Leaning into tackiness, ‘Emily in Paris’ season three is campier, more fun than ever

Trisha Dasgupta, Senior Life&Arts Reporter

Staring out into the distance, plagued by the urgency to make the decision of her lifetime, season three of the highly divisive comedy “Emily in Paris” starts with the main heroine, Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), being pushed off of the top of the Eiffel Tower. Emily wakes up from the nightmare just before she hits the ground, but the scene sets the tone for the rest of the episodes immediately — leaning into the camp and tackiness that made the show famous rather than shying away from it.

Season three, which premiered on Netflix Dec. 21, picks up days after the cliffhanger that ended season two, and viewers watch as Emily chooses between staying in Paris or going back to Chicago. This plotline feels refreshing after the last two seasons, which largely revolved around the endless love triangles Emily found herself in. While plenty of love triangles definitely still develop later in the season, this much-needed break from relationship drama not only provides character development but also makes the stakes higher for the issues that show up after. 

Alongside Emily’s character development, this season takes viewers deeper into the lives of struggling musician Mindy Chen (Ashley Park) and art curator Camille (Camille Razat). While there could have been fewer musical numbers from Mindy — who does an odd jazz rendition of Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” — female side characters such as herself get their own fleshed-out storylines instead of being left in the shadows. 

Another lovely aspect of the show’s characters comes from the scenes of female friendship that play out, especially between Mindy and Emily. Other writers often reduce female characters to simple plot points and also tend to use them as fodder for the stereotype that women seem catty and can’t get along. “Emily in Paris” highlights mature female friendships between women who genuinely care about and want the best for each other. 

Since its premiere, “Emily in Paris” has been a highly controversial show because it begs the question: How tacky is too tacky? From out of place clothing choices to excessive pop culture references, the show maintains a somewhat absurdist tone and begs for a certain level of disbelief from audiences. However, season three acknowledges this often and leans into the campiness. 

While it could be argued whether or not season one felt intentionally campy or accidentally tacky, season three leaves no room for this line of questioning. The dramatic third season turns into something akin to a soap opera in the last 10 minutes of the finale, drawing the season to a close with a surprise pregnancy and a shotgun wedding that falls through. However, these outrageous plotlines fit the absurd tone of the show and make it such a fun watch.

With more self-awareness than in previous seasons, season three of “Emily in Paris” winks at its critics and heightens its antics to make an extremely enjoyable and lighthearted watch. 

4 croissants out of 5