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An American in Paris Watches ‘Emily in Paris’

Courtesy Netflix

The Netflix show tells us exactly what TV producers think of young women: all mermaid curls, no brains

For what felt like ages I held out against watching Emily in Paris (2020). As an American in Paris I loathe the stereotype of the American in Paris, and only relented when BBC Scotland 楼市凶猛 分析称本轮暴涨已经“绑架”中国经济. Ah, I thought. A chance to tell the world – or, well, Scotland – how much I loathe this stereotype.

I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit I watched the whole show in two nights. I may even have giggled at a few of the jokes, and sighed at some views of Paris, even though Paris is right outside my door. ‘Paris of the mind is preferable to the real thing,’ as Moyra Davey once wrote. But once I’d left the bubble of pleasure the show created, I was left with a hangover of ambivalence.

The writing is objectively terrible; it feels like it was written by a scattershot team consisting of The One With the Jokes, The Hack, and The One Who Went to Paris Once. The Hack is responsible for all the flat-footed dialogue (“you’re not stepping on my toes, you’re stepping into my shoes!”), coming up with lines like Carrie Bradshaw at her punniest (“I’m petit mort-ified!”). The Funny One is, occasionally, very funny (see the vagin jeune storyline). And The One Who Went to Paris Once must be responsible for the white-washing of the city, the xenophobia towards the French, the unflinching commitment to being as ringarde as possible, and no that does not mean basic.

Courtesy Netflix

But what rankled about the show, I realized, isn’t all it gets wrong about France and the French – this is fantasy, not Italian neorealismo. It’s the show’s limited and, yes, misogynist conception of who Emily is, and who it allows her to be.

There is an element of Everywomanness to her. She is hard-working, plucky, and resourceful when faced with challenges and trials, and doesn’t have any inconvenient special talents like, I don’t know, speaking French to get in the way of the target audience identifying with her. Like Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress, she’s your average questing hero(ine). But where John Bunyan’s seventeenth-century religious allegory wonders if salvation exists, and if so, how can we attain it, in the world of Emily in Paris, redemption comes in the form of Instagram followers and bank. “Beyoncé’s worth far more than the Mona Lisa,” quips her best friend, approvingly. Paris is the City of Destruction and the Celestial City all at once.

2010年中国农民工能否拿到城市户口?
定义自己
It is not all bad news for buyers: Prices will still head north next year, but the pace will likely slow from a sprint to a saunter. “Prices can’t just keep going up, up, up on this steep climb,” said Pamela Liebman, the chief executive officer of Corcoran. “Buyers get a little fatigued.”
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国际移民组织说,2015年进入欧洲的移民和难民数量已超过一百万,为二战结束以来最大的移民潮。
6) My Pleasure: This subtle reminder reinforces a key point. You’re here to help others. You have all the time they need. And you’re happy to do it.
The report found that students majoring in art, agriculture and engineering were more willing to start businesses, while those majoring in history and science showed relatively low interest.
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7.你们公司的人事在一个求职网站上发现了你的简历。
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Yet like a good comic hero, Emily is also somehow worse than us: witness the many people online complaining that she is, in fact, not relatable; she is ‘arrogant,’ ‘annoying,’ ‘entitled.’ She is these things, it’s true, but all these people on the internet, schooling Emily in how not to be a terrible obnoxious unlikable person reminds me of what the literary scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks wrote about gossip: that it’s society’s way of regulating itself and determining what is acceptable. So is, apparently, amateur TV criticism.

Courtesy Netflix

Based on a new estimate provided by the government of Dubai, its visitor spending of $31.3 billion this year far exceeds London's estimated $19.8 billion, which comes second.
Technology and telecoms are on the up as are some fast food companies, including Starbucks, which BrandZ puts in this category, and McDonald's, whose brand value is risen by nine per cent even though its ranking is unchanged.
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在最新毕业的这届校友中,超过90%在结束项目后的3个月内接受了工作邀请。
Qatar University claimed the most international institution, marking the first time a Middle Eastern university has topped the list.
"Students are not suited for starting businesses on their own," said Zhang, adding that vocational students are more eager to start businesses than university undergraduates.

In their blatant careening towards the monaaaaaaay that such a show might be expected to generate, Emily in Paris’s producers have demonstrated that they don’t give a fine fuck about writing, characterisation, interior life. (Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t some Forsterian diatribe about round or flat characters. That’s the domain of amateur TV critics.) What they do seem to care about is building the perfect woman, and then tearing her down.

