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An American in Paris Watches ‘Emily in Paris’

Courtesy Netflix

The Netflix show tells us exactly what TV producers think of young women: all mermaid curls, no brains

For what felt like ages I held out against watching Emily in Paris (2020). As an American in Paris I loathe the stereotype of the American in Paris, and only relented when BBC Scotland 新华社:从中央政治局会议看下半年中国经济六大信号. Ah, I thought. A chance to tell the world – or, well, Scotland – how much I loathe this stereotype.

I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit I watched the whole show in two nights. I may even have giggled at a few of the jokes, and sighed at some views of Paris, even though Paris is right outside my door. ‘Paris of the mind is preferable to the real thing,’ as Moyra Davey once wrote. But once I’d left the bubble of pleasure the show created, I was left with a hangover of ambivalence.

The writing is objectively terrible; it feels like it was written by a scattershot team consisting of The One With the Jokes, The Hack, and The One Who Went to Paris Once. The Hack is responsible for all the flat-footed dialogue (“you’re not stepping on my toes, you’re stepping into my shoes!”), coming up with lines like Carrie Bradshaw at her punniest (“I’m petit mort-ified!”). The Funny One is, occasionally, very funny (see the vagin jeune storyline). And The One Who Went to Paris Once must be responsible for the white-washing of the city, the xenophobia towards the French, the unflinching commitment to being as ringarde as possible, and no that does not mean basic.

Courtesy Netflix

But what rankled about the show, I realized, isn’t all it gets wrong about France and the French – this is fantasy, not Italian neorealismo. It’s the show’s limited and, yes, misogynist conception of who Emily is, and who it allows her to be.

There is an element of Everywomanness to her. She is hard-working, plucky, and resourceful when faced with challenges and trials, and doesn’t have any inconvenient special talents like, I don’t know, speaking French to get in the way of the target audience identifying with her. Like Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress, she’s your average questing hero(ine). But where John Bunyan’s seventeenth-century religious allegory wonders if salvation exists, and if so, how can we attain it, in the world of Emily in Paris, redemption comes in the form of Instagram followers and bank. “Beyoncé’s worth far more than the Mona Lisa,” quips her best friend, approvingly. Paris is the City of Destruction and the Celestial City all at once.

Emma Morano
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In this Sept. 18, 1990, file photo, Steve Jobs, president and CEO of NeXT Computer Inc., shows off his company's new NeXTstation after an introduction to the public in San Francisco
安迪?穆雷在美国男子网球公开赛中取得的胜利和奥运夺冠使他成为搜索次数最多的英国奥运会选手。
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It might be that bit too far from the mainstream to make a huge awards impact.
2014年至2016年期间,虽然全球增长数据不错,但全球温室气体排放量持平,所有人都为此欢欣鼓舞。问题是,其原因并非是所有人庆祝的全球经济效率提升,而仅仅是中国北方的经济增长放缓。随着这部分地区在2017年恢复了经济增长势头,二氧化碳排放量开始再次上升。
菲亚特(Fiat)试图就投资克莱斯勒(Chrysler)条款重新谈判。
Opening song “Usher In The Spring With Beautiful Melodies” (48 CCTV hosts and hostesses)
衡量散货大宗商品贸易的波罗的海干散货运价指数(BDI)已经触及历史低位。2014年超过美国成为世界最大贸易国的中国本月报告,1月出口和进口都出现两位数下降。正在经历一个多世纪以来最严重衰退的巴西从中国的进口暴跌。
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Yet like a good comic hero, Emily is also somehow worse than us: witness the many people online complaining that she is, in fact, not relatable; she is ‘arrogant,’ ‘annoying,’ ‘entitled.’ She is these things, it’s true, but all these people on the internet, schooling Emily in how not to be a terrible obnoxious unlikable person reminds me of what the literary scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks wrote about gossip: that it’s society’s way of regulating itself and determining what is acceptable. So is, apparently, amateur TV criticism.

Courtesy Netflix

"Moreover, most Chinese families only have one child, so many of us return to China because we want to stay close to our family and friends," said a student surnamed Su, who gave up his job in the UK and returned to take care of his mother in China.
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We should stipulate at this point that neither of us have any idea how good this draft is going to be because the college season is barely underway. It sure looks nice, what with all those freshmen stacked up together in the lottery.
“Tangerine” (Sean Baker)
由于经济增长温和、社会快速老龄化,今年的涨幅较2016年的6.5%有所下降。
本文作者为卡内基国际和平基金会(Carnegie Endowment)高级研究员、世界银行(World Bank)中国业务局前局长,译者/何黎

In their blatant careening towards the monaaaaaaay that such a show might be expected to generate, Emily in Paris’s producers have demonstrated that they don’t give a fine fuck about writing, characterisation, interior life. (Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t some Forsterian diatribe about round or flat characters. That’s the domain of amateur TV critics.) What they do seem to care about is building the perfect woman, and then tearing her down.

