‘Emily in Paris’: Real Parisians Reveal the Most (Surprisingly) Realistic Parisian Character
As entertaining as Emily in Paris may be to romantic comedy fans, it doesn’t always provide the most accurate picture of French culture. When the Netflix show first premiered in 2020, many viewers criticized its reliance on Parisian stereotypes. However, according to some real Parisians, one Emily in Paris character stands out as having the most realistic Parisian qualities.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for Emily in Paris Season 2.]
Camille’s behavior in ‘Emily in Paris’ Season 2 isn’t as Parisian as fans might think
Many Emily in Paris fans have fallen in love with the kind-hearted, free-spirited Camille (portrayed by Camille Razat). When Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) moves to Paris, Camille becomes one of the American expat’s first Parisian friends. Camille takes Emily under her wing. She shows her the best parts of Paris and gives Emily a taste of French culture.
Camille might seem like the perfect guide to Paris, but her behavior isn’t always realistic. In season 2, Camille finds out that Emily had an affair with Camille’s boyfriend, Gabriel (Lucas Bravo). Her initial reaction to the news is to dump Gabriel’s favorite cooking pan in the toilet. Then, she delivers a passive-aggressive speech about friendship and betrayal.
Camille later takes Emily back as a friend, but only before agreeing with Emily that neither of them would pursue Gabriel. Then, with Emily out of the way, Camille works her way back into Gabriel’s life.
StyleCaster spoke with real Parisians about Emily in Paris, and one person said Camille’s approach to the situation wasn’t very Parisian at all. Rather than being passive-aggressive, Camille would more likely face Emily head-on.
“Despite all the faults of a Parisian woman, I think things would not have played out this way,” a Parisian named Jenny told the publication. “Parisian women have no problems being direct and rude, so the fake approach seems very un-Parisian.”
Emily’s co-worker, Luc, is actually the most realistic ‘Emily in Paris’ character
As it turns out, Emily in Paris’ most prominent French characters — Camille, Gabriel, and Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) — are not the most believable. Instead, the most believable is actually Emily’s co-worker, Luc (Bruno Gouery).
Despite giving Emily the cold shoulder in season 1, Luc grows closer to her in season 2. He’s often around to give Emily advice, although it’s usually sarcastic and not very useful. According to a Parisian named Nina, Luc’s “tormented” attitude is “very French.”
“I would say the character of Luc, who works with Emily at Savoir agency, is a little realistic. He is portrayed as a tormented man, who is aware of the absurdity of life, which is very French, because we all have read Baudelaire, Pascal, and Flaubert,” Nina said.
However, what’s not so believable is Luc’s career choice. According to Nina, a person like that would more likely work in a “bookshop or at a university” instead of a marketing company.
‘Emily in Paris’ has faced backlash for often portraying cultural clichés
Emily in Paris became notorious for its French clichés in 2020, causing the Darren Star show to become one of the most polarizing series out there. Many viewers expressed disappointment in the show’s ideas that French people are lazy, overly-flirtatious, and sexist.
Season 2 hasn’t fared much better. Most recently, Ukrainian viewers filed complaints about Petra (Daria Panchenko), a Ukrainian woman painted as an uneducated thief. If Emily in Paris continues with a third season, will the show finally learn its lesson?
Emily in Paris Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.