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What ‘Emily in Paris’ Needs to Change in Season 4

Netflix recently released the third season of Emily in Paris. The story revolves around a business-minded girl who is transferred to a marketing firm in Paris despite knowing no French. And three seasons in, she still knows no French. Her time in France is a culture shock as she adapts and finds her way in a new country, but there is plenty of relationship drama to keep her busy. The show has always included some amount of ridiculousness, but Season 3 arguably went too far. Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) has quickly become the company’s most sought-after employee without really trying. While attempting to make her the best, they forget to make her coworkers remotely competent without her. Yet Emily continues to make terrible decisions and faces no consequences. Everything just works out for her, which, frankly, doesn’t make interesting TV. The character and her choice of clothes are hard to take seriously, but the show persists in trying. As the show moves into a fourth season, there are several ways it (and the character) needs to grow, or it will once again seem to move nothing forward.

Emily’s Conflicts at Work
Lily Collins in Emily in Paris Season 3
Image via Netflix
Everything happens easily for Emily. The company needs a meeting with a major influencer, and of course, she follows Emily on Instagram. When a client refuses to work with them, all Emily needs to do is corner them once to convince them to change their mind. She’s a foreigner and the newest member of the company, so not all of her ideas should be major successes. If Emily doesn’t need to work hard, why is the show predominately about her work? Season 4 should have Emily fail, so she can pick herself up again. No one succeeds all the time, so who wants to watch a show about someone who does? Season 3 set up an interpersonal conflict between her and her coworker, Luc (Bruno Gouery), so perhaps this is already taken care of. But even with that complication, Emily should need to work harder in the future.

Related: ‘Emily in Paris’ Season 3 Shocker Explained: Who’s Pregnant?

Emily Should Be More Intelligent
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Image via Netflix
Emily is a workaholic powerhouse. But despite rising to the top of her field almost instantaneously, she makes terrible decisions. Season 2 saw her agree to leave the parent company to work at the new marketing firm her boss, Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), wanted to start. But Season 3 picks up with her working at both companies, struggling only with time management. An adult with any common sense should know better than this. She should have realized she was only going to hurt people. To make her seem more incompetent, she’s surprised when she gets fired.

These decisions spill into her personal life. She chooses to skip a party for her boyfriend, Alfie (Lucien Laviscount), for work, thinking he wouldn’t be angry, and then she’s incredulous when he breaks up with her. She agrees to waitress for Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) despite not knowing the language, believing it won’t be a problem and ends up giving a customer an allergic reaction. Her refusal to think logically is uncanny. It’s hard to watch Emily make bad decisions constantly when she’s supposed to be intelligent. If the show wants her to be smart, they should demonstrate that in how she behaves. It’s not that intelligent people never make bad choices, but if that’s all she does, then she isn’t really smart.

Consequences That Stick
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Image via Netflix
In a similar vein, Emily needs to face the consequences of her mistakes. She makes bad decisions and is surprised when things don’t go her way because she’s never had real, lasting consequences. Yes, Sylvie fires her in Season 3, but it only lasts briefly. She even mentions that she’s in France with a work visa, but it doesn’t become an issue because she gets rehired too quickly. If this plot had lasted longer, there would have been plenty of drama to keep the show going, but the lightning-fast pace made this plot hardly matter at all.

The same problem happens again when Alfie dumps her. Emily is able to win him back in only one episode. These should be the natural results of her actions, but she’s able to reverse them. The fact is, watching everything work out for her, even after her terrible decisions, is annoying. If everything goes her way, she isn’t a relatable character. Emily should face punishment for the way she treats the people around her. It’s hard to root for her when she’s surprised despite everyone else reacting reasonably. Moving forward, Emily’s bad choices should have a lasting impact on her life and relationships, or else what is the point of her making that choice in the first place?

Emily’s Clothes
Emily in Paris
One thing that has stood out since the beginning is Emily’s wardrobe. The show is set in Paris and makes a big deal out of fashion, as her agency represents several designers. Many characters make creative fashion choices, but not like Emily herself. The problem isn’t that these choices are uncommon, but the direction they are going. It’s not chic or avant gard but, honestly, childish. The bright, undiluted color makes her the center of attention, and not in a good way. How can Emily be taken seriously as a successful adult who dresses like a Disney Channel character? Transitioning her into clothes more like her costars, which are bold yet less drastic, would go a long way in making her seem less like a child.

Make the Show More Self-Aware
Let’s face it, the concept is totally unrealistic, and they take it with the utmost seriousness. Season 4 should loosen up a little. Season 3 has a whole section featuring an ad where they create a filter for people to look like their pets, and it’s not joked about in the slightest. Admittedly, it’s not a bad publicity idea, but if anything, it would turn into an internet joke, so why didn’t anyone laugh about it? The show takes few chances to add humor, which is what it needs the most. The show tends towards being a little crazy, so why can’t it take the time to laugh at itself?

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