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The Grand Budapest Hotel
by Lee Jae Yoon | 승인 2021.02.27 12:52|(267호)

Emily in Paris was one of the most popular dramas in 2020. The story is about the life of the main character, Emily, who is working for a marketing company in Paris, France. This is an American drama, but the background of the story is Paris. As an American, Emily has to deal with the problems that she faces in France. Therefore, there are lots of clichés depicting what foreign people think about the French and their culture. For example, in the drama, the French do not work hard and consider leisure more important. The overall ambiance is humorous, but the story is stale . Lily Collins, however, who plays the main role, acts so perfectly that she captivates viewers. Furthermore, the beautiful landscape of Paris, French culture, and the life of the French make viewers dream about France and offer a form of escapism during the current pandemic.
As a student who studies the French language and French culture, Emily in Paris is a drama that comforts me very much. Due to Covid-19, most students, including me, have not been able to enjoy campus life for a long time. Moreover, students who considered studying in France gave up on their plans. In light of this, Emily in Paris offers viewers indirect experiences of Paris. In the drama, Emily takes a walk around parks in Paris, goes to clubs to dance, has nice dinners with her friends, etc. These are daily pleasures that cannot be enjoyed at present. I am truly envious of Emily because Emily’s life in Paris is a dream for students who were preparing to study in France. Of course, the reality in France is quite different from what is shown in the drama, but describing Paris beautifully is the main reason why this drama is appealing to so many viewers.
It was also very interesting to see the reaction of the French who watched Emily in Paris. Because this drama is very popular, many French people have watched this drama on Netflix. The most common comments from the French are that the drama is totally different from real life in France. They claim that Emily’s life in Paris is unrealistic and overstated. For example, Emily’s living space is known as a chambre de bonne (a maid’s room) in the drama. A chambre de bonne is actually a room for the poor who cannot afford to pay expensive rent. It is very similar to a rooftop room in Korea. However, Emily’s chambre de bonne is too nice and spacious compared to real chambres de bonne, and it is located in the center of Paris. So many French viewers have criticized the show saying that Emily’s chambre de bonne cannot exist in France. Furthermore, there was a scene showing the French to be promiscuous and feeling no guilt when having an affair. This is an oversimplification because having an affair is the main cause of divorce in France and some French are conservative.
Producers of the American drama Sex and the City and the movie The Devil Wears Prada worked on this drama. So the overall plot is similar to these American productions. There are ten enjoyable 30-minute episodes. If you are interested in the French language, culture, and life in Paris, Emily in Paris is the perfect choice for you.

by Lee Jae Yoon  news@cnu.ac.kr

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