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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 新型节能材料成趋势. 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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认为西方民主政体不会受影响将是愚蠢的。
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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

Overall, 36 percent point to end times and 63 percent to climate change.
The highest scoring tournament: 1994 in theUnited Stateswhen 24 teams averaged 2.97 over 52 matches.
达洛伊西奥常喜欢说“时间是新的货币”。这是一个17岁男孩对人生的睿智洞察,也是Summly软件背后的发展理念。而我们多数人在他那个年龄,时间多得都不知道该怎么做才不会荒废。我很容易就忘了这样一个事实:达洛伊西奥在1995年出生于一个中上层阶级家庭,连高中都还没毕业,还住在小时候住的那个舒服卧室里。在我和他父母聊天的时候,他离开房间去在电脑上干活。只见他穿着袜子下楼,牛仔裤腿扫过大厅的地毯──此时此刻是他最像个孩子的时候。
7. Am I working too hard? Taking time to re-charge and spend time on activities that make you happy is so important. Honor your desire to pull back from work or school pressure when needed and give yourself time to breathe, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time.
替代燃料:自从柴油车于上世纪50年代从欧洲进入美国以来,人们对柴油车的热情首次冷却殆尽,取而代之的是马力高得吓人的雪佛兰CamaroZL1(580匹马力),和707匹马力的道奇挑战者SRT地狱火等车型。另外,续航里程更长的燃料电池汽车也开始登上舞台,从电池动力汽车那里抢走了不少风头。
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Meanwhile, a salesman from online travel company Tuniu Corp told the Financial Times that it had on Friday “removed all tours to South Korea due to the Thaad issue”. A search for South Korean tours on the website returns the message: “Sorry, we have not found a relevant product.”

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:

时间:2010-05-31 编辑:francie
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卡尔还表示:“就算没有厄尔尼诺现象,去年气温也有可能创纪录,但厄尔尼诺现象让高温更加极端。”

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

加强产权保护制度建设。
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Instead it ticked upward slightly to 8.3 per cent.

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Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.

Emily: What’s that.

Gabriel: I like you.

与此同时,有一首非常有意思的歌曲来自我们的读者Libby Russell,是她为所有世界杯期间的足球寡妇所作。非常感谢Libby的分享,太棒了!
就国内而言,日益活跃的中产阶层正形成压力,要求得到问责制度更健全的治理。愈演愈烈的不平等滋生了一种不公正感;两亿农民工仍然受到二等公民的待遇,腐败也有增无减。对付这些问题的任务十分紧迫,但中国的经济成就助长了一种无端的自信。于是,在阿拉伯之春的刺激下,中国的体制采取激进举措,压制可能引发政治敏感运动的任何社会不满。
尽管该片被洛杉矶影评人协会评为最佳剪辑奖,但却没有受到纽约影评人的重视。它的势头会逐渐减弱吗?

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