You have to know that we will always have Paris
Having visited Paris several times over the past 15 years, the destination still attracts. Drinking wine in the city is a daily activity, but it cannot be said that it is food and expensive wine. The authentic experience is to eat in a small brewery or buy inexpensive grocery store wine with baguettes, cold cuts and cheese for a picnic on the lawn, known as Champ de Mars, in Eiffel Tower. Travel has gotten a lot more complicated lately, and who knows if, or when. Browsing television in search of programs on prime destinations has become a travel placebo for this wine tourist.
An interesting sight is Emilie in Paris, on Netflix. The first season was shot in 2019, before COVID. The places are all picturesque and clearly shot in the streets of Paris. The acting is average, although the cinematography is very clean and crisp. The catchphrase for this writer is the constant consumption of wine, predominated by mostly unnamed red, white and sparkling wines. The characters sometimes take wine for breakfast, usually at lunch, and always at dinner.
Emily is an American from a Chicago marketing company who moved to Paris to observe the culture, in the Parisian company, which had just been bought by her employer. The premise is to provide the French with an American sense of detail in advertising; they are not receptive at all. Darren Star, from Sex and the city fame, created the show. While the verbal zingers aren’t as good as in the old show, the writing is passable and the setting is impeccable. Lily Collins, a Brit who grew up in California and is the daughter of musician Phil Collins, plays Emily, as she makes her way from one awkward situation to another.
Her apartment is in the Latin Quarter, in the fifth arrondissement, near the Sorbonne, and one of our favorite destinations, the Shakespeare & Company bookstore. The places are very authentic, with the exception of the visit to Champagne in episode 8. The car trip clearly happened through lowlands like perhaps Bordeaux. Research has shown it to be the Chateau de Sonnay near Chinon in the Center-Val de Loire region, a medieval town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle has its origin in 1268, and it is a cellar, but not a producer of Champagne.
The spectacle is not cinematographic art. Emily is a one-dimensional character in the American sense of the term. She doesn’t adapt particularly well, and her cultural missteps fuel the drama that animates the show. The real star of the show is the city. It looks particularly clean, despite being filmed after the Notre Dame Cathedral fire.
The characters have a lot of flaws, but the one that really annoys the wine community is the way the characters hold the wine glasses. You usually have to hold the glass by the stem, not the bowl, especially a misstep for white wines, which heat up by body temperature, when chilled wine is ideal, not to mention stained glasses are so awkward . The first season consisted of 11 episodes, and filming for the second season has ended, with the first slated for December 22 on Netflix.
Until then, here is a short list of shows to review or in some cases for the first time. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, shot parts of at least one of their trilogy films in Paris, Before sunset, with most of the shots along the Seine, on the left bank, near Shakespeare and Company. Midnight in Paris shot on the right bank had an element of time travel which was intriguing. We saw it in a Parisian theater, in English with French subtitles.
Amelie is another which turned mainly on the right bank, mainly around Montmartre. AmÃ©lie d’Audrie Tautou, grew up in the shelter, in her own imaginary world, and when she arrives in Paris, her experiences broaden considerably. This film was shot approximately 5 years before Tautou played the role in the $ 760 million film The “Da Vinci Code.
These selections should keep you full until the arrival of Emily’s new season or until you find other options. We also remember several friends recommending a Netflix series, Call my agent, about a group of talented agents who seem to spend a lot of time in the rue de Rivoli. We should probably give this show another chance, as a single episode was not enough to assess its entertainment value, and having decided that our trip to Europe might not return as soon as we predicted it.
With Emily, maybe “it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”.
Stay healthy, and see you soon [email protected]