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 北新建材荣获全球石膏行业杰出贡献奖. 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.
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.
Recognize me?: image via blog.discoverymagazine.com
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Many investors, it turns out, are siding with Mr Cook. After a tumultuous 2013, the share price has increased by around 50 per cent since that shareholder meeting, at one point taking its market capitalisation above $700bn.
1. glitterati / n . 知名人 士，国际上层社会人士。
一年一度的《全球贸易保护报告》(Global Trade Protection Report)显示，2015年美国企业发起了43起反倾销案件，以及另外22起旨在征收反补贴税的反补贴调查。美国在这两方面均处于领先位置，超越了分别在2014年和2013年发起最多案件的印度和巴西。
How has your trip to the US sofar this summer?
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.
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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.
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:
The release of Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models in September led to record sales in China, which accounts for more than a fourth of the company's operating income. Apple, whose products are often viewed as status symbols in China, is in competition not just with its South Korean archrival Samsung, but with the increasingly popular Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi.
“An employee bragged to all his colleagues that it was his last day, but failed to let his boss or the HR manager know.”
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.
Housing is finally recovering. Home values are up 7% nationally through the first nine months of 2012, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. Meanwhile, home-building is gaining traction, which means more jobs for construction workers, contractors and builders. Some 29,000 new construction jobs have been added since May. There's 'a significant thawing in labor conditions in the construction market,' notes Andrew Wilkinson, economist at Miller Tabak & Co. It's not just construction crews. Retailers who cater to Americans furnishing, repairing and improving their homes also will need to hire.[qh]
The Datafolha poll was based on interviews with 693 fans at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte and had a statistical margin of error of 4 percentage points.
1. Newspaper reporter
Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.
Emily: What’s that.
Gabriel: I like you.
With respect to trade frictions between the two sides, I think we have gained good experience in addressing them.
"Perhaps it is no big deal whether or not you are in the group discussion, but if you were absent, 670,000 people would be absent, if you were silent, 670,000 people would be silent."
Blige将会表演“泥土之界”中的歌曲《Mighty River》，这首获得奥斯卡提名的歌曲是她和Raphael Saadiq以及Taura Stinson共同谱写的。同时，Blige还因出演影片《泥土之界》被提名奥斯卡最佳女配角。她是同时获得奥斯卡提名歌曲和女配角的第一人。