Lifestyle Paris and its vicinity

Emily in Paris – Reality of French Clichés in the fabulous Netflix show

October 13, 2020
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Living her best life 🥖🇫🇷💋

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The French clichés in Emily in Paris

Two weeks ago, Emily in Paris, the much awaited Netflix TV show, directed by Darren Star, has been released. You cannot have miss it, it’s being discussed everywhere. And Alexandra has binge watched it with her friends. At first, they were not really convinced, but let’s face it: it’s a very sweet and funny show, exactly what we need in this post lockdown times in France, and they loved it! And the clichés about French people, they are actually really fun. Even if not very much accurate! Let’s go through some of them together.

Yes, we do drink a lot of wine, but no, Sancerre is not a breakfast wine. No wine is a breakfast wine unless it is 8am and you are still drinking from the night before. Pretty sure this happens everywhere and not only in France!
However, no, we usually don’t drink red wine while we are having ice creams at a café. The apéritif is sacré, but so is the gouter !

Yes, sometimes our language is really F-up. Most of the French people don’t speak or write it correctly. French is considered as the 10th most difficult language to learn in the World, just after Arabic or Chinese! Silent letters, conjugaison, pronunciations… We know and it’s hard, and we are always very impressed when a foreigners speak well French.

French complexity illustrated with Google Translate.


Yes, it’s hard not to speak French in France. However, not because the French is so mean at heart, but mostly because older generations really don’t speak English at all. As Emily said, more ignorant than arrogant! Don’t worry though, younger people in big towns speak English most of the time. Just try not to make too much fun of our accent, it’s very difficult for us as well! (And yes, these clichés about French pronunciation in English are very accurate: French people don’t pronounce the “h”, always forget the “s” with the third-person singular, will say “ID” for “idea”, and “Ze” for “the”. We are trying our best, though!

Yes, French people do smoke a lot. However, the smoking in France has been decreasing steadily after 2014, especially with women. Maybe Sylvie will quit smoking soon!
Though, no, most of the French girls do not smoke right after / or before going to the gym. Who would like to smoke a cigarette after a bootcamp session ?
A funny thing we have read about French people smoking: it’s not true that everyone smokes all the time, however most of the French young people smoke sometimes…

Yes, Parisians tend to be contemptuous of provincials and suburbanites. But living in Paris is now so expensive that even Parisians need to exile themselves in the Outskirts of Paris. Oops, it’s the biter bit.

Yes, we do reverse the dates. Or American people does ? No really sure who is correct here, but it is a problem we have all encountered at some point, setting a meeting on the incorrect date, or having a bug in the system because of that!

No, we are not afraid of Americans because their ideas are better. However, as an old country from the old continent, yes, it is always difficult to insert new ideas. We would say that French younger generation are facing the same issue in old and big companies!

Yes, Parisian women are usually super stylish. Sylvie and Camille have a very french wardrobe. This is definitely what you will see while strolling in Paris, or looking at people passing by while you are having a coffee at Café de Flore (because yes, we do go to Café de Flore for real from time to time. Take the Hot chocolate if you go too!). If you want to find out how to dress as a Parisienne, check our article: How to shop like a Parisienne!

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really don’t see the issue here 👀

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No, we don’t always take 3 hours to have lunch at work. And most of us are not out of office before 8pm at night. However, meals are a real institution and we do take the dinner really seriously. Family meals are something big pretty much every weekend. Feels like Thanksgiving is every Sunday lunch!

No, we don’t drive cars with our friends on our knees. We actually have a very strict car police and we are getting tickets quite often for all kind of things. And if we do too many infractions, we lose our driving licence and we need to take it again! And this happens quite often (much more than driving with friends on our knees to the countryside).

Yes, our buildings are always really old (even if beautiful), without lift and always poorly soundproofed, which makes you feel you are living with your neighbours, especially when they argue. The higher the flat is located, the cheaper the rent will be, so most of us have spent our studying years on the 6th floor.

Yes, you will find dog poop everywhere in Paris. We still don’t get it. People need to get fined to pick them up while they are walking their dog and still, even in the fanciest district, you won’t escape seeing very dirty streets!

