Emilie in Paris? The French call it Leave Me Alone, You Anliterate Sociopath


Emily in Paris, that button-nosed avatar of American foreign policy, has returned to Netflix’s top 10 (the metric by which I rate our nation’s psychological health). If the first series helped you pass the Junior Cert exam by having a French accent and carrying a baguette, then the novella will help you get through the Leaving Cert exam by wearing a string of onions around your neck and saying “meh”. Seriously, if you stick with that, you might just end up getting a degree dressing like Napoleon while carrying a poodle under your arm, and then the sky’s the limit.

Emily is a cheerful clown who works for an advertising agency in Paris. She’s an innocent American in a place of romance and fairy tales, but she’s inexplicably surrounded by smelly, smoking, and often naked Parisians who insist on talking gibberish and being sexually captivated by her reckless American Ayn Randian.

She argues with a mime, which makes sense, they live in France. Big Mime is the main employer there.

Emily comes from a line of sartorially fashionable TV heroines that includes Carrie Bradshaw, Blossom and Minnie Mouse. Much of Emily’s clothing appears to have been designed by a precocious four-year-old at the request of a child psychologist. In one episode, Emily wears a lampshade on her head and an isosceles triangle as a coat. In another, her head appears to emerge from an explosion of purple frills. If I met Emily in real life, I would ask her how she dressed before remembering it wasn’t Halloween.

Emily has three friends. There is the “crazy”, an expatriate heiress who performs in a drag club. In a later episode, she argues with a mime, which makes sense, they live in France. Big Mime is the main employer there.

There’s also Camille, whose parents run a vineyard that produces wine so terrible it’s literally marketed to be sprayed on people. She takes Emily to a sauna where Camille and the other Frenchies walk around naked but where Emily sits with a dress tied up to her throat, clearly judging them.

Emily in Paris: Lucas Bravo as Gabriel, Camille Razat as Camille and Lily Collins as Emily

Then there is Gabriel, Camille’s boyfriend, with whom Emily is having an affair. His personality is that he has a rectangular head, is a leader, and lives down below. He also now owns a café, like René de ‘Allo ‘Allo! It’s the René of the giddy woman of ‘Allo ‘Allo!

Not even a little

Unfortunately, Emily does not speak French. This fact is becoming more of an issue for her this series. You’d think she would have given more thought to her lack of language skills, given that her USP is “in Paris.” She frequently initiates conversations with strangers in English. At one point, she gets annoyed that the people in her office have decided to hold a meeting in French, the language of their nation. In the fourth episode, she sends a letter of apology to her friend Camille for sleeping with Gabriel, to which Camille replies, “Leave me alone, illiterate sociopath”. Camille speaks here for all of France. Indeed, I believe that Leave Me Alone, You Anliterate Sociopath is the French title of the show.

Emily in Paris is inexplicably watchable despite being entirely frictionless and devoid of stakes. It kind of glides over your eyes like fractals or nightfall or the soft appearance of cataracts. My wife sat down to watch just one scene so she could yell swear words at her in French, but soon we were both on episode three and an hour and a half closer to death.

Back to the almost total absence of tension. Nothing can seriously affect Emily because she is an American overseas. If she was an American at home, she would be endangered by inadequate health care, guns, and the fact that they put corn syrup in everything. In Paris, she benefits from socialized medicine, gun control, and the fact that if anything happens to Americans abroad, other people are returned.

For the most part they could replace Emily with a fat puppy and most of the plot would still work well.

Her imperviousness to evil is evident in the first minute of the new series, when, overwhelmed by the sexy thoughts of her French-speaking pressure, she bumps into traffic. She is pulled back by a French pedestrian. Yes, the whole nation has been on high alert for distraught Americans ever since Alexis de Tocqueville spread the word centuries ago. Emily is so assured of her general safety that she considers it her due. She doesn’t even say thank you to the woman who saved her life and continues. The fact that Emily’s life was saved by a stranger is never mentioned again. Mark my words, this is the key scene of the whole series and it makes one point clear: Emily can’t die.

Much of Emily’s clothes look like they were designed by a precocious four-year-old

For the most part, they could replace Emily with a fat puppy, and most of the plot would still work well. How does this man without French and endowed with a remarkable lack of curiosity manage to flourish in a Parisian marketing company? In the same way that a fat puppy would come to flourish in a Parisian marketing society. Incredibly.

How does prudish Emily function in a torrid love triangle with a Champagne heiress and a handsome chef? The same way a fat pup would function in a torrid love triangle with a Champagne heiress and a hunky chef. Incredibly and a little disturbing.

Large Puppy in Paris, I suppose, would do as well as Emily in Paris. Indeed, Plaster of Paris, a show about a discarded medicine boot, would probably do just as well if the cast wore cute berets and had an Instagram account (I bought the rights to Plaster of Paris).

Vader’s Pet

I love Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy. He’s just a regular work asshole. In The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader hires a party of bounty hunters to find the goodies, Boba, the most heavily helmeted bounty hunter, sneaks around until he spots them. Then he runs away and swings at Vader. Boba Fett’s only real action scene comes in Return of the Jedi when, in the middle of a melee, a blinded Han Solo accidentally ignites Boba’s rocket pack and propels him into the mouth of a tentacled sandbeast. . It’s pretty solid slapstick. Or a cool-cute encounter if you’re drawn to tentacle monsters.

Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen in The Book of Boba Fett

Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen in The Book of Boba Fett

Based on these appearances, Boba Fett was just Vader’s pet and an unfortunate klutz. Boba “nerdlinger” Fett is probably what the other bounty hunters called him. But then fans became obsessed with the idea that he was a badass and soon he was fan-fictionized in a million non-canon comics and novels. His personality never evolved beyond “has a cool helmet” but now we have to reckon with the Boba Fett book (Disney Plus), where he turns out to be a grumpy middle-aged man who is good with guns. I find that sad. I would have been on a Boba Fett show where he was the Frank Spencer of the Star Wars universe, causing Vader to shake his fist and yell “Feeeeett!” regularly. Or how about a show where he moved to another planet in order to work in advertising with chain-smoking, sex-obsessed Ewoks who only speak Ewok (Boba in Endor?). It would have been great. The Boba Fett Book is unlike any of these things. Still, he has a cool helmet. I expect to see Emily wear it in future episodes of Emily in Paris.


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