Emily in Paris returns to Netflix with its third season, one year after moving from Chicago to Paris for her dream job, Emily finds herself at a crucial crossroads in every aspect of her life. Faced with two quite different paths, Emily will have to decide exactly where her loyalties lie — at work and in her romantic life — and what those decisions mean for her future in France, all while continuing to immerse herself in the adventures and surprising twists and turns that life in Paris provides.
Given that Emily in Paris is on it’s third season, you might have expected some changes or character development, either from a writing standpoint or from the acting. Unfortunately, everything with this third season is repetitive. Three seasons later, Emily (Lily Collins) is in the same position she was last season and the season before. Torn between her feelings between Alife (Lucien Laviscount) or Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), it’s the same plot from previous seasons with the same troubles. You do have to wonder if the writers are a little scared to push their main character’s further than her romantic problems, but much like Emily, I don’t think they are trying to do anything of substance.
A few of the positive things about season 3 must be a few characters’ agency. Alife is putting himself, focusing on some exciting new prospects without getting engulfed in Emily’s tragique love life. Julien (Samuel Arnold) is another stand out, but unfortunately, like in his career, he is unfairly pushed aside for Emily. Finally, after three seasons, people are calling Emily out on her selfishness, not only in her personal life, but also in her work life. The long-awaited time of people calling Emily out for stealing clients and pitches comes to a head, though it still took its time! The problem with Emily in Paris is Emily herself…
Mindy Chen (Ashely Park) is another character that does what most characters can’t do; she shines! While her scenes do feel like it’s part of another show, Mindy’s are the most interesting to watch. From climbing up from busking in the streets to having her own residency, I did wonder how long it would be for this character to take more a significant role as there is only so much you can do with Emily and her love triangles (though at this point its more of a love pentagon). If the series focused on Mindy over the titular character it would make for a more entertaining watch, show the development and growth that the series needs. Mindy was a great part of this season and considering where she was in previous seasons, it gives the show that much needed growth it lacks with Emily.
Emily in Paris unfortunately missed the mark this season. Not only is there any development with the main characters, but it is also obvious that the writers are very confused at what to do next. From every character being involved in a sort of love triangle, the writers fell down a trap of being unsure what to do with a character, so they suddenly make them interested in the other sex. While its important for characters to explore their sexuality (and more representation is appreciated), what is not needed is for this sudden interest in the other sex be the reason to marry the original love interest especially when it is done as something to create conflict and not an interesting one at that. For that, interesting characters are needed.
What was surprising, was that given it is a majority female cast, most of the female characters spend most of their time sabotaging or tearing each other down. It all felt very juvenile, and dare I say it, even a low-rent old style CW show where the characters are only defined by who they are currently sleeping with, no matter the repercussions. Had Emily in Paris, actually focus on Paris and the American finding her way in new culture and immersing herself in it, it would have made for something creative and fun but instead it chooses to focus on something as bland as a love triangle over and over again.
Overall, the third season of Emily in Paris is a disappointment. Sometimes you just need to watch an easy, fun tv show but Emily in Paris is not that. Rubbish TV can be an enjoyable thing and Netflix has done some fun rubbish tv shows in recent years, but Emily in Paris seems to struggle if it is a comedy, a drama, or a romantic drama. It’s a confusion that is felt in the stale plot that I can’t see changing in the next season, should it get renewed.
Given that Mindy is the only one who isn’t selfish and works for his goals instead of stealing ideas from others or having things fall in her lap, she is the season MVC. She is an interesting character with drive and should have her own show instead of Emily.
The Emily in Paris season 3 releases 21st December 2022, only on Netflix.
The third season was screened for review.