Emily in Paris season 1, episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

October 2, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps


Episode 1 is a little cliche but it shows potential as a pilot chapter. It’s missing a little magic in the story.

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Episode 1 is a little cliche but it shows potential as a pilot chapter. It’s missing a little magic in the story.

This recap of Netflix’s Emily in Paris season 1, episode 1 contains significant spoilers.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive.

The opening

Starting in Chicago, Emily is running through the city before she heads to work. Her boss Madeline is pumped about going to Paris. Emily is given a pitch opportunity for a client wanting their marketing services.

It’s a very American start but we can guess that’s the point for when our character reaches Paris and we can feel the differences.

Taking the opportunity

Afterward, in a quick twist, Emily goes out drinking with her partner and reveals Madeline is pregnant. The business has asked if Emily can go to Paris and she proposes the idea to her partner. They agree despite her partner’s hesitation.

A room with a view

As soon as Emily arrives she is falling in love with her surroundings and the apartment she’s been given. She feels like Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge!. The man who helps her tour the apartment tries to shoot his shot and ask if she’d like to go to Paris — she turns him down firmly.

This man is ridiculously creepy.

Questioning her credentials

Emily goes into the Gilbert Group office in Paris and her first obstacle is that she doesn’t speak French. She has to explain that Madeline could speak French but she can’t. They question her credentials as she’s marketed pharmaceuticals but not fashion; she keeps firmly standing her ground and being confident. She holds her first meeting with the client and Luc asks why she is shouting. Emily talks about a social media strategy but they seem unimpressed with her plans.

Episode 1 does well to make Emily look and feel like an outsider with all eyes on her as there is a lot of judgment in the room.

Workplace changes

When Emily gets to work, she rings her client’s boss Sylvie and asks why the office isn’t open — they open at 10:30 am and she usually starts at 08:30 am. Emily tries to swap ideas with Patricia, the social media manager, but she runs off. Emily is struggling to engage with people in the office who find excuses not to speak to her.

Made a friend

While out having lunch, she speaks to Mindy who is also a foreigner in the country. Mindy raises how the French are mean so it gets some getting used to. The pair make friends and swap numbers.

Back at work, her French workers keep using a term for her that’s apparently an endearment — on Google translate it means “The hick”.

Workplace bullying at its finest, folks.

Lonely in Paris

Emily keeps on messaging her partner Doug expressing that it’s so romantic here. She’s obviously feeling lonely. After work, Luc tells Emily that people at work are afraid of her because of the ideas. Luc tells her that Americans have the wrong idea — he states that they live to work and the French work to live. Emily states that she loves her work. The pair agree to disagree but she’s at least bonded with a colleague.

The ending

Her partner rings at 3 am and he suggests cybersex. They both m********e on the video call to each other. Unfortunately, the connection is short-lived so it doesn’t last long. Emily then short trips the electricity and the whole building goes out.

Emily in Paris season 1, episode 1 is a little cliche but it shows potential as a pilot chapter. It’s missing a little magic in the story.

Additional points
  • On the way back to her apartment, Emily tries to open a door on the wrong floor and meets her neighbor Gabriel.

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