A Brand New City
Episode 1 of Emily In Paris begins in Chicago, Illinois. Emily works as the right-hand woman to Madeline Wheeler. Only, Madeline’s been given a big gig that’ll see her whisked across to France.
As she starts smelling the perfume she’ll be promoting, Madeline suddenly retches and vomits in her bin. It turns out she’s pregnant. Because of this, she isn’t able to go to Paris which means Emily gets to go instead.
The only problem is, she’s doesn’t speak French. Emily brushes it off though and decides to “fake it until she makes it”. After saying goodbye to her partner Doug, we cut across to the beautiful city of Paris.
Emily arrives at her new apartment and is helped inside by Gilles. She’s staying on the 5th floor and after brushing aside Gilles’ suave mannerisms, starts to get accustomed to her new surroundings.
This sees her arrive at the office but things are tough – to say the least. Given she can’t speak a word of French, Emily is immediately out of her depth. She’s got a French class to try and get her to scratch but in the meantime, she’s introduced to Paul who’s in charge.
Emily is determined to make a big splash and gathers the group around the table to give her ideas. Apologizing for initially shouting, she instead intends to give her Americanized ideas toward enhancing the social media. profile for Savoir. Patricia (who’s in charge of the social media) can’t speak English and she leaves midway through the meeting.
On the back of this disastrous opener, Paul deliberates over whether to get rid of Madeline or not. For now though, she gets into the swing of things and starts tasting the local delicacies, snapping pictures and sharing them on social media.
Emily gets stuck outside work the next day but it’s actually because the place opens at 10.30 not 8. Eventually she gets into work but everyone decides against interacting with the girl, leaving her on her own.
Out for lunch, she runs into an eccentric girl called Mindy who gives her her number and at least serves up a semblance of normality for Emily in this foreign country.
After sitting alone for a while, Luc rides past and sits with her to discuss the changing ideologies at the company. He discusses the work/life balance and in particular Emily’s eagerness to work. It’s a very different experience to what she’s used to and after a hard day, turns in and heads to sleep.
Only, as she does the phone rings and it’s Doug. While the two engage in cyber sex, the line goes dead prompting Emily to go it alone…where she blows all the electrics in the building. Woops!
The Episode Review
Aside from the early vomit joke which isn’t very funny, the rest of the episode does an excellent job reveling in its comedic wit. The misunderstandings and various language problems in Paris are incredibly funny.
There’s a real Devil Wears Prada/ Sex and the City vibe going on here and so far the show is doing a great job leaning into this.
The show perfectly captures the beauty of Paris too and it really is a wonderful city. The story is engaging and this opener leaves the door wide open for where this one may go next.
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