An Englishman in Paris writes about Emily in Paris.
Nonfiction vs Fiction.
If you haven’t seen this series on Netflix, I’d suggest giving it a go. There is so much debate about this series at present, it’s worth making up your own mind. According to the New York Times, Parisian’s hate it. The Guardian say it helps with the suspension of real-life.
It’s about an American girl (played by the daughter of real-life Phil Collins) who moves from Chicago to Paris for work as a last-minute swap for her boss. It’s written by the man behind Sex and the City – as well as Beverly Hills, 90210 – and, dependant on your perspective, you may choose to ignore that. It’s based around social media, networking and marketing. There is however, more to it than that. Not much more on the outside, but with a little thoughtful digging, you’ll start to appreciate the characters, and their stories, more. And that’s down to the writing – which the actors deliver with such elegance, panache and naturalness, you’d think they were real.
There are some amazing cinematographic moments of Paris and some interesting facts sprawled throughout the script. Is it real Paris? Clichés aside, I guess it is. It’s not the whole Paris, but it is still Paris, nonetheless. The characters are fairly believable but in all honesty, do we even care? This is a series on Netflix that transports us away from the pandemic, it forgets about social distancing, facemasks, lockdowns and curfews. It is an absolute dream-maker that lasts just shy of half an hour. Which is a shame. Especially as there’s only 10 episodes at present.
The sights and venues that are used in Emily in Paris are both the typical and the touristic. Yet, there are little pockets of wonderment available in the eateries that are shown. Yes, as a writer I want to go and sit where Hemmingway wrote (I still want to visit the upstairs of Au Père Tranquille, though). Yet there is the risk that the positive reception this series has had, could make the crowds flock and the charm may soon disappear. Regardless, I’ll be hunting down a pain au chocolate from Boulangerie Moderne on my next visit.
The soundtrack that accompanies this series is an absolute twirling bedazzlement of aural pleasure. Little and often, there’s always something playing – and it’s not required as a space filler for there isn’t enough time to require it. What it does, is simply sit there in the near background adding to the entire feel of the show; but without you realising it.
And that sums up Paris.
One moment that I must mention whilst talking of the soundtrack is a truly encapsulating version of La Vie en Rose. Yes, another French cliché being used but oh my days, if I may indulge in another one, Ashley Park truly made it her own. True goose bump moment. Thank you for letting us hear your talent.
There isn’t much left to say except that Netflix have given us, in my opinion, another little gem that thankfully, isn’t so hidden.