Now that we've all binged Emily in Paris on Netflix (stop lying, yes you did), I have an important question: if Emily doesn't have a three-way fling with Hot French Chef and his adorable girlfriend, what was even the point?
Created by Sex and the City producer Darren Star, this 10-episode rom com follows Emily (Lily Collins) as she moves to Paris to bring her "American perspective" on social media to a luxury marketing firm. Pretty much all the complaints about the show are true. Is it annoying that Emily doesn't bother to learn French before she arrives? Yes. Is her success as an influencer downright laughable to anyone who uses social media? Absolutely. (You can't put apostrophes in the middle of a hashtag, Emily, any 12-year-old could tell you that.) Did I finish the whole thing in one weekend? Sure did. You don't watch this for the plot, you watch it to daydream about Europe and then hop on Twitter to rant about how basic the show is. And you watch for Emily's attractive downstairs neighbor Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), who she immediately starts flirting with.
Emily has a string of romantic encounters throughout the show — "You haven’t done Paris right until you've had at least one wildly inappropriate affair," her new friend Mindy says — and most of it is pretty cringey, but things get interesting when she has a meet-cute at a flower stand with Gabriel's girlfriend Camille (Camille Razat). I'll give the show this much, it steers clear of making the love triangle girlfriend an evil bitch; Camille is sweet and friendly and invites Emily to a gallery opening after knowing her for 10 minutes. As they're parting ways, Emily leans in to kiss her cheek and accidentally kisses her on the mouth — but when she gets flustered and says sorry, Camille just smiles and says, "I'm not! See you tonight, right?"
By the next episode Camille is dragging Emily along on a date with Gabriel and the three of them are holding hands and getting cuddly at the Atelier des Lumières, and then they spend a weekend at a chateau together, and there's even a moment where Gabriel is staring longingly at an Instagram selfie of the two girls tagged #getinbedwithus. I seriously started to wonder if they were about to ditch the cliché entirely and have a threesome together — and yeah, it would have been silly like the rest of the show, but how refreshing! No drama, no illicit flirting that makes Emily and Gabriel look like bad people, no pitting two women against each other over a guy.
But, quelle suprise, it turns out we were just getting threesome-baited the whole time. Emily hooks up with Gabriel the minute it looks like his relationship is ending, even though she knows Camille would be hurt if she knew, and now we can add "Camille deserves better" to the list of complaints filling the #EmilyInParis tag on Twitter. The second season is probably going to be all about who Gabriel ends up with, and that's just depressing, no matter how hot he is.
I'm also starting to wonder if threesome storylines will be the next step for queer-baiting, now that same-sex couples on screen aren't as shocking as they once were. We've noticed already how Netflix shows like Tiger King and Elite have focused on throuples in a salacious sort of way, giving polyamorous people a dubious reputation. Still, there are signs that attitudes are changing. Schitt's Creek had a light-hearted episode about engaged couple David and Patrick considering a threesome and accidentally showing up at an orgy — and yeah, it stirred up a little controversy, but the show went on to win literally all the Emmys, so the audience must have been pretty okay with it.
Come on, Emily in Paris, give the people what they want. We might not devour the next season so eagerly if you don't. (Okay, we probably will, but it'll be irritating.)