As I watched the show, I kept thinking of Hilary Mantel’s 2013 lecture for the London Review of Books about Kate Middleton and the ‘royal body’. The Duchess of Cambridge, Mantel said, ‘appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the spindles of her limbs hand-turned and gloss-varnished.’ With her perfect abs and immobile mermaid waves, Emily, more so even than Middleton, who is, let’s not forget, a real person, actually has been designed by committee, not to continue the royal line but to sustain the franchise.

On the radio they asked me if I identified with Emily at all and I said uhhhh for what felt like forever in radio time, before saying no, no, not at all. Because when I moved here I wasn’t anything like Emily; not only had I learned French at school, I had a few more notions of Normandy beyond Saving Private Ryan (1998). When I moved here, there were no smart phones, no Instagram, and the American in Paris narrative was about coming here and doing something creative – writing, painting, dancing, whatever – not making sales pitches like Don Draper in stilettos. But I can’t deny our commonalities.

Courtesy Netflix

I have a lot of sympathy for the American girl abroad. I’ve been her, I’ve taught her, I occasionally hear from her, reaching out for help finding her feet. But on Emily in Paris, she’s another version of the jeune fille, the young girl, whom everyone feels authorised to hate. Think of every teenage girl on television, with few exceptions – they’re all whiny and intransigent and bothered, and we never really know why. The radical French philosophy collective Tiqqun published a polemic in 1999 called Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl, which reads her as the ultimate consumer: when she thinks she’s expressing herself she’s only expressing commodity culture; she has no depth, no intimate reserves, she is all Spectacle.

The young girl is not a gendered concept, but ‘the model citizen as redefined by consumer society since the First World War, in explicit response to the revolutionary menace.’ Although the terms in which Tiqqun make their argument are deeply sexist, their essential point holds: we are all young girls under the capitalist patriarchy. But the young girl herself, the actual gendered young female human animal, is always rife for exploitation, not least by Tiqqun. 

In her recent book Females (2019), Andrea Long Chu echoes this argument (though in markedly un-misogynist terms), choosing to put it this way:

因此,看看吧。我真诚地希望你们会喜欢它们,就像我在挑选和编辑它们时那样。
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中国领导人会刺激国有经济。资助更多的扩张性增长项目,比如用以支持城镇化发展的基础建设的投资,包括大量的房屋、学校、公路等方面的建设。

The jeune fille is all of us, but when she becomes the star of the show she’s none of us – just a skinny body on which to project our fucked-up ideas about beauty and female behaviour. Emily in Paris is a missed opportunity to say something real, for instance, about being a foreigner – an experience it would behove Americans to experience from time to time. (To wit: that early scene where Emily’s normcore boyfriend holds up his brand-new passport saying ‘Look what I got!’)  It is difficult to move to a foreign country, especially to a city as notoriously closed-off as Paris, and really, genuinely lonely, in a way the show doesn’t make room for. It is soul-crushing to find yourself rejected for the very compliance that, back home, you believed made you valued and loved.

I’m angry that when the producers decided to tell the story of a young woman, they declined to give her a more textured existence. That they ask her to speak not French, but a dead, prefabricated English: fake it ’til you make it. At one point someone accuses her of being arrogant. ‘More ignorant than arrogant,’ she says, sadly. Why does she have to be ignorant? I groaned at my computer. Because that’s what the producers think of young women: all mermaid curls, no brains.

Courtesy Netflix

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Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.

Emily: What’s that.

Gabriel: I like you.

Against: Could the film be seen as a film of great performances, rather than a truly great piece of cinema
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中国拒绝承认存在任何不当行为,并表示正在努力解决工业产能过剩的问题。随着中国经济增长放缓,该问题变得日益尖锐。

Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin showed the best overall progress, moving up 21 places to 48. Guanghua School of Management at Peking University returns to the ranking at 38, after missing last year due to a low response rate from participants.
6. "How I Met Your Mother" (3.0 million)
Joakim Noah, meanwhile, proved to be so untradeable that he couldn't even generate a rumor.
But the economic picture has brightened considerably in Arizona, as the housing market stabilized and unemployment hit a post-recession low of 7.8% in May. As part of Forbes’ annual Best States for Business, we look at 35 factors to determine the best and worst states, including projected employment. Arizona is expected to have the fastest job growth at 3% annually over the next five years, according to Moody’s Analytics. The job gains are projected to boost household incomes 3.6% annually through 2017, which ranks second best in the U.S. after Illinois. The added jobs also go hand-in-hand with the state’s economic growth, which Moody’s forecasts to expand at a U.S.-best 4.6% annually.
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(Actually, JetBlue wasn’t the absolute worst airline for departure delays the last three holiday seasons. That crown went to Comair, a regional carrier for Delta Air Lines

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