As I watched the show, I kept thinking of Hilary Mantel’s 2013 lecture for the London Review of Books about Kate Middleton and the ‘royal body’. The Duchess of Cambridge, Mantel said, ‘appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the spindles of her limbs hand-turned and gloss-varnished.’ With her perfect abs and immobile mermaid waves, Emily, more so even than Middleton, who is, let’s not forget, a real person, actually has been designed by committee, not to continue the royal line but to sustain the franchise.

On the radio they asked me if I identified with Emily at all and I said uhhhh for what felt like forever in radio time, before saying no, no, not at all. Because when I moved here I wasn’t anything like Emily; not only had I learned French at school, I had a few more notions of Normandy beyond Saving Private Ryan (1998). When I moved here, there were no smart phones, no Instagram, and the American in Paris narrative was about coming here and doing something creative – writing, painting, dancing, whatever – not making sales pitches like Don Draper in stilettos. But I can’t deny our commonalities.

Courtesy Netflix

I have a lot of sympathy for the American girl abroad. I’ve been her, I’ve taught her, I occasionally hear from her, reaching out for help finding her feet. But on Emily in Paris, she’s another version of the jeune fille, the young girl, whom everyone feels authorised to hate. Think of every teenage girl on television, with few exceptions – they’re all whiny and intransigent and bothered, and we never really know why. The radical French philosophy collective Tiqqun published a polemic in 1999 called Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl, which reads her as the ultimate consumer: when she thinks she’s expressing herself she’s only expressing commodity culture; she has no depth, no intimate reserves, she is all Spectacle.

The young girl is not a gendered concept, but ‘the model citizen as redefined by consumer society since the First World War, in explicit response to the revolutionary menace.’ Although the terms in which Tiqqun make their argument are deeply sexist, their essential point holds: we are all young girls under the capitalist patriarchy. But the young girl herself, the actual gendered young female human animal, is always rife for exploitation, not least by Tiqqun. 

In her recent book Females (2019), Andrea Long Chu echoes this argument (though in markedly un-misogynist terms), choosing to put it this way:

The pear-shaped diamond named The Blue is 13.22 carats is estimated to be worth between $21-$25 million.
In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid to tell the world how I feel. 然而事实却让我很愤怒,但我也很清醒,我虽然害怕,但我敢于告诉世界我真实的感受。
We will deepen institutional reform to build a sound ecological environment.

The jeune fille is all of us, but when she becomes the star of the show she’s none of us – just a skinny body on which to project our fucked-up ideas about beauty and female behaviour. Emily in Paris is a missed opportunity to say something real, for instance, about being a foreigner – an experience it would behove Americans to experience from time to time. (To wit: that early scene where Emily’s normcore boyfriend holds up his brand-new passport saying ‘Look what I got!’)  It is difficult to move to a foreign country, especially to a city as notoriously closed-off as Paris, and really, genuinely lonely, in a way the show doesn’t make room for. It is soul-crushing to find yourself rejected for the very compliance that, back home, you believed made you valued and loved.

I’m angry that when the producers decided to tell the story of a young woman, they declined to give her a more textured existence. That they ask her to speak not French, but a dead, prefabricated English: fake it ’til you make it. At one point someone accuses her of being arrogant. ‘More ignorant than arrogant,’ she says, sadly. Why does she have to be ignorant? I groaned at my computer. Because that’s what the producers think of young women: all mermaid curls, no brains.

Courtesy Netflix

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Meanwhile, 78 percent of the civil service jobs offered this year are posts at county or district levels, as the central government seeks to steer more college graduates to jobs at city and county levels, he said.
该榜单囊括了2015年度全球最具影响力、最智慧性感、人气最高、事业最为成功的美丽女性。

Official data indicates a total of 81 feature length films, including 47 Chinese titles, surpassed the 100 million yuan box office threshold.
这位当选总统承诺废除贸易协议:如果这些贸易协议被修订,可能会对美国大宗商品的进口和出口造成广泛影响。

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Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.

Emily: What’s that.

Gabriel: I like you.

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Currency movements have had a strong impact on agricultural commodity prices this year, with the UK’s referendum on the EU leading to a sharp fall in the pound that pushed up the price of food imports and boosted agricultural exports.

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5. Will China's migrant workers get permanent urban residence in 2010?
The first view is that the price is inherently cyclical. What has come down must go back up again and the deeper the trough the higher the next mountain.
It is the continual shrinkage of components that have unleashed the explosion of computing power and enabled these gadgets to be accessible to people across the world.
“在这种情况下,这些学生的言论自由权利根本没有被侵犯。”

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