Yes, we do spend most of our time on terraces. Sometimes before work with an espresso, after work with our colleagues, as long as the night (or the law) allows us with our friends… And you should too, if you visit Paris!

To conclude, Emily in Paris was a lot of fun to watch. Yes, it’s not exactly the reality. Paris is dirty, construction work are always ongoing, you can spend hours in traffic, the public transportation is never working and half of the time on strike. You cannot really wear an expensive bag without fearing pickpockets, you cannot wear skirts without getting insulted in half of the city and you cannot find a decent 15sqm studio for less than 800 euros/month, but who wants to see that, really ? Sex and the City was not exactly the real life in New-York city for a journalist with a very, very expensive closet!
We loved Emily in Paris because it was exactly what we would love Paris to be. And if you are planning to come to Paris, you should definitely check our favorite restaurants in Montmartre, where we live!

More about Emily in Paris

Where was Emily in Paris shot ?

In Paris, obviously. And you can see most of the magnificence of the City of Lights in the show.
Here are a list of few places you see in the show which you cannot miss when you come to Paris:

The Café de l’Homme terrace view

Is there a Emily in Paris season 2 coming ?

Nothing has been confirmed yet, and with the curfew set in Paris it would definitely not be super easy to organise right now for the production team. However, it was apparently mentioned many times by Netflix.

The best part ? Darren Star has mentioned she would really be part of the city and be less as the outsider she was in the first season. Something between French and American, and really, we cannot wait to see that!

The soundtracks of Emily in Paris

Even if it was not really French songs (even when it sounded like it), the soundtracks of Emily in Paris was really nice. You can find most of it on Spotify: Emily in Paris.
Édith Piaf, though, is a monument of the French music. Listen to all the songs while planning your trip to Paris, you will love it.

And if this is still not enough about France, and Paris, check out our fun facts about France! Let us know in comment if you have any question about Emily in Paris, or if we can verify (or unverify!) any other French clichés in the show for you!

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  • Reply
    Lisa at Following the Rivera
    October 13, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    I’ve not watched the show, but have heard so many things about it! So fun to read and learn about the French cliches. In Italy, it’s also not common to find many people that speak English. Obvious maybe, but not many foreigners recognise this!

    • Reply
      Alexandra
      October 26, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      Actually, it’s pretty much the same everywhere in Europe for non speaking English country, Germany excluded. That’s sad for our countries but that’s a tough one for our older generations as well! Thank you for your comment, I hope you will love the show if ever you watch it!

  • Reply
    Alexandra C.
    October 13, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Binge watching… binge watching… je me demande à quoi l’Homme était occupé au même moment 😏

    • Reply
      Alexandra
      October 26, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      Binge watching Call of Duty!

  • Reply
    VIctoria
    October 13, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    I’ll definitely have to check out the show! Thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      Alexandra
      October 26, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      I hope you will love it! Thank you for your comment!

  • Reply
    Becky Exploring
    October 14, 2020 at 1:42 am

    Haven’t watched the show, but I love that you’ve addressed the clichés in a fun way in this post. Makes me want to check it out.

    • Reply
      Alexandra
      October 26, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      I have to admit I had a lot of fun watching the show, but also writing the article! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Reply
    Lannie travels
    October 15, 2020 at 2:23 am

    Alexandra, I love this!! Now I absolutely have to watch Emily in Paris 🙂 even though it gets a few things wrong about France, it still seems some light fun is everything I need right now! Love how you used their IG posts too 🙂

    • Reply
      Alexandra
      October 26, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I had so much writing about the clichés to be honest, and now I cannot wait for the season 2 to go through it all over again haha

  • Reply
    Postcard Stories
    October 17, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Great post! It’s like TV show myths busted 🙂 The show is on my list though, so now I’ll understand it a bit differently 🙂

    • Reply
      Alexandra
      October 26, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      And you will see, there are many more clichés you will be able to laugh about! Thank you for your comment and have fun watching it!

  • Reply
    Vinn
    October 21, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Whoa!!! I so love this series and can’t wait for season 2! Thanks for sharing about the realities in Paris. And I can’t wait to see Paris and spend my day at Montmartre. 😉

    • Reply
      François
      October 22, 2020 at 9:42 am

      You will love Montmartre, that’s where we live actually!

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