Much like the rest of you, I spent the long weekend catching some much-needed Vitamin D, sinking far too many beveraginos, and watching Emily In Paris.
The delightful Netflix comedy-drama series was released worldwide over the weekend and became a viral topic of convo on social media.
But while folks have fallen in love with the easy-to-follow storyline, the whimsical chicness, and the gorgeous setting of Paris, there’s one thing that we all seem to agree upon: the characters suck.
And it’s weird ‘cos the show’s creator, Darren Star, is renowned for crafting some of the greatest and most-loved characters in television history, from the fabulous foursome of Sex & The City to the sassy, whip-smart chicas on Stan-exclusive series Younger.
Emily (Lily Collins), however, is an overwhelmingly chipper know-it-all with no respect for authority or the French culture and has an entitled attitude that gives millennials everywhere a bad name.
But she’s not the only stinker here: her new colleagues at the French branch of the marketing firm are nasty bullies who deserved to be reported to HR on numerous occasions.
Here, I’ve put myself through the extremely necessary task of deciphering who sucks more, Emily or her colleagues, by listing what I hate about both.
Let the hatin’ begin!
Emily: Crosses the line between confident and arrogant
It’s always important to start a new job with a positive, can-do attitude. Show up with a smile, make an effort to meet everyone, and come brimming with ideas. That’s why you were hired, after all.
And while Emily ticks a few of those boxes, to me, it looked like she walked into the Paris office with a big fat sense of entitlement, as if the Parisian team owed her something and needed to listen to her big-picture ideas straight away. Of course that was going to be jarring for them.
The audacity of her to dive straight into the office politics before kicking her pumps under the desk. Lady, you’re a guest here. Show some respect for the existing team.
But what really got me was when she took it upon herself to email everyone in the Paris office her team’s list of workplace values. There was no redeeming her after that, IMO.
Colleagues: Outright bullying
While I do agree that you can chalk some of the Paris team’s standoffishness to that European culture barrier, the way they collectively treat a new staffer was outright bullying. Plain and simple.
In one scene, Emily asks her French boss Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) to lunch and she says no which, look, is totally her prerogative. But to then go out to lunch with the rest of the team at the restaurant DOWNSTAIRS from the office is a dick move and most definitely does not bode well for a positive work environment.
Then when she returns from said lunch, she and the other colleagues reveal they’ve come up with a nickname for her that’s the French translation for “hick.” What. The. Fuck.
As I said earlier, Emily was, indeed, overly chipper and annoying, but still, Sylvie had a duty to welcome the new team member and ensure that her staff does the same, but she did the opposite.
She failed to foster new talent, she encouraged her team to bully the new girl, and whenever Emily had a win, she was enraged. Even though, as Emily points out time and time again, they’re on the SAME side.
Emily: Offensive attitude to visiting a foreign country
While I completely understand that it was impossible for Emily to learn French right off the bat since she was handed the opportunity at the last minute, she still had a couple of nights PLUS the six hour plane ride to at least start learning the basics.
We don’t actually see her attend French class until, like, the third episode. Until then, she’s just relying on her translator app and just hoping that everyone will give her a pass ‘cos she’s young and cute, without making any effort at all.
As someone who’s learned another language, let me tell you that this is not only lazy, but problematic in so many ways ‘cos no translator is fool-proof.
Her attitude reminded me of the Devil Wears Prada, when Andy (Anne Hathaway) applies for a job at Runway without researching the basics, such as the name of the Editor-In-Chief. Infurrrriating.
Me every time Emily said “I don’t speak French.”
In one scene, she says “your language is seriously effed up,” which is so beyond racist, I can’t even believe that it made it into the ep.
Also that time when she demanded that her meal be re-cooked at the restaurant, even after her friend told her that’s not acceptable. As her mate said, she’s just arrived in France and is “trying to change the culture.”
Basically she brought her Western entitlement to a foreign country and expected everyone to bow to her which is not okay.
Colleagues: Problematic OOO attitude
In addition to the bullying, her colleagues were guilty of a bunch of other problematic shit, such as encouraging Emily to smoke (???) and chastising her for discussing work at a work event. The AUDACITY.
Not to mention Sylvie’s sexual rivalry with Emily over their client. That was so fucking cooked in a number of ways.
Emily: Inappropriate relationship with her boss
Emily, doll, I know you’ll never read this because you’re not a real person, but whether you work in America, Paris, or freaking Narnia, it is not acceptable to constantly barge into your (new!) boss’ office unannounced whenever a random thought pops into your head. It’s especially not acceptable when she has company.
And you can’t call your superior ‘girl,’ as if she’s a tipsy gal you just met a club bathroom. Inviting your new boss to your mate’s party is also a super weird move. It just shows a lack of respect for authority and the fact that she’s new here.
I honestly understood Sylvie’s frustrations with her – this 20-something-year-old rocks up with an extremely cocky attitude and zero respect for authority, expecting to take over everything. I’d be pretty thrown too (still doesn’t excuse the bullying tho!).
Emily: Flirting with her mate’s boyfriend
Sure, she didn’t know the hot chef dude was dating the hot model chick when they met, but when she did find out, he should’ve been permanently off limits to her.
But nup, she continues to eye-fuck him the entire time, even when they’re on a double date, then what does she do? She bangs him the second they break up.
Some friend you are, EMILY.
In conclusion, while both parties suck so, so bad, it appears that Emily sucks that little bit more, so she’s our winner… and I can’t fucking wait for more suckyness in season 2! I know that sounds sarcastic, but I’m legit hoping there’s a season 2 ‘cos the show is such enjoyable garbage. They just need to iron out some of the aforementioned problematic aspects of the characters to make them likeable humans.