Emily in Paris just soared to No. 1 show on Netflix — stream or skip?

(L to R) Lily Collins as Emily, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu as Sylvie Grateau, Paul Forman as Nicolas De Leon, Samuel Arnold as Julien, Bruno Gouery as Luc in episode 307 of Emily in Paris.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix viewers are saying "oui" to Emily in Paris season 3. The romantic comedy returned this week and shot straight to the No. 1 spot on Netflix's Top 10 list. 

Emily in Paris has been one of Netflix's biggest hits since it debuted in 2020. Netflix said it was their most popular comedy of that year, seen by 58 million households in the first month. Last year, season 2 also attracted high viewership, with Nielsen reporting that it generated 939 million minutes (even beating out the Marvel series Hawkeye). 

Emily in Paris is certainly a divisive show. For some, it's just mindless fun and bonkers outfits. For others, it's manicured nails on chalkboard. The fizzy rom-com rates on our list of the best Netflix shows, though its Rotten Tomatoes score is a low 59%. Season 3 has the lowest rating of any installment so far, though my own Emily in Paris season 3 review calls it "a delightful treat." 

What is Emily in Paris season 3 about?

The premise of the series introduces Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), a junior marketing manager at a global corporation in Chicago. She's sent on assignment to Paris to work at the subsidiary French luxury marketing firm Savoir, which is run by the tough by ultra chic Sylvie Grateau (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu). There, she becomes a social media superstar. 

Emily falls in love with Paris — and with her handsome chef neighbor Gabriel (Lucas Bravo). But he turns out to have a girlfriend, Camille (Camille Razat). Along with befriending her co-workers, Emily also bonds with another expat, Mindy (Ashley Park). 

In season 3, Emily's time in Paris seems to be ticking down. Her American boss, Madeline (Kate Walsh), has arrived and alienated Sylvie and the other French employees of Savoir. Sylvie has quit and started her own independent agency. Emily has committed to joining it, but also feels residual loyalty to Madeline. She starts off juggling jobs at both, which can't possibly last long. 

Meanwhile, her love life is still complicated. Emily is dating a dashing British banker, Alfie (Lucien Laviscount), while Gabriel and Camille are back together. But Emily and Gabriel's chemistry can't be denied. 

What do critics say about Emily in Paris season 3?

L to R) Lily Collins as Emily, Ashley Park as Mindy in episode 305 of Emily in Paris

(Image credit: Netflix)

In my review of Emily in Paris 3, I wrote, "The storytelling improves by giving the rest of the ensemble beyond Lily Collins more to do." Sylvie becomes almost like a co-lead, which is fortunate since she's the best character on the show. I also like that Mindy's career and love life gets more of a spotlight. 

But other critics aren't enjoying the show as much (or at all). Rolling Stone's Alan Sepinwall says, "What once felt like a fun drift through a magical alternate universe, by Season Three, has come to feel like a stagnant decision that no one is willing to make."

Anita Singh at the Daily Telegraph writes, "The writers are stringing us along... because they know another series is in the bag. It’s lazy and will leave fans feeling short-changed."

Katie Rice at the London Evening Standard thinks "the charm is starting to fade."

Jezebel's Rodlyn-mae Banting agrees with me that the ensemble was the best part of season 3: "What ended up saving this season is the new depth given to many of the show’s secondary characters."

Should you stream Emily in Paris season 3?

Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu as Sylvie Grateau in episode 308 of Emily in Paris

(Image credit: Netflix)

Look, is Emily in Paris what most people would call a "good" show? No. But it is fun, which is more than you can say for a lot of TV these days. 

There's a scene in the first episode of season 3 where Emily goes to McDonald's. Her companion describes eating there as a "little treat." Sure, it's fast food — empty calories, hardly any nutrients. But sometimes, you get a craving for it! And you can enjoy it every once in awhile without feeling too guilty. The same goes for this show.

Plus, the show is a visual feast. Everyone is very attractive, the clothes are outrageous and gorgeous, and the locations are stunning. Emily in Paris brings one of the world's most beautiful cities right to your home screen. 

The 10 episodes are about 35 minutes long a piece, which means a binge session only lasts less than six hours. On a cold winter day, a frivolous jaunt to Paris feels like a dream vacation. 

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.