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  • Writer's pictureHannah Pearson

French Exits & Love Triangles of Sadness


Spoiler For: All of Season 3

There are only a few film/television hills I choose to die on--Tokyo Drift was the best Fast & Furious, Steve deserves better than Miranda, and Emily in Paris is the good kind of trashy TV.

What started out as an intended Hate Watch, has turned into a guilty pleasure Love Watch. What can I say, I’m a basic bitch white girl who loves Meet Cutes with hot guys, scenic shots of Paris, and pithy puns about sex between girlfriends. Emily in Paris is like my beach reading. It’s not changing my life but I’m having a good time, so chill.

However, the new season out on Netflix was, pardon my French, Le Shit.

Okay, not all of it. The fashion got immensely better. Emily is no longer traipsing around Paris looking like she picked her clothes from the reject pile of a movie makeover montage starring a Bratz doll. We’re getting more Mindy singing. And I also appreciated that there was more French spoken, both by the French actors and Emily. Seriously, from one expat to another, if the Duolingo Owl isn’t making appearances in your dreams then you've messed up.

There are however two major complaints I have about this season and here they are.


For anyone who has never heard the term French Exist, it means to depart from a party hastily or without saying a formal farewell. I have no idea if this term is offensive to French people. I may ask my croissant eating friends. But I think it’s okay because they have their own saying, “partir à l’anglaise,” or rather “to leave the British way.” There’s also the Irish Goodbye. I guess only the German over stay their welcome. Oh right, History class!

Season three cut out boyfriends so fast, we never got even got a French kiss goodbye. Sylvie’s Dutch paramour dipped out without splitting the check, and Mindy’s crooning cutie skipped the encore. Both were replaced with new love interests that if there was a goodbye spoken, than a jump cut to a happy new relationship swiped it off the screen so fast we still have whiplash.

I mean, do we want Sylvie to get back with the husband? Her whole persona is the modern woman not playing by society rules. She does want she wants, who she wants, when she wants. She is Parisian Samantha. Give her back her boy toy and send Monsieur Sylvie back to St. Tropez! Also, the Dutchman was the first guy to rival Gabriel’s hotness. The man can’t carry all that responsibility on his own.

Now Mindy. Yes, I understand that she isn’t going to end up with the Billionaire Fuck Boi. This is just a set-up à la Star is Born for reunion with the only man to sport a goatee and still probably get it. But the sequence to break the two up was rushed. We earned those two getting together last season, let us enjoy it for an extra episode. S'il ve plaît?

But Emily in Paris has a history of this behavior. The show kicked off with Emily’s serious boyfriend Doug abruptly breaking up with Emily when he doesn’t come to Paris. It was so quickly dealt with that it seemed pointless to even include in the setup. Speaking of Dougie Fresh, he randomly calls Emily in S3 with a job, and she acts like he is her college bestie?! Cause that’s totally how girls handle a call from their ex.

I’m sure you think I’m going to bring up Alfie, the latest boyfriend to get the guillotine. But I’m sorry, despite Lucien Laviscount being so good-looking I’d let him dirty talk about cryptocurrency in bed, I find Alfie annoying AF.

To him, I happily say Adieu!

Alright, reason number deux:


The other element to bum me out this season is just how far we’ve fallen into the love triangle between Gabriel, Camille, and Emily. To be fair, I’ve always despised this part of the show. The whole main character moves to an exotic new city, quickly meets a charming dreamboat she has instant chemistry with, and then abruptly finds out he is involved with a gorgeous other woman, is boring. It’s lazy. It’s bad writing.

Can we do something new? Can we get our epic sexual tension release without the side of guilt?

Season three of Emily in Paris had Chef Handsome and the Blondie in a Beret reunited, and the show worked hard on convincing us that Alfie was an excellent fallback for Emily (spoilier: he wasn’t). J’adored the scene in the cab where Gabriel confesses he loves BOTH Emily and Camille. So often in television we are sold the narrative of soulmates and “The One,” but life has many third acts. The written small screen love triangle glosses over the internal torture of pining after two people both equally fit for the main character. It’s always a clear-cut winner, and usually the fallacy of sunk-cost gets in the way. But life is how, you say, bedeviling?

So oui oui! I’m down to unpack Gabriel’s emotions in season three! But then what’s this? Camille has made our triangle into a square by adding artsy-fartsy Sophie. Okay, I mean, good for you girl. But, like why then did you runaway bride at your impromptu wedding and say it’s because Gabriel loves Emily?! Just own your own feelings for Sophie. Oh, but there is more on this merde pile. There’s une bebe. Seriously, why is the new way to spice up a love triangle? I am not saying it never works. Insecure did it with Laurence and Issa, but it fit the tone of the show—adults living adult lives. I don’t want season four of Emily in Paris to include a baby having a blowout in an avant-garde onesie.

Still love this show and season three had many epic moments. I got more Julien and Luc (did someone say spinoff?) I got more Sylvie being a fucking badass. And as always, the soundtrack is currently scoring my pensive thought soaked subway rides.

Fingers crossed for Season Four!

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