with the deletion of the “French hostility” theme the first season constantly harped on, both Emily and the series are now focused on simply living in Paris, rather than adjusting to life in Paris. As a result, the sets are much more extravagant–with some scenes even taking place in St. Tropez, Versailles and Champagne–and the series is much less focused on glorifying Paris to a borderline-nauseating degree.

Additionally, the familiarity of Emily in Paris’ style presents a new variety of subplots and scenarios, most of which are much more watchable and funnier. Essentially, the series has turned its cringiness into campiness. Everything that is happening on-screen is incredibly dramatic, as Emily and company maneuver their way through the overly-fantastical world of loud fashion shows, a seemingly endless array of parties and a workplace filled with a never-stopping flow of entertainment. While most of these situations are riddled by embarrassing dialogue and awkward character interactions, because the characters, and the actors portraying them, finally seem to be enjoying themselves, it becomes easy for viewers to buy into, and even have fun with the events that are unfolding.

Emily in Paris feels like a reality series. Every scenario is manipulated. Everyone is over-acting to a borderline unconvincing amount. The series’ narrative progression is carefully curated to appeal to the tastes and sensibilities of viewers. Additionally, what makes these types of series so watchable is also what tends to make Emily in Paris so watchable: it’s just fun. Nothing happening in the series may be real, or important, but that’s never Star’s goal. Rather, each episode in Season Two is nothing more than a 30-minute escape, peering into a world that is mere fantasy, and is all the more entertaining for it, which, in this case, is enough. (www.netflix.com/emilyinparis)

Author rating: 6/10

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