(Above photo - Lilly Collins is excellent as the lead in Emily In Paris on Netflix )
It's been a busy Netflix week, I'm steaming through 'The Crown' and I've just finished watching 'Emily in Paris'. Let's face it, as we are halfway through the lockdown in the UK we've all got plenty of time on our hands for escapism via light entertainment.
I particulary enjoyed 'Emily in Paris', although I did find myself having to take some deep breaths at some of the cultural stereotypes it propagated about France generally and Parisians specifically. At times in some scences I was just waiting for the camera to pan to a beret donning French man with a string of garlic around his neck, smouldering Gauloises in hand, as he cycled past whistling 'La Marseillaise'. Ooh la la?
(Above photo - I don't like the new normal. Can we get back to normal with the old normal? )
The whole set up of the show is how small town American girl Emily gets relocated to a chic marketing firm in Paris and has to navigate the cultural differences whilst - zut alors, quel crime - not being able to speak a word of French. Cue most Parisians she meets are rude, gruff and short tempered. On the other side her French colleagues have to adapt to some of her annoying Americanisms: putting a dollar sign in front of everything, not always talking about business and not being able to accept the absolute necessity of weekday long 3 course lunches washed down with a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. There's no rush, let's savour the finer points in life like good conversation, long lunches and fine wines. You can keep your McDonalds eaten in front of your work computer to yourself thank you very much.
(Above photo - You can never fail with a Parisian backdrop )
Once it gets going I found myself drawn in by the characters and situations. Lilly Collins - daughter of Phil no less - is excellent in the lead role. Perhaps one of the shows biggest draws - and perhaps my primary motivation for watching - was the beautiful Parisian backdrop. Whilst in lockdown and throughout the pandemic we haven't been travelling at all - stay safe, stop the spread - and I am completely missing France and I am 'homesick' for Paris. The series has some good cinematography and art direction giving Paris an Instagram friendly filter and look. Hence we get drone shots of the Champs-Élysées, Montmartre and Pont Neuf. This is probably the longest time I haven't been to Paris and Emily In Paris helped with my malady. How I long to be sitting outside a bistro supping a noisette served by a grumpy waiter as I watch chic Parisian ladies stroll down the Boulevard Haussmann.
(Above photo - A wonderful French Bonheur Du Jour originally purchased in Paris. )
The French way of life, food, culture and aesthetic - I am completely in awe of it. I lived in the French Alps for eight months and learnt French at school for over ten years (I am not very good at speaking, it was a long time ago but I keep thinking about joining a conversation class). At Canonbury Antiques we are all Francophiles and particularly from a business perspective, France is our favourite place for buying trips. The history and quality of French furniture and cabinet making and the whole interiors aesthetic is envied around the world. Hence French antiques - Empire, Louis XVI, Directoire, Napoleon etc - are perhaps the biggest part of our inventory. Of course Paris - specifically the antiques markets in Saint-Ouen - is one of our favourite buying venues but due to the pandemic we haven't been visiting as regularly as before. You can read our guide to the Paris antiques market here.
(Above photo - Marche Serpette at the Paris antiques markets )
Let's hope things improve for 2021 and we can get back to 'normal' soon. It looks like it might need a vacine for that to happen. I did find out a second series of Emily In Paris has been green lighted, so until we can actually get back to Paris this will help with my withdrawal symptoms and I can practice some more arm chair tourism.
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