‘Emily in Paris’ Season Two Debuts, But Are We Tired of All This French Dressing?

*Warning: Un petit spoiler ahead*

What gives, Emily in Paris?

After charming and incensing viewers internationally with a 2020 season of bumbling through fish-out-of-water scenarios set in the French capital, our titular heroine returns to Netflix with ten new episodes, streaming now. But can Emily hold her viewers' attention, especially now that we've all endured another year of intermittent social distancing and social uprising? And also, the original Emily in Paris, Carrie in New York (created by EiP executive Darren Star), is back on our radar without Star's participation and capturing eyeballs with a full panoply of controversial clickbait plot points and podcasts. How can our naïf Emily possibly keep up?

I watched the first episode, and here's my opinion.

First, a recap. When we last saw Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), she was dumbstruck to discover that hot chef Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) was staying in Paris to open a bistro instead of decamping to his native Normandy. Which made their previous night of clandestine, spontaneous goodbye sex awkward, since Gabriel's girlfriend Camille (Camille Razat) was Emily's friend. (Apparently Emily thought she had one-night pass on the bro code?) And Emily works in a marketing agency where there's a bunch of work drama and background noise about her somehow adding value to the company even though she doesn't speak French but does understand Instagram. There, all caught up!

The first episode of season two zooms us right back to where we left our girl Paris, reeling from the apparently electric touch of Gabriel (in truth, the characters do have chemistry, which, props to Lily Collins for managing to throw heat to her male lead through all that bumbling). She's planning a trip to the seaside with her suitor, moneybags Mathieu (Charles Martins), conflicted about leading him on since she just slept with Gabriel. All this becomes plain to the viewer, as well as to her droll boss, agency head Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), at a lunch in which Camille confides that her boyfriend is hiding something about why he stayed in Paris. Clever Sylvie immediately susses out that Emily is involved in a romantic drama, but doesn't care as long as she keeps her mitts off her lover Antoine (William Abadie). But of course, Antoine isn't far from the action, since he's bankrolling Gabriel's restaurant, where a table full of investors has just been served tripe, stewed cow stomach that's traditionally peasant food but now chic because head-to-tail dining is a thing?

emily in paris season two debut seine

All that's well and good, but does the inexplicable allure of the Emily in Paris first season hold up for this second season? Reader, it does. As prepared as I was to dismiss Emily and her whole regarde (tacky) wardrobe as last year's midwinter binge fling, I'm surprised to admit that thanks to tight scenes, tonally correct details (except in her wardrobe, which we'll come back to), attractive characters and doubly attractive locations, Emily in Paris season deux is a delight, a guilty pleasure that comes at just the right time. Because we all need something to watch for distress tolerance when we're gathered with family for the holidays.

Revel in the useful French customs (take a Euro for the restroom attendant, madame papi). Get hip to French luxury products (bonjour, covetable Rimowa luggage). And board the impossibly expensive Orient Express to the white sand beaches of the Riviera, where Emily is headed alone after Mathieu learns Emily had just got cheffed. It's all a sugar rush of dessert...with perhaps a bit too much meringue when it comes to Emily's wardrobe. While mad respect is due New York legend Pat Field, who did the costumes for Sex and the City and creates Emily's looks here, we're wondering if perhaps the costumes don't take us out of the flow of the action a bit too much. For example we're super-distracted studying a satin dinner coat Emily wears over a tiny sequin mini-dress to a drag show, or wondering how she sits down in her impossibly short dresses as she swans around the office.

But that's not our Emily, and it's not this bon bon of a fantasy Euro island. We'll be downloading episodes for the plane trip home and watching her sur la plage in our childhood bedroom.


At the start of season two, Emily in Paris gives the viewer more of the sweet story and sublime settings that made the first season so popular. It's not perfect—there's no added layer of sophistication or knowledge we're coming away with—but this is solid escapist fantasy. Plus, she's going to the beach!

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dana dickey
Dana Dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...
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