When Emily in Paris was released on Netflix earlier this month, it quickly became the most divisive, most talked-about show of the year (bar Tiger King, of course). Which makes complete sense: when you bill a series as being the new Sex and the City and enlist both its creator and stylist, there are going to be a lot of expectations riding on the final product.
Very quickly, critics slammed Darren Star’s cliche-filled view of the French capital while others took aim at Patricia Field’s choice of fashion for the show’s lead, Lily Collins. Op-eds were written both defending the show and damning it, and the noise was so loud that, of course, Collins got wind of it all.
In a new interview, the actress admitted that hearing the public’s disdain of the show she both starred in and helped to create was “disheartening,” but that she’s taking it as an opportunity to expand Emily in Paris for season two – should it be renewed.
“As disheartening as it sometimes is to read these things, it’s also a gift; you’re being allowed to improve,” she told Vogue Arabia.
Collins also noted that if the show is commissioned for another series – which is highly likely given it was the most-watched thing on Netflix in pretty much every country around the world in its release week – she hopes to “evolve the narrative.”
Actor Lucas Bravo, who plays Gabriel on the show, also responded to the backlash, agreeing that critics are right in that Emily in Paris did show just one (very privileged) version of the city.
“I think they’re right, in a way,” he explained when asked about comments from French critics. “We’re portraying cliches and we’re portraying one single vision of Paris. Paris is one of the most diverse cities in the world. We have so many ways of thinking, so many different nationalities, so many different neighborhoods. A lifetime wouldn’t be enough to know everything that’s going on in Paris.”
The show’s producer Darren Star meanwhile told The Hollywood Reporter that he was “not sorry for looking at Paris through a glamorous lens. “The first thing she is seeing is the clichés because it’s from her point of view,” he explained. “I wanted to do a show that celebrated that part of Paris.”
Whether or not Emily in Paris expands its horizons for season two, one thing is for sure: everyone will still be hate-watching, and, really, that’s all Netflix needs.