The hit series Emily in Paris is being eviscerated by the media. Despite labeling it “Netflix’s most-hated show,” “a catastrophe of culture,” and “inedible tripe,” high-minded critics sure are spending a lot of time and website space talking about it.

I am all about scrutinizing art (if we can call Emily “art”) to extract something meaningful. But in the following analysis, I will argue why we should absolutely stop analyzing Emily in Paris.

First of all, I don’t understand why critics are disappointed not to find the answer to some weighty Descartian theory in a show whose...

The hit series Emily in Paris is being eviscerated by the media. Despite labeling it “Netflix’s most-hated show,” “a catastrophe of culture,” and “inedible tripe,” high-minded critics sure are spending a lot of time and website space talking about it.

I am all about scrutinizing art (if we can call Emily “art”) to extract something meaningful. But in the following analysis, I will argue why we should absolutely stop analyzing Emily in Paris.

First of all, I don’t understand why critics are disappointed not to find the answer to some weighty Descartian theory in a show whose descriptor reads: “After landing her dream job in Paris, Chicago marketing exec Emily Cooper embraces her adventurous new life while juggling work, friends and romance.”

Emily is, from the start, completely predictable and unrealistic, and these traits, along with accusations of “stereotyping,” are among the chief complaints about the show. Neither Emily nor any of her cohorts exhibit any notable character development or evolution throughout the two seasons. Emily does concede to the French way in some simple matters — agreeing that fresh farmer’s market produce is superior to store-bought frozen food, and that drinking wine for breakfast is pretty great. Otherwise she is very much the beautifully coiffed, flawlessly made-up Ugly American, an identity she shamelessly embraces and imposes on everyone else.

Emily has been getting a lot of flack from liberals whose censure is, as usual, contradictory. In a world that celebrates every new, distorted sense of reality dreamed up by an ever-growing swarm of self-identifying whoseits and whatsits, and in which “being you” and “loving yourself” is now its own ideology, Emily does just that. In spades. And the left is raking her over the coals for it.

“I wanted a confection set in beautiful Paris. And the show sort of gave us that, but it also gave, like, ‘American in Paris’ who just sort of inflicts her Americanness on everyone,” said Atlantic staff writer Megan Garber during a 45-minute podcast picking the show apart. “And everyone learns from her, but she learns precisely nothing from anyone else. It really left me disappointed.”

Ah, “inflicting her Americanness” on everyone. There’s the sticky wicket. Were Emily inflicting her anti-Americanness on everyone, or her wokeness on everyone, or her critical race theory on everyone, would that be okay? What things are acceptable to inflict on everyone, if not one’s traditions, principles, and outlook? Emily’s resilient behavior, bizarre in how unnatural it is, is quite effective. Embarrassing blunder after embarrassing blunder, everyone, save her irresistibly bitchy superior d’un certain âge, Sylvie, succumbs to Emily’s “charms,” unrefined and American though they might be.

Another repetitive (and hypocritical) criticism of Emily is the main character’s wardrobe. The Atlantic writers call Emily’s outfits “kind of baffling, “aesthetically troubling,” “wacky,” and “horrifying for sure,” in an exchange that comes off as downright snobby. Emily’s attire is appalling, but liberals aren’t supposed to question — let alone rebuke — a person’s right to self-expression. (I, on the other hand, get paid to do it! See here.) The show’s costume consultant and designer justified the choices to Vanity Fair by explaining, “We’re doing a romantic comedy. So we don’t care about reality.”

Ding, ding, ding! Emily in Paris portrays the superficial lives of hedonists whose existences revolve around worldly success, luxury goods, gourmet food, exquisite wine, partying, and sex. That’s it. It’s not anything close to reality. The characters look good and do what feels good, constantly indulging their senses in an opulent city. And isn’t this what modern society, with a mantra of “do what makes you happy,” is all about?

Emily has been labeled as uninteresting and lacking in depth. It’s true, but so are most people. What seems really to irk critics is that she isn’t trying to make a statement. She’s uncontroversial (despite the deep, pseudo-academic discussions she’s incited), unpretentious, and unabashedly basic, which she readily admits to. In an impassioned exchange with Sylvie, who snootily dismisses Emily as “so obvious” with “no mystery” about her, our protagonist does not deny it, but rather tells her slim, cigarette-smoking, French babe of a boss who flops her arms around in a sexy, are-you-drunk-or-are-you-on-the-catwalk sashay, essentially, “You have this natural, effortless, very French, je ne sais quoi about you that I’ll never have, but I admire it.”

In a society where you’re allowed to be anything — a man can compete on the girl’s swim team, and “non-binary” is an option to select on official paperwork — why can’t Emily be…normal? She does not contrive some made-up sexual preference, nor does she change her mind every day about which pronoun to use. Not everyone can be zany, out-of-the-box trendsetters lighting culture ablaze like a Halley’s Comet of creativity or shock value.

What more do we expect, anyway, from a nihilistic society that cancels every sort of non-conformist expression quicker than you can say “Zut!” A depthless, predictable story about shallow people is what we deserve.

To their credit, several critics (Atlantic writers included) concede that Emily in Paris is “joyfully escapist,” “the last guilty pleasure,” “a vacation,” and “a Millennial’s fairy tale.” In an episode called “French Ending,” Emily and her French co-workers debate whether American romantic comedies are “dishonest” for always having a happy ending, compared to French films that are usually “tragic, more like life.” Emily, in her astoundingly self-confident way, asserts, “But [American films] give you hope! And the hero wins in the end. Don’t you want the hero to win? Don’t you want to go to the movies to escape life?”

Emily is about as far of an escape from real life as you can get, which is what makes it so refreshing and wildly successful. People are sick of being assaulted by leftist causes at every turn. It’s impossible to run simple errands without some corporation bragging about how it’s saving the planet or striving for equality by sourcing paper towels ethically. Emily does not purport to preach, but instead invites viewers into a world that’s patriotic (Emily’s American ways are always winning), aesthetically tantalizing (wait ‘til you see Emily’s love interest, Gabriel — oh lah lah!), at times absurd (her outfits can be distractingly bad), and extremely satisfying.

Who doesn’t want to be transported to a place where, no matter how tactless, gauche, and vapid you are, everyone falls under your spell? A place where there are no real hardships, serious duties, or consequences, and the one-dimensional people you encounter always react exactly how they’re supposed to?

Emily in Paris reminds us that clashes in culture, and even the imposition of one culture onto another, is not necessarily a bad thing. (At one point, Emily’s “prudish” American sensibilities prevent a sexist perfume ad from airing.) Emily is often reprimanded by her colleagues for working too much. The Atlantic was disappointed Emily didn’t learn anything from any of her French peers. Apparently these critics didn’t learn anything from Emily. Not everything has to profess a profound message about race, sexual orientation, or the human condition. We are allowed to have fun for fun’s sake. To bask vicariously in the triumphs of an inexplicably self-assured pixie of a person powerfully influencing all of Paris.

Emily’s impenetrable joie de vivre is enjoyable. The show is silly, yes, and morally vacant, but it’s also reliable. We, as humans, are all “basic” when it comes down to it: we want life to make sense, to follow a simple pattern, and for problems to work themselves out (like capitalism does). We all want a happy ending, especially in such a topsy-turvy time as this. Emily offers all that, along with a dreamy feast for the senses (just hearing the French language spoken is like listening to music!).

Critics should take a cue from the French and stop working so hard to find something wrong with Emily in Paris. Pour yourself a glass of Veuve Clicquot, sit back, and let the people revel in Emily!