Emily in Paris Season 3 review: Frustratingly compulsive
Cultural relations: 3: 6: 93
Charlotte Harrison | On 21, Dec 2022
For reviews of Emily in Paris Season 1 and 2, click here.
And so, we met again. For the third winter in a row, we have been blessed and highly favoured with a new season of Emily in Paris. In total, there now exist 30 episodes of a programme about a can-do American (Lily Collins) who arrives in Paris unable to speak the language but determined to take on the city and become the best marketing executive in the world.
It shouldn’t work.
It doesn’t work.
There is something so frustratingly compulsive about watching Emily in Paris. Maybe it’s the way it balances the fine lines of both taste and narrative sense. The way it abandoned any feigning of attempts of plausibility from the get-go. The way every single Parisian who crosses her path is besotted by her, even though she’s all bizarro dress and no character development. The way she is somehow a mastermind marketer and influencer when she seems to have no financial sense at all. The way every single piece of dialogue sounds like it was written by an AI using Google Translate. The way every episode follows two key plot points: 1. Emily conquering the (marketing) disaster-of-the-week with some elaborate hair-brained idea from the inanest inspiration, and 2. Emily negotiating multiple men being in love with her.
And yet… you still cannot resist watching it.
There’s an escapist quality about Emily in Paris that is usually reserved for texts regarded as science-fiction or fantasy. A vacuum of reality or realism where, for those 30 minutes, nothing else matters but watching the most American woman who has ever existed gliding around Paris wearing fashion that is rarely seen outside of a runway (the catwalk kind, not the airport kind).
In Season 3 Emily continues to negotiate her love triangle between hot chef neighbour Gabriel (Lucas Bravo – who has had quite a good year with both Mrs Harris Goes to Paris and Ticket to Paradise) and hot businessman Alfie (Lucien Laviscount – who pops up in Amazon Prime Video’s latest Christmas rom-com Your Christmas or Mine?). Workplace drama continues, as colleagues Julian (Samuel Arnold) and Luc (Bruno Gouery – a joy in The White Lotus Season 2) watch on in awe and wonder. Boss Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) gets more to do and should really be the star of the show when all is being said and done. Best friend and neighbour Mindy (Ashley Park) continues to work on her musical career, which results in best moment of the season – a moment that truly sums up the show. Paris continues to Paris – didn’t you know everything is glamorous there? Even the McDonald’s.
For roughly five hours, we get to partake once more in this sugary and saccharine melodrama. So, what are you still doing here? You know you’re going to watch it anyway.