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Hate-watching ‘Emily’ while loving the Paris setting

Lily Collins in a scene from "Emily in Paris."Netflix via AP

Wow, the third season of Netflix’s “Emily in Paris” is pretty dumb. So why did I spend a handful of hours watching it during my vacation? I was in the mood for pretty and dumb, I guess, especially the pretty; the show is a tour of Paris at its most gorgeous. Somehow, our heroine is always sitting in a perfectly quaint café or jazz club or standing against a perfectly dazzling skyline.

Hey, some people like a pizza-delivery story in their adult movies; I like a little romantic intrigue with my travel porn.

Wait, did I say “intrigue”? I meant insipidity. The American fashion-clashin’ Emily continues to have her Parisian adventures with gorgeous men to the point of exhausting repetition. She loves to say Camille and Gabriel in her flat French accent, even as she pretends to not be coming between them. She leads on Alfie the Brit, but we all know better. A third season of Emily’s romantic bungling is more than enough, but the cliffhanger implies that there is a lot more to come.


Professionally, Emily continues to be annoying, too, as she creates chaos and then makes it right with some brilliant solution that only serves to elevate her and her American know-how. The elite jobs she works occur in what seems like a very small world of French professionals. I get a kick out of her bosses, who are played with the right amount of slyness by Kate Walsh and Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, but it’s hard to believe either of these powerhouses would bother with Emily in the first place.

OK, so I hate-watched the season, even while I was swept away by the visuals. My eyes were wide open, even while one eyebrow was always raised. Non, je ne regrette rien.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him @MatthewGilbert.