Emily In Paris holds tight to the stereotypes of its characters


“You live to work; we work to live.” 

Eight words that locked themselves into the crevices of my mind. Eight words that constantly creep into my thoughts at the most random of times. Eight words that completely drew me into the new Netflix original show Emily In Paris. 

Emily In Paris follows Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) on her new job at a marketing firm in Paris. Emily’s former boss was supposed to take the job but then discovers she is pregnant and unable to go. As the replacement for her former boss, Emily is offered the job. Without hesitation, Emily packs up her life in Chicago and moves to Paris for her new job: giving an American perspective on marketing and social media. 

However, settling into her new home is not as glamorous as Emily hopes. 

Emily’s new boss, Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), is not a big fan of Emily; she was expecting someone with more experience in the industry as well as years alive. Because the company wants the American perspective, Sylvie gives Emily impossible expectations in hopes to make her quit. 

Though Emily’s relationship with Sylvie is the epitome of awful, she manages to make the most of her time in Paris. She meets many new friends, including her new best friend Mindy Chen (Ashley Park). Mindy and Emily form an unbreakable bond right from the get-go. Mindy’s free spirit combined with Emily’s one-track mind attracts both conflicts and solutions for them. 

Emily In Paris is nothing like the shows I have scheduled into my day in the past six months. In fact, it reminds me more of a book you read in English class that seems very straightforward but later learn there are many hidden messages. 

The first few episodes begin the same way. It is early in the morning, and the city of Paris is the only thing on the screen. As gentle music plays in the background, the focus transitions to Emily on her daily run, a habit she brought with her from Chicago. At first, I did not think anything of this minute of jogging. I thought the consistency of the episodes was, quite frankly, a nice touch. However, the moment the episodes started another way, I began second-guessing the intentions of this habit. 

It appears the jogging scenes cease the day Emily begins to truly find her place in Paris. She has spent her entire time there focused on the life she used to have rather than the dream she is living. The jogging scenes stopped, and Emily’s intentions seemed more prominent. This small detail adds so much depth to a story that, alone, would not stand out compared to any other show in the same category as it. 

You live to work; we work to live.

— Luc (Bruno Gouery)

Emily In Paris also captures the location of the story through stereotypes. Though using stereotypes in a TV show such as this one is not ideal, it adds a level of creativity and enjoyment for the viewers. 

One of the most common stereotypes relates to the generosity of the French. They are known to be less than kind, and Emily In Paris does a phenomenal job of holding onto that stereotype for some characters and stylistically breaking it for others. 

The other stereotype mentioned the most is their thoughts on having a job—something that, as I mentioned before, stands out to me in a most controversial way. 

Their jobs start later in the day, and it is more important for them to enjoy their workplace than make a ton of money. The work ethic held by the French is an interesting twist on a typical day for Emily. 

Through this, Emily In Paris creates an enchanting story as it sweeps its viewers away to the magic of Paris.