As we all settle in for a challenging winter, the Netflix series “Emily in Paris” promises a deliciously indulgent escape from our troubles: a shimmering fantasy of Paris, filled with sophisticated haute couture, gourmet food and, of course, romance. Yet within this delightful vision, executed by “Sex and the City” creator Darren Star with characteristic flare, there is a glaring absence that sorely diminishes the potential of Emily and her viewers to truly encounter another culture. Working- and middle-class Parisians, the racially diverse multi-cultural residents of the city, are all but erased from Emily’s friend group and workplace, and are invisible in the cafés and cobblestone streets and glittering Marais nightclubs. French culture is portrayed in a way that corresponds to American consumerist fantasies but does not question the tourist’s idealized gaze. To solve this conundrum, here are five pieces of advice for Emily in season two.
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