Emily in Paris isn't a show that hits you hard, but it's actually fairly complex beneath the bubbly exterior. The character relationships are interesting in the face of rampant opportunity for clichéd and tired storylines. The constant push and pull between Alfie, Emily, Gabrielle, and Camille are what drives their arcs over the course of the season.
Additionally, it's a downright beautiful city and part of the world to look at. The romance is present throughout the series. It's almost as if the characters aren't just having love affairs with each other, they're having a love affair with Paris as well. Not to leave out some of the other key players, the show hits it out of the park with the performances of Emily's coworkers throughout the season.
Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, playing Sylvie, delivers a phenomenal performance. It's complex and fraught with internal and external drama. The appeal of Emily in Paris is apparent in her performance. It's the psychological complexity of the characters that makes them memorable. Her performance as she navigates a boyfriend and another man who she is still married to as well as a career for herself makes the show the better for it.
Lilly Collins of course delivers her bubbly personality as Emily, but we see that she is conflicted about things she learns over the course of Season 3 that increase the complexity of the character relationship. And Lucas Bravo's subtle and quiet performance of Gabrielle is strong. We can see the appeal. He's kind, charming, and obviously the one that Emily truly loves. We see his character grapple with his feelings for both Camille, his fiancé, and Emily who is left in limbo when it comes to Gabrielle.
Camille, played by Camille Razat, however, is complex. We don't really connect with her character at all, which is intentional. She's supposed to feel like she's missing the key ingredient to all great romances: lust. Her performance doesn't resonate with us and at first we think she's just a phony, but the truth is that she has secrets that we want to find out. The other members of the cast also shine when on screen, their characters full of depth and substance and Camille is no different. Her performance at first feels bland, but the more you see of her the more her mysteries become apparent. These mysteries further complicate the love lives of Camille's boyfriend, and Emily's love interest, Gabrielle and Emily herself. The trio form a perfect love triangle, which though tired is a classic for a reason.
One of the other fun characters to watch was Luc. He's the goofy uncle of the team, which we know well. His Einstein-esque hair cut and kindness make the team more like a family. They all come together and Luc, portayed by Bruno Gouery, is the key to the group staying on good terms. It makes his job challenging. He has to avoid attention too much but has to at the same time always be there to bring everyone together. He's a key player and one that really works. It makes the season flow really nicely, which is a happy continuation from previous seasons. It's not an insanely complex character, but that doesn't diminish the balancing act he takes on as Luc.
There are standout performances from Lucien Laviscount, William Abadie, Charles Martins, and we would be remiss in ignoring Ashley Park. The performances never enter the dreaded camp territory and yet they also warm the heart.
The cinematography of the show is of course beautiful and the locales we see are so beautiful they make us hungry. We see France as it was meant to be seen: not as a pretty façade, but a complex and nuanced place that has much more mystery and rough edges than we might at first think.
This season was solid and for those wondering whether it lives up to the previous seasons: it does. If you're skeptical of the show, it's a solid drama that makes you fall in love over and over until you see how much it hurts when the love is not reciprocated. It's not Brecht or anything avant-garde, but it's well put together. It's not trying to win any Emmys, but it is trying to tug on your heart strings and convey a love of a city and its people. With that as the goal, Emily in Paris Season 3 does well, but it could be a little more ambitious.