“Emily in Paris” returned for a third season, and it still gets some things wrong about life in the City of Light.
Another year, another season of “Emily in Paris.”
The Netflix original show’s first season, released in 2020, was somewhat of a gratuitous bashing of French culture as Emily Cooper, an American marketing executive played by Lily Collins, explored the French capital.
By the time the second season rolled around a year later, it was still full of clichés, but it seemed like Emily had done a much better job of integrating into the real Parisian lifestyle.
If you ask me, a French person, it’s debatable that season three presented a more accurate depiction of Paris, France, and the French.
There was still a fair amount of inaccuracies and outlandish moments about the French and our culture in the third season of the Darren Star-created series, which premiered on December 21.
Despite taking French lessons and working with all French speakers, Emily’s French language skills are still pretty terrible.
Emily’s French has improved since the series started. However, considering that she’s been in Paris for what seems to be around a year and works for Savior, a French marketing agency, her linguistic skills are still very limited in season three.
On episode four, Emily mixes up champignons, the French term for mushrooms, and Champagne while working as a server in Gabriel’s restaurant. Her confusion leads one of the guests to have a serious allergic reaction.
I find it a bit sad that she mixes up these two words since they’re pretty commonly used and really don’t sound that similar. After living in France for around a year, I think she definitely would’ve come across these words.
What I consider even worse is that she seems slightly overconfident in her abilities. Perhaps causing someone to have an allergic reaction will trigger a sudden urge to get better at French.
Emily has endless success at work even though she isn’t an expert in the French luxury market.
Everything seems to work out too easily for Emily. She gets amazing opportunities left and right, like when her ex-boyfriend hands her a huge client on a silver platter after months of not speaking to her.
French clients are always amazed by her pitches despite her complete lack of experience in the French luxury market, which I’m sure is frustrating to many marketing professionals who watch the show.
Beyond her inexplicable luck, she’s actually not a great worker or colleague, in my opinion.
She always interrupts other people’s pitches, is seemingly always on her phone during work hours, and usually doesn’t do what her boss Sylvie asks. Rather, she does whatever she wants.
I understand why Julien, her coworker, gets annoyed by her in the second half of season three. I would too.
Gabriel calls McDonald’s a “little treat,” but I have a hard time believing a French chef would rave about an American fast-food chain.
When Savoir is struggling to find new clients in the season three premiere, Emily has the opportunity to pitch a campaign to McDonald’s and discovers that Gabriel, a rising star in Paris’ culinary scene, is a huge fan of the fast-food chain.
He calls it a “little treat” and “indulgence.”
First and foremost, McDonald’s isn’t widely considered to be a luxury in France, and the French locations I’ve been to don’t look nearly as clean and fancy as the show portrays them to be.
Secondly, it’s highly improbable that a chef, especially a French one like Gabriel, would ever consider American fast food to be good.
Emily constantly works in her free time, and it doesn’t mesh well with French culture.
Even after being in France for so long, Emily still hasn’t seemed to learn much about the way of life there. If there’s one thing I think Emily should really try to learn from the French, it’s how to properly enjoy her downtime.
For the entirety of episode five, Emily tries to force business conversions with her friends as well as Nicolas, her friend Mindy’s old classmate, in settings that aren’t work-related.
She really needs to learn when to leave business behind and enjoy her free time.
In several scenes, French people converse in English, which doesn’t make any sense.
Season three finally has some scenes that are fully in French — especially the ones between Julien, Luc, and Sylvie.
However, there are still quite a few moments between Sylvie and her French clients in which the dialogue is in English the entire time, which really doesn’t make sense since they’re all fluent in French.
The English dialogue may have been included so that American audiences don’t feel overwhelmed, but I’m sure they’d survive reading a few more subtitles.
Sylvie fires Emily on the spot, but the termination process isn’t that straightforward in France.
When Sylvie finds out that Emily still hasn’t told Madeline, her American boss, that she’s quitting her corporate role to work at Agence Grateau, she fires her. The decision is effective immediately.
In reality, it’s a lot more complicated to fire people in France than it seems on the show because of “licenciement” laws, or laws regarding employees’ termination.
Letting Emily go would’ve required Sylvie to fill out a lot more paperwork — which we know she really hates — than the show depicts.
French fashion is known to be comfortable and effortless, yet the women in the show wear sky-high heels.
It goes without saying that a lot of the fashion in the show isn’t exactly meant to be practical, but I still wonder why every woman in the show is always in sky-high heels.
French women are known for being nonchalant and effortless, and wearing flats is often part of their looks. Most of the French women I know only wear heels for special occasions.
And I really wonder why Madeline, who just gave birth, wore 10-inch heels every day.
The building manager has a pet pigeon, which is pretty much unheard of in France.
Henri, the building manager of the Savoir office, is on a mission to make the Americans — namely Madeline and Emily — leave the premises on episode three.
One of the tactics he employs is releasing a live pigeon in the office. He’s essentially portrayed as a strange, grown-man version of a Disney princess.
I just want to make it clear that I don’t know any Parisians who have such a close relationship with pigeons.
Emily struggles to pronounce a French name and defaults to a nickname instead, which isn’t charming or cute.
It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when Americans refuse to correctly pronounce people’s names after deeming them too exotic or difficult to say.
On episode six, Emily briefly meets a man named Theodule, a moniker she struggles to pronounce. So, she ends up calling him Ted instead.
It’s incredibly rude to decide on a name you’d rather use for someone instead of spending 10 extra seconds learning how to properly say their actual name.
At the very least, people should ask the person if they have a nickname they like to use instead.
Alfie ignores traffic laws again by speeding down a road in the French countryside.
Alfie rides on the back of a scooter without a helmet on season two, and on season three, the Brit drives a fancy car uncontrollably fast through the French countryside.
I’m scared to think about what reckless road-related decisions the characters will make in the next season.
Maybe a character will be arrested for defying the French code de la route, or road laws.
Some of the English translations of the French text messages are off.
There are a few instances when viewers see text messages exchanged between characters, and some of them aren’t quite right.
French speakers use two different personal pronouns to address a single individual: tu, which is informal, and vous, which is formal.
Friends and lovers would definitely use the tu form to address each other. Yet, the text messages between Camille and Gabriel, who are in a romantic relationship, and the text messages between Luc and his girlfriend are always in the formal vous form, which is really unusual.
The taxi driver brings Gabriel up four flights of stairs, but I’ve never encountered a French taxi driver who is that kind.
After Gabriel gets a little too drunk in episode eight, Emily brings him back home in a taxi. The driver helps her bring him up the stairs, all the way to his apartment on the fourth floor.
It’s certainly unusual for “Emily in Paris” to depict the French in such a good light, but in this case, I think they were overly optimistic.
I can’t imagine a taxi driver in Paris being this nice, abandoning his cab, and only charging 26 euros for the ride on top of it all.
Sylvie is referred to as “mademoiselle” at the opera instead of “madame.”
After Sylvie’s husband Laurent remembers their anniversary at the last minute and intercepts her at the opera, the ticket holder calls her “mademoiselle,” which is the equivalent of calling someone “miss” in English.
Since Sylvie is married, she would be referred to as “madame.”
Considering the worker just witnessed Sylvie having a conversation about her marriage, it’s really odd that she would call her “mademoiselle.” In France, it could be considered quite rude.