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An American in Paris Watches ‘Emily in Paris’

Courtesy Netflix

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 营收净利双增超四成 福建阳光集团高质量发展成亮点. 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.

Courtesy Netflix

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.

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201011/117323.shtmlThe French actress will star alongside Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman.
Economic forecasters are counting on 2014 to be a breakout year. But whether the economy finally moves past its sluggish growth will rest on several forces playing out differently than they have since the recovery began. Some of the key questions:
Among these six US schools, Rutgers Business School in New Jersey is the highest new entrant at 70. WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is the highest returning school at 57. Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina returns at 77. Moore stands out for being top overall for international course experience. Its students spend from several months to a year overseas.
去年此时,罗丝·麦高恩以强奸罪控告制作人哈维·韦恩斯,在娱乐圈引发轩然大波,众多控告纷至沓来。
3.Sit in the Front Row
单词elite 联想记忆:
Whatever the underlying cause, last year’s extreme warmth in the West meant that Alaska, Arizona, California and Nevada all set temperature records. Some parts of California essentially had no winter last year, with temperatures sometimes running 10 to 15 degrees above normal for the season. The temperature in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, never fell below zero in 2014, the first time that has happened in 101 years of record-keeping for the city.
去年上海浦东国际机场通报的准点率最低,该机场仅有52.4%的航班准时起飞,平均延误时长为48分钟。
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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.

Courtesy Netflix

今年的英国《金融时报》和麦肯锡年度最佳商业图书奖(Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award),颁给了一部描写前美联储(Fed)主席艾伦.格林斯潘(Alan Greenspan)的传记,其内容引人入胜、面面俱到。
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Holly Hunter reportedly keeps her best actress award, which she won for her portrayal of Ada McGrath in the 1994 New Zealand film, The Piano, at the New York offices of Joel and Ethan Coen. It sits alongside the statue Frances McDormand won for her role as the heavily-pregnant local police chief with the insatiable appetite, Marge Gunderson, in the Coens’ 1996 film Fargo.
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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.

Courtesy Netflix

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:

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统计显示,截至2015年底,西藏约有59万农村贫困人口。

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.

Courtesy Netflix

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胡润主席鲁伯特·霍格沃尔夫表示:“这些企业家应该被称为‘超级财富创造者’,而不是简简单单的富豪。他们会对中国社会和经济带来突出的贡献 。”
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Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.

Emily: What’s that.

Gabriel: I like you.

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Wardrobe malfunctions was another common theme. Some hapless interviewees “showed up in sweatpants,” one “was wearing mismatched shoes,” and another “didn’t realize his zipper was down.”

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My heart is my New Year present to you.我的心就是我奉献给你的新年礼物。
中国正考虑出售在政府补贴政策下累积的过剩储备。

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