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 家居卖场经营惨淡 广州家居流通业出奇招探新路. 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.
No. This crisis hit Amsterdam in 1772, after a respected Dutch investment syndicate made a disastrous bet on shares of the British East India Company.
Goldie Blox is a toy company on a mission to redefine the “pink aisle” in toy stores. Men dramatically outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers, with girls largely losing interest in these topics by age 8. Goldie Blox toys are designed to inspire future engineers by engaging girls in a way that draws on their strong verbal and storytelling skills — while still offering opportunities to build the skills that can later translate into an interest in engineering. And speaking of opportunity, how does a start-up toy company stand out against the big names that have been dominating the toy space since the beginning of time? In a savvy move, Goldie Blox recently released a video that went viral with their take on the Beastie Boys song “Girls.” Though the video was ultimately taken down, Goldie Blox did an excellent job raising awareness of the need to get more women and girls interested in STEM … and of the Goldie Blox toys.
Another positive of the scheme is that it encourages professional flexibility, preparing the young for the career zigging and zagging that might be necessary in the modern world of work.
If the oldest man ever elected president can “tweet like a kindergartner,” why not flip the script and see if a youngster can be elected to office and govern wisely?
Succeeding as an entrepreneur takes hard work and persistence because, unfortunately, there is no business-startup fairy who magically bestows success on small businesses and their owners.
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.
In a bid to curb capital outflows and ease downward pressure on the renminbi, Chinese regulators have imposed a series of new restrictions on outbound dealmaking in recent months. The new curbs came after outbound investment in non-financial assets surged by 44 per cent in 2016 to a record $170bn.
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:
First, says Tom Kozenski, a supply-chain expert at consulting and training firm RedPrairie, most people still think of logistics -- if they think of it at all -- as a "non-sexy" field centered on boring, low-paid warehouse work.
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.
BABYLON (Sundance, Thursday) James Nesbitt, recently seen as the obsessed father of a long-vanished child in “The Missing,” shows up here in a very different role: as a calculating old-school police commissioner who hires an American public-relations expert (Brit Marling) to update the image of Scotland Yard. Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) created this satirical drama, which bears some resemblance to Armando Iannucci’s political comedy film “In the Loop.”
History will look back on 2012 as the year when China anointed its "fifth generation" of leaders and shifted to a slower growth trajectory, writes Yukon Huang. This transition will take place against a backdrop of daunting internal challenges — increasing social unrest, widening income disparities and both ecological and man-made disasters — and of escalating external tensions, stemming from America's "pivot" to Asia and simmering regional worries about China's economic rise.
Personal per capita disposable income increased by 6.3 percent in real terms.
Gabriel: Well, there’s just one problem.
Emily: What’s that.
Gabriel: I like you.
In the episode "The Little Kicks," we get to see Elaine's fabulously hilarious dance moves. It's almost impossible to imagine a version of Seinfeld in which Elaine doesn't dance in such a funky way. And yet shockingly, this was almost the case. Writer Spike Fereston knew that series creator Larry David was against the dance, and he was only able to get it approved after David left. He was able to get the dance approve, but still received a lot of push back from the other writers.
Economists had forecast a 1.5 per cent annual rate, after a 1.6 per cent reading in September. Beijing's inflation target is "around 3 per cent" this year.
Blue skies will not be, and should not be, a luxury.
受原油输送问题影响，纽约商品交易所交易的美国基准西得克萨斯中质油价格已持续走低。虽然这些问题近来有所缓解，但美银美林(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)基本大宗商品研究部门主管舍尔斯(Sabine Schels)怀疑这些问题不会消失。
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