By Klaudia Stefanska
What better way to round off the awfully long year that was 2021 than by catching up with the tumultuous life events of the “ringarde” menace that is Emily Cooper, who is still roaming the streets of Paris. Although she still cannot speak French in the slightest, she is at the least redeemed in the eyes of her co-workers in season two, who have grown a soft spot for the average, ‘cool’ and ‘exotic’ American with a can-do modern perspective in the French capital. Alas, going from being Savoir’s “la plouc” to a multi account holder with more than one viral campaign under her belt, there was still no end to Emily’s troubles in paradise. Cooper cannot go a day without creating issues for herself and others but thank God she is a problem solver. Luckily, her problem solving complex is great satire for the audience, and there is something comforting in the form of escapism in her fickle dramas and first world problems.
Emily’s messes in season two largely centre around her and Gabriel’s secret affair behind Camille – her best friend’s – back, being torn between an anti-Paris British expat Alfie and chef Gabriel, and her American boss showing up in Paris to turn all of Savoir’s customs upside down. Oh, and more Champere… a name and brand essence I would pay good money to never hear about again.
While still experiencing Paris and French culture through the lens of her Instagram posts, stories and hashtags, the privileged insta queen blesses even more individuals in Paris with her presence by at last undertaking French language classes to better her work – though she neglects the learning part of the classes to focus on Alfie, a Londoner with equally illogical French pronunciations. Ironically, Alfie has a large dislike for Paris and its cliché mass-marketed dreamland fantasy that Emily is still stuck on romanticising. By befriending and starting a relationship with Alfie, Emily fails to immerse herself in French culture.
Nevertheless, Emily is still clearly hung up on Gabriel and the night they spent together, carrying on from the season one finale. Gabriel and Camille break up and Camille suspects there is someone else, to her surprise finding his initial carved into a one-of-a-kind pan at Emily’s apartment, quickly piecing the answers to her questions, starting the “menage-a-trois” (the Emily-Gabriel-Camille love triangle) of this season. This specific trio was quite dreadful to watch, with no chemistry between them whenever they were forcefully in the same room. At this point, Emily proves yet again that she is in the unfamiliar, snobbish land and the victim in an issue constructed by herself and Gabriel. While she is already unlikeable within this arc, it gets even amusingly worse when Lily Collins is reading out a terribly pronounced and written apology letter to Camille, voiced over a French black and white 60s film scene. Up until this point, the show had aimed to depict the average white American as someone ‘cool’ and more ‘exotic’ than others – she’s not like the other girls. Evidently. However, Emily became infinitely uncool and jarring.
Regardless, everything works out for her in the end, although only because the show is written to work out this way. Camille seemed to have schemed some sort of master plan with her parents against Emily which inspired her sudden change of heart despite previously cussing her out in red, but nothing ever came of it nor was the master plan revealed. Instead, the season ends with Camille moving in with Gabriel the day Emily realises she must confess her undying love for him (snooze). The joke here is really on Camille, who moves in with her cheating ex… you go girl!
Aside from Emily betraying a friend, neglecting another (Madame Pipi), still not speaking or reading French (she instead has been using dog shampoo this whole time), the show felt wholesome in other storylines. Pierre Cadault almost finally lost his top spot in the fashion world and Mindy found her own romance in the city and began to chase after her dream of becoming a singer. Sylvie found a new and much younger but charming boy-toy, while gaslighting her American boss into trusting her only to turn around and take her employees and clients, starting her own independent marketing company.
While the other women of the show grew much more than the infamous Emily in season two, I must conclude that I’d still want to walk around Paris in outrageously statement outfits just like her and get paid, while endlessly romanticising my life. Even the main boss Sylvie has grown to like her. We can trust her judgement. Nevertheless, season two was an eventful drag with hilariously bad satire, which made for an easy background noise watch. I know this show is awful in most aspects, but I still watched it and I will continue to watch it for my amusement.