Culture

Paris is Sparkling on TV: The French Series to Watch Now

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, so many of us turned to Hollywood for comfort and anxiety-soothing. Streaming services like Netflix saw a surge in new users during global lockdowns. And it’s easy to understand why; apart from the obvious factors of more time spent at home equaling more TV consumption, there’s also the soothing effect of story.
Humans are storytellers and lovers of story. It’s no surprise that during the global health crisis, people looked for ways to soothe their anxiety, and that sometimes came in the form of, say – in my case – binging the new season of Emily in Paris.
Paris has always been a dream set and backdrop for Hollywood films and TV shows. Lately, there’s a resurgence of American productions seeking out Paris, and French productions set in Paris making global mainstream waves (see: Lupin, for instance).
Here are some of our favorite shows that showcase Paris’s beauty so perfectly. Lupin
What’s not to love about our favorite jewelry thief? Lupin is a certifiable hit, and the show’s third series is currently in production. The series centers on “gentleman thief” and master of disguise, Assane Diop, who is inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin and sets out to avenge his father for an injustice from a wealthy family when Diop was just a child. Variety reports that there was even a recent real-life robbery onset of the series in late February. The outlet confirmed “a robbery took place in a neighborhood in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris, where the hit show was being filmed…Part 3 of Lupin was shooting with Omar Sy when approximately 20 people who had their faces covered broke onto the set after throwing mortar fireworks, according to the news outlet AFP. An estimated €300,000 ($333,000) worth of equipment was stolen, per the report.”
Thankfully, no one in the cast or crew was harmed during this incident. And after a brief hiatus, the show resumed filming in late February.
Viewers can stream the series on Netflix.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Lupin 💎 (@lupin_netflix)

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, so many of us turned to Hollywood for comfort and anxiety-soothing. Streaming services like Netflix saw a surge in new users during global lockdowns. And it’s easy to understand why; apart from the obvious factors of more time spent at home equaling more TV consumption, there’s also the soothing effect of story.

Humans are storytellers and lovers of story. It’s no surprise that during the global health crisis, people looked for ways to soothe their anxiety, and that sometimes came in the form of, say – in my case – binging the new season of Emily in Paris.

Paris has always been a dream set and backdrop for Hollywood films and TV shows. Lately, there’s a resurgence of American productions seeking out Paris, and French productions set in Paris making global mainstream waves (see: Lupin, for instance).

Here are some of our favorite shows that showcase Paris’s beauty so perfectly.

Lupin

What’s not to love about our favorite jewelry thief? Lupin is a certifiable hit, and the show’s third series is currently in production. The series centers on “gentleman thief” and master of disguise, Assane Diop, who is inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin and sets out to avenge his father for an injustice from a wealthy family when Diop was just a child. Variety reports that there was even a recent real-life robbery onset of the series in late February.

The outlet confirmed “a robbery took place in a neighborhood in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris, where the hit show was being filmed…Part 3 of Lupin was shooting with Omar Sy when approximately 20 people who had their faces covered broke onto the set after throwing mortar fireworks, according to the news outlet AFP. An estimated €300,000 ($333,000) worth of equipment was stolen, per the report.”

Thankfully, no one in the cast or crew was harmed during this incident. And after a brief hiatus, the show resumed filming in late February.

Viewers can stream the series on Netflix.

Emily in Paris

Oh goodness, there is a lot to say about Emily in Paris. For starters, the hugely popular Netflix show – which has captivated many (and revolted some) – has already been renewed for a third and fourth season. The show stars Lily Collins as Emily, a woman from Chicago who has moved to Paris for her job and experiences French adventures with friends and lovers in the City of Light.

Its creator is Darren Star, of Sex and the City fame, so it’s to be expected that this show would similarly offer viewers the froth, fashion, fun, vanity, and vapidness found on SATC (I say, as a fan of both shows). Critics of Emily in Paris have justified reasoning: The show is inarguably not entirely reflective of Paris as Paris truly is.

It presents a whitewashed look of the city and paints American visitors in an embarrassing light as entitled tourists whose attempts at cultural understanding are next to nil. While this may sound harsh, I still love the show, genuinely. It’s purse escapism and it’s like eating a big flossy ball of French pink cotton candy – and just like cotton candy, it tastes amazing in the moment but may leave you feeling a bit sick and unsatisfied afterward.

Viewers can stream the series on Netflix.

Call My Agent!

Call My Agent! (French title: Dix Pour Cent) is another French TV hit that has crossed the Pond, like Lupin, and found legions of fans in the U.S. as well. It centers around a talent agency in Paris, A.S.K., that represents actors, and the A.S.K. talent agents scramble to keep their clients happy and the agency’s business afloat. The lines between personal and professional lives are increasingly blurred, and many humorous high-jinks ensue in this adored comedy-drama series. There are four seasons of this show available for viewing.

Like Lupin and Emily in Paris, Francophiles can find this show on Netflix.

The Parisian Agency

This Netflix hit comes hot off the heels of other real estate-focused reality shows like Netflix’s Selling Sunset. There’s just something about looking at bajillion-dollar homes that feels exciting and addictive. And if you throw Paris real estate and a family business together, you’ve got the makings of a hit. The Parisian Agency is a family affair, too. It stars the Kretz family, who showcase luxury properties in France.

Netflix is the home for this fun and frothy show.

The New Look

After the success of the fashion-focused film House of Gucci, Hollywood is taking note of the public’s insatiable appetite for stories about luxury fashion. Streaming service Apple TV+ recently announced their upcoming series The New Look, a fashion thriller which will be filmed in Paris and will showcase the relationship between fashion titans Christian Dior and Coco Chanel.

The New Look will star Ben Mendelsohn and fashion-lover Juliette Binoche (pictured below in Valentino) as Dior and Chanel, respectively. It will be set in a Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II. It will also include tangential real-life fashion figures like Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Balmain, Cristobal Balenciaga, and Hubert de Givenchy.

When it premieres, this show will be available on AppleTV+.