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Making a case for Emily in… anywhere but Paris

Ashley Chalmers

Contributor

By now, there’s a good chance you’ve either binged all of Netflix’s Emily in Paris or, at the very least, heard the critiques. But if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Emily and her well-coiffed cast of unfriendly friends, here a brief synopsis: a young woman moves from Chicago to Paris for a suddenly open marketing role she’s vastly underqualified to fill. Sure, this would be a recipe for disaster for most. But never fear! For plucky Emily, it’s all just a chance to have an adventure. Her bright-eyed optimism and blinding white smile would be admirable if it wasn’t so out of place in Paris. The plot leans heavily on unflattering stereotypes, the fashion is bonkers, and paired with the fact that Emily doesn’t speak a word of French, the feedback has been… well, varied, to say the least. But there’s a way to save the show! Maybe, just maybe, season 2 could ship Emily off to a new destination? After a brief brainstorming session (which Emily would for sure love), here are a few suggestions.

Emily in London

On her first day at her new job in Paris, Emily finds herself confronted by a surly table full of French colleagues who cannot understand why she’s smiling so much, or why she’s so loud. Lucky for her, she can’t understand their snide remarks about her constant, doe-eyed grin or the volume of her cheeriness. But here’s the thing… this is not just something that confuses the French about Americans! Brits also find American naiveté and optimism just as baffling.

If Emily moved to London from Chicago for a job, it would make some sense. Yes, sure, the French barrier creates a few hilarious (read: cringe) moments when Emily can’t understand what’s going on, but it’s also ridiculous. At the very least, give the audience a chance to believe that she would be the first pick for this coveted position! Ship her off to London instead of Paris.

Emily in Singapore

Along with moving for a job that’s suddenly available because her pregnant boss doesn’t want to give birth to her unplanned baby abroad, Emily is also apparently transitioning from her role in pharmaceutical marketing to one in * checks notes * the luxury sector.

Do Paris and luxury go hand in hand? Le duh, of course they do. Is this a well-worn point of reference? Oui, it is. It’s kind of an exhausted and tired old trope. But you know what the world has only gotten a taste of? Crazy Rich Asians. There’s even a weird subplot in Emily in Paris that brings in her expat friend’s Hong Kong besties and through the entire scene and… why didn’t they actually set this in Asia? Singapore has a thriving expat community, it would shine the spotlight on a part of the world that hasn’t been overplayed, and hello: talk about the new heart of the luxury sector! Plus, even though English is the main language of Singapore, Emily could surely navigate her way through her fair share of awkward moments in Mandarin if the writers insist.

Emily in Sydney

As you can imagine, most of Emily’s storylines involve misadventures in love and lust. French men are so forward, she learns on Day 1! But you know who else is great at flirting? Australians. Plus, Sydney is also full of incredible, iconic shots, great restaurants, and amazing wine. It just doesn’t get enough love from the Northern Hemisphere. Plus, Emily has strolled hand in hand along the Seine with quite a few beaus, but Sydney can offer long walks on the beach.

Sure, there’s a charming little storyline that sends Emily down to a family-owned vineyard in Champagne. But why not do that same storyline on a ranch in the Outback? The stakes are automatically much higher when snakes and dingoes are involved. Emily Down Under: cute boys, sassy bosses, and a lot of large, deadly bugs.

Emily in Nashville

As her colleagues grow to detest her (before they, spoiler alert: learn to love her!), they give her a terrible nickname. “Le plouc,” they sneer at her while pretending it’s a big secret she’ll never crack. She googles it about five seconds after four different people spit it in her direction, and she briefly loses her blinding white smile when she learns it means “the hick.”

Rude!

But also, Emily’s big smile and Midwestern heart would thrive in the American South… and while Nashville might not be home to the luxury sector, it’s an up and coming city that would believably have a start-up that needs a girl from the Big City to come down and teach them The Way. Plus, even on American soil, she’d still have some culture shock to navigate.

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