Skip to main content

Emily in Paris season 1 recap: what did you miss?

Emily in Paris: Sylvie and Emily and Camille
(Image credit: Netflix)

 Who’s ready for more French adventures? Emily in Paris season 2 is arriving soon and there's a lot to unpack. From the unfinished business with Gabriel to her on-again-off-again work situation, we can’t wait to see what happens next in Emily Cooper’s life. But in the meantime, if you want a recap of everything that happened in season 1 before the second series drops on Netflix — let us refresh your memory...

 Emily’s move to Paris hit a few bumps in the road

We started off with Emily Cooper’s big move to Paris from Chicago, where she had a serious long-term boyfriend, Doug. The work opportunity came from the marketing agency she worked for in the States, who asked her to spend some time in the new boutique agency they acquired (Savoir). 

As expected, Emily was excited to have a Parisian adventure but it doesn’t start off in the best way — her colleagues aren’t big fans of the new American on the block who doesn't even speak basic French... (who can forget the infamous insult "Bonjour, la plouc"), her relationship doesn’t survive the distance and she generally feels as though she'll never fit in in her new city.

But, eventually, it all works itself out

Emily’s bad luck at work doesn’t last long, as she starts to collect a few big wins. Although her boss, Sylvie, seems to enjoy making her life difficult, Cooper’s marketing campaign for a menopausal product — "the vagina is not male" — goes viral, even being shared by France’s First Lady, Brigitte Macron. Her own personal profile (@emilyinparis), where she documents her new life, also starts to grow, turning her into an accidental, but influential, influencer.

 She also got lucky (sort of) in love

Work isn’t the only thing keeping Miss Cooper busy in season 1 of Emily in Paris — she’s in the city of love, after all! From the annoying philosophy teacher Thomas and a big client’s nephew (Mathieu Cadault) to Antoine (another client... someone should tell her not to mix business with pleasure!) and the French guy who has a thing for American women (and let’s not forget her drunken dalliance with Camille’s younger brother, who is just 17😨) — Emily has her hands très full with French men. 

 The Gabriel drama

Although plenty tried, Emily only seems to have eyes for neighbor Gabriel. The two start flirting early on in the show (pretty much from the word "enchanté" — "nice to meet" you for the uninitiated) and they eventually kiss. 

However, Emily finds out later that he has a girlfriend, Camille. They decide to stay away from each other but end up kissing again during a night out in a club. The chemistry between them continues to build until the inevitable happens... They have goodbye sex — because Gabriel was supposed to leave Paris the next day to open his own restaurant in Normandy. Things really take a turn to Complicated Land when Emily finds out that her neighbor-turned-lover is actually staying. Even worse, it's all because Antoine (remember Emily’s client who also wanted to woo her?) decided to invest in Gabriel’s business. Guess who breaks the news to her? Camille, the girlfriend. Yikes!  

Friendships started

Yes, there are plenty of romantic liaisons but Cooper had some time for platonic relationships too. During season 1 she makes friends with Mindy Chen — a Chinese woman who studied in the US and now works as a nanny in Paris after failing at her dream of becoming a singer, while her rich parents back in China hope she’ll come back one day to take over the family’s zipper business. She also eventually grows close to Camille — that is before finding out she’s actually Gabriel’s girlfriend. Mindy calls them "faux amis" (false friends), because of their, ahem, conflicting interests…

Lily Collins and Ashley Park Emily in Paris Season 1 Recap

And if our recap isn't enough, let the stars of the show — Lily Collins (Emily) and Ashley Park (Mindy) — talk you through their take on Emily in Paris season 1. They break down the action, the characters, the romances and their favorite bits...

What will happen to the gang in season 2? There’s only way to find out! See you back in Paris on the 22nd December, mes chers!

Mariana Cerqueira

Mariana is Editor of My Imperfect Life. She has previously worked for titles including woman&home and Goodto. She was nominated for AOP Digital Journalist of the Year in 2020, and for New Digital Talent of the Year at the 2016 PPA Digital Awards. She’s mildly obsessed with reality TV (Love Island memes and Selling Sunset included) and spends far too much time checking her horoscope.