Emily in Paris

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Emily in Paris TV Poster Image
Sexy, soapy serial has mature humor, lots of smoking.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 25 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Light and frothy show does contain some positive messages, such as importance of knowing when to focus on career and when to focus on relationships, and necessity of finding balance. Examples of French people living relaxed lives, enjoying themselves.

Positive Role Models

Cultural stereotypes loom large: French characters who are snide, snotty, hostile, contemptuous. American main character who's outrageously sure of herself (but also has talent to back it up). Some commentary is hostile and unkind, like when owner of Emily's company wonders out loud why Americans are "so fat," and Emily's boss says they should "Stop eating." Cast has women in strong central roles, a few people of color, but most faces in this show are White. 


Emily is subject of constant male attention, some she brushes off politely, some she accepts and enjoys. Expect many flirty suitors to turn into dates, sex. A lot of talk about the French way of romance and commitment: husbands and wives have lovers that are tolerated. Sexual situations feature no nudity but may have some frank talk, like when Emily and a man have phone sex: "You do you, I'll do me," says her friend, while his hand makes suggestive movements. 


Language is infrequent: "hell," "s--t," "merde" (French for "poop"). 


It's emphasized frequently that Emily's company works with luxury brands: expensive perfume, watches, shoes. Emily herself wears clothing that's far too expensive for a working girl, and locations are frequently plush with beautiful city views, elegantly dressed crowds, fancy food and drinks. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many characters smoke. "Smoking is a pleasure," says one character, while another frequently advises Emily to have a cigarette instead of eating when hungry. Scenes take place at bars and parties with everyone drinking; no one acts drunk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Emily in Paris is a show about a young woman whose marketing company sends her to its Paris branch, to the consternation of her new co-workers. Lots of attention is paid to the difference between American and French culture, we hear pronouncements like "French people are mean to your face" and Emily's boss, who's disgusted by fat Americans, often advises her to have a cigarette instead of eating. Emily is the subject of lots of male attention; expect her to have boyfriends and sex and to see scenes like one in which she and a male friend masturbate together on the phone (no nudity, but there are suggestive hand movements). Many characters smoke; they also drink wine at parties and dinners, but no one acts drunk. Women are in strong central roles, but the show's cast is mostly White and definitely posh. Locations are elegant and expensive, and Emily's clothing looks fashion-magazine chic and pricey. Her work involves luxury brands; we hear about how expensive and exclusive they are. Language is infrequent: "hell," "s--t," "merde" (French for "poop"). Positive messages may not land strongly in such a light, frothy show, but there are messages about finding a balance between one's work and private life, and being true to oneself even in the face of disapproval. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDonna M. November 2, 2020


I was shocked by the explicit sexual content of this show! This is not for anyone under 18. The sexual content was just so unnecessary and when it came on,... Continue reading
Adult Written byabdval October 9, 2020

Soft to mid porn

This show is like very softly mid p*** I would say. Stewart it talks a lot about having sex with others and just sleeping with others Even though there married... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bylaurj21 October 12, 2020

Not too inappropriate

It's really not too inappropriate, just like other tv shows that include romance. So far, nothing visual, just some scenes that imply of sex or you can hea... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 22, 2020

Great watch, that's about it.

Okay. Let's address the main thing that appears in other reviews. The most controversial topic. How old is this appropriate for? I'd approximate aroun... Continue reading

What's the story?

Created by Sex and the City's Darren Star, EMILY IN PARIS begins just as Emily (Lily Collins) is handed a plum work assignment: living in Paris for a year and bringing a more American point of view to the French branch of her marketing company. But her new French colleagues are dismayed by Emily in dozens of different ways: her clothes, her loud voice, the brashness with which she discusses business, and, most particularly, the fact that she barely speaks a word of French. But it's going to take more than a few vindictive co-workers to make Emily back down, and with time, effort, and a full-on charm offensive, she just might make it in Paris after all. 

Is it any good?

As a great big slice of wish fulfillment, this confection is as light and bubbly as champagne, and twice as heady. Viewers who hoped Darren Star's new TV show would carry a whiff of Sex and the City are definitely in luck -- of course, the action is transplanted to the City of Light rather than NYC, and the quartet of friends is cut down to a twosome (Emily almost immediately meets a sympathetic best buddy by chance in a park, and the two are soon rendezvousing for cozy sidewalk cafe meals). It's also faintly ridiculous in some of the same ways that Sex and the City was, with a charmingly egocentric lead who's constantly hit on by devastatingly handsome men (with French accents!), wears designer clothing far beyond her means, and always finds a clever solution to every problem. 

Emily's supposed talent for social media also strains one's suspension of disbelief, given that her EmilyinParis account starts racking up thousands of followers and likes with photos of marble statues hashtagged #chiseledabs or selfies of Emily eating pain au chocolat. At work, too, her campaigns are pun-based, cringey; but she's so, so, so, so talented, everyone says so! Ah, but it hardly matters when Emily in Paris has Lily Collins as our gorgeous-young-thing-in-the-city avatar and a sufficient amount of conflict in the form of an impossibly chic French boss (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) who's actively trying to sabotage her, immediately shunting Emily off to a lubricant for mature women called Vag-Jeune. Patricia Fields is on costume duty too, and Emily's outfits are almost striking enough to draw focus away from the radiantly shot Parisian street scenes overlaid with a kicky score of mostly French pop. Give Emily in Paris a kiss on each cheek and go ahead and settle in for your binge -- there's no fighting it. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about shows that feature a "fish out of water" premise -- that is, a character put in an uncomfortable setting. What are the dramatic and/or comic possibilities of this type of premise? What variations can you name? Is the audience supposed to root for Emily ? How can you tell? 

  • Like creator Darren Star's best-known TV show, Sex and the City, Emily in Paris features a young female main character in a big city who has lofty career and romantic ambitions. How does the show's Paris setting change the setup? In what ways is Emily like or unlike Carrie Bradshaw? 

  • Much of the humor in this show is derived from cultural misunderstandings between Emily and the people she meets in Paris, such as when she attempts to send back a dish in a restaurant, or makes a language-based error in a social media campaign. How does Emily find ways to turn her uniqueness into an advantage? 

TV details

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