‘Emily in Paris’ wows viewers with its highly anticipated second season



“Emily in Paris” season 2 movie poster; the season was released December 22, 2021

Elitsa Koleva, Staff Writer

**Warning! This article contains spoilers from seasons one and two of ‘Emily in Paris’**

Season two of Emily in Paris was released on Dec. 22, and people have been buzzing with excitement ever since. This show, an addicting, sweet romantic comedy, depicts Emily, an American who just moved to Paris, trying to navigate the cultural and language barriers all the while dealing with her endless work and romantic struggles. With a colorful wardrobe at hand and Paris at her disposal, Emily somehow makes it work.

Season one introduces Emily (Lily Collins) as an American marketing executive working for The Gilbert Group, which has, very recently, bought Savoir, a Parisian luxury marketing firm. By chance, her boss Madeline (Kate Walsh), who was supposed to work in Paris, gets pregnant, so she sends Emily out instead. 

Emily, though initially excited, realizes how difficult it is to connect with her French co-workers and her new boss, Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), who acts particularly cold towards her. Besides her colleagues at work, she meets chef Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), her neighbor and main love interest, and Mindy (Ashley Park), an aspiring singer and her new best friend. She also befriends Camille (Camille Razat) who happens to be Gabriel’s girlfriend, which complicates matters.

Season one ends with a cliffhanger; Gabriel and Camille have a fall-out because he wants to move back to his hometown of Normandy. However, Gabriel ends up staying in Paris to be with Emily.

Season two picks off from there. Emily ends up going to St. Tropez, a coastal town in Southeastern France where she is joined by Camille and Mindy. The scenes set there are very vibrant and beautiful, not to mention how nice it is to see a change in settings after most of season one being set in Paris.

Mindy’s singing also becomes a central plot point. In season one, Mindy has very little screen time and is more of a side character solely meant for comedic relief. In season two, however, she joins a band with Etienne (Jin Xuan Mao) and her eventual love interest Benoit (Kevin Dias). She sings songs ranging from K-pop to classic French chansons. Overall, this storyline is a great addition to the show because of the depth it adds to Mindy’s character and the gorgeous music it provides.

Another person that sees significantly more screen time is Sylvie, who turns out to have a much softer side with problems of her own. She ends up dating a much younger man, the photographer Erik DeGroot (Soren Bregendal). Though Antoine mocks her, and a waitress mistakes her for Erik’s mother, she gets over her insecurities in episode eight by making their relationship public in front of Erik’s friends. Though ageism is a difficult topic to tackle, the writers of this show did a great job incorporating it into Sylvie’s character, who combats it with great ease and style.

Madeline, who only makes brief appearances in season one, unexpectedly travels to Paris in episode nine and stays for the rest of the season. While at Savoir, she clashes with Sylvie over practically every business decision. Sylvie, who has a more quiet and classic approach to marketing is all for maintaining Savior’s reputation as a luxury marketing firm, while Madeline is all for the money, wanting as much clientele as possible. Madeline’s presence is definitely very entertaining and the jokes she cracks are hilarious. 

The biggest downside of this season is Alfie, the British banker whom Emily dates from episodes five and on. His “bad boy” personality is unbelievably toxic and annoying, which is only made worse by actor Lucien Laviscount’s cringeworthy performance. He bullies and disrespects women; mocking Emily for her clothes in front of the whole class, belittling his French teacher, and burping in Emily’s face. Constantly, he complains about how boring his job is and how terrible Paris is, even though he is working there by choice. After a while, his whining gets really old, and I begin to wonder what Emily could possibly like in him.

Another aspect of this show that viewers may dislike are the cliché, possibly offensive, portrayals of French people. These clichés include: they are lazy and do not like to work, have countless affairs, and all smoke. Regardless, I do think that for Americans totally unfamiliar with French culture, this show is a good place to start. 

Overall, this season’s costumes are very colorful and interesting to look at, especially Emily’s. Although her fashion sense is a bit obnoxious, I think it fits just fine with the show’s overall color palette. Notable settings include St. Tropez, Paris, and Camille’s family’s estate, which are all absolutely gorgeous: old, yet elegant and romantic.

I recommend this show to anyone looking to get immersed in the French language and culture from the comfort of their living room couch. People that like light, romantic shows with luxurious fashion will definitely enjoy the series.