'Emily in Paris': More Paris, less Emily in Season 3 of the hit Netflix show
Lily Collins' Emily has duelling bosses and an even more complicated love life with Alfie and Gabriel, but the supporting cast with Kate Walsh, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and Ashley Park really shine
It's time to check back in with our favourite American living in France with the return of Emily in Paris but there's one distinct difference in Season 3 of Darren Star's Netflix show, there's a little less Emily and a little more Paris.
“It just speaks to the growth of the series that we can start telling stories about the characters surrounding Emily,...find out more about them,” Star told Yahoo Canada.
“It was an opportunity to ground her more within her environment, and celebrate France and Paris within the comedy of the other characters, as opposed to being all about Emily feeling [like a] fish out of water," the shows title star Lily Collins also said, in a separate interview.
Where does 'Emily in Paris' Season 3 begin?
While Season 3 of Emily in Paris allows us to spend more time with the supporting characters in this world, Emily still finds herself in the middle of everyone's drama.
The new season picks up right where Season 2 left off, with Emily having to make a choice to either continue to work for Madeline (Kate Walsh) or quit her job to work at a new company Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) is starting, with Julien (Samuel Arnold) and Luc (Bruno Gouery) by her side.
The core problem is that Emily doesn't actually make that choice and both women think she's working for them, exclusively. While we'll let you see what Emily ultimately ends up choosing, we'll tease that it all starts to fall apart when Emily has the opportunity to get a new client, McDonald's, with the company promoting their new baguette in France.
“I think for me to feel more comfortable in my skin and in my surroundings was really important,” Lily Collins said. “There's a quiet confidence about Emily this season that I really loved, even in those flailing moments of indecision and then the decision making."
"There's still a more elevated sense of self about her and I really enjoyed the fact that I got to dig deeper and show a bit more of an emotional range within her storyline, because it wasn't just leaning so much into the confusion. I could have confusion, but I could also go on either side of the spectrum and that was a really nice freedom for me this season.”
Kate Walsh, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu in the battle of the bosses
Getting back to how Emily in Paris allows its supporting characters to shine in Season 3, an absolute highlight is watching Madeline and Sylvie face off to keep their clients, and Emily.
In typical Emily in Paris style, this is the most over-the-top and stylish battle of all time. It includes a confrontation when Sylvie's team is having dinner with the McDonald's rep and Madeline goes into labour, and a "b-tch stole my look" moment at a Pierre Cadeau exhibit.
“I wouldn't say we're method but we do definitely respect each other’s space,” Kate Walsh said about developing the tension between these characters. “We don't get a lot of time in the show [to rehearse]...and also some of the locations, like the Eiffel Tower scene at the restaurant, we only have [like three hours] to shoot that entire scene after it closed at midnight, so you're really kind of just in it to win it.”
“But it was really fun. I love being just the obnoxious outsider."
“I wouldn't say we're method, I'd say we're in character,” Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu added. “Even with Lily I’m like that, I like to keep my distances with her on set, whereas when I see her now she's like my daughter, almost."
While we get to dive deeper into Sylvie's personal life in Season 3, with her vulnerability coming through as she tries to build her new company, Leroy-Beaulieu experienced some confusion as the story spends more time with the now predominantly French-speaking character.
"It's funny because sometimes I feel I’m not the same character when I speak French or English, and so it's kind of confusing sometimes,” Leroy-Beaulieu said. “I feel much more comfortable with Sylvie in English, often, and when I switch to French I'm like, 'is it still her?'”
“There's something in my head that goes like, OK that's the hidden side of Sylvie, something people don't know about her. I have to kind of create a whole different space in my head for the French, because I created [the character] in English… It's becoming very interesting, but I was a bit thrown off at the beginning.”
Emily, Alfie, Gabriel, Camille love square gets even more complicated
To use one word to tease the romance in Season 3, messy.
Emily's love life gets even more complicated. We can't even call it a love square anymore, maybe we'll go with a love pentagon moving forward, but we're starting to run out of shapes to describe these connections.
Gabriel (Lucas Bravo) and Camille (Camille Razat) are still going strong at the start of Season 3, but Gabriel's restaurant is a hot spot in Paris and Camille's job at the art gallery is ramping up with a new artist, Sofia (Melia Kreiling), which has them on conflicting work schedules.
Alfie (Lucien Laviscount) is set to be leaving Paris to go back to the U.K., which means he and Emily will be entering long distance relationship territory, but there is always room for changes and new employment opportunities in the world of Emily in Paris.
If we're going to be honest about the romance in the series, we may love Alfie but we're all waiting to see what happens between Emily and Gabriel.
For Lucas Bravo, he explained that playing Gabriel in Season 3 was like "playing two different characters."
“I think Gabriel is a hopeless romantic and he's always been in love with the idea of love,” Bravo said. “That's what started the spark with Emily, just diving into her eyes and he saw [infinite possibilities] and a vibration that matched his vibration, and I think by the end...he wants Emily to be happy.”
“It's a selfless love. So if it means that they're not together, they need to be separated for her to be happy, he will make the sacrifice. I think that's the season he’s going through, but at the same time he loves Camille, and I think you can love two [people] for two different reasons. So it's a conflict but the love has always been here, he’s always been deeply in love with Emily.”
Ashley Park's Mindy is far more than just Emily's funny, musical sidekick
We can't discuss Emily in Paris without mentioning the incomparable Ashley Park who plays Emily's bestie Mindy, particularly after we all gushed about her musical performances in Season 2, including her rendition of "Dynamite" by BTS.
Another highlight of Season 3 is certainly all of Mindy's performances, and there are plenty more of them after the character scores a regular gig at a jazz club, but without the support of her band.
To tease some of the songs featured in Season 3, we'll have a "Shallow" duet and Dua Lipa's "Don't Start Now," with a Bob Fosse and cabaret style dance. Park was particularly happy about the variety of songs she got to perform in the show this season.
“I didn't expect to be dancing and I didn't expect to be playing the piano, but those are other parts of self expression that I've loved so much growing up," Park said. "I think as we get deeper into who Mindy is, I think all of those things kind of serve that."
Aside from her musical moments, Emily in Paris Season 3 definitely allows us to see more of Mindy's backstory, including reuniting with a high school friend Nicolas (Paul Forman). Generally speaking, we're moving away from the character being just Emily's funny friend or sidekick.
“[I was very pleased] that the second half of this season really relies more on the scene work between characters, especially with Nicolas coming in," Park highlighted. "I think especially episodes seven and eight that [Katina Medina Mora] directed, she comes from a theatre background,...and it was the first time a director was like, let's sit down and do some table work and look at the scenes, and see who these people are."
"That was pivotal for me and it helped me grow a lot as just a storyteller on the screen and just to really not rely on the music so much, but really rely on who Mindy was and what this new connection and love was that could propel her story forward as well."
The timing of Netflix dropping Season 3 of Emily in Paris couldn't be more perfect, if you get some time off, it's the ideal show to binge as you unwind from work, or your family obligations.
Of course, it's not the most complicated, thought-provoking series you can sink your teeth into, but maybe that's why we just can't get enough of Emily. The series is simplistic in its formula, but I'm not sure we would want it any other way.