Last month, Netflix's much-awaited show Emily In Paris was unleashed upon the pandemic-stricken world of binge-watching. And while some viewers loved it, and others couldn't stand it--nobody could stop watching the much-talked-about show. In my opinion, Emily In Paris is like the ice cream tub you always order on the first day of your period--you know it's bad for you, but you're going to eat all of it anyway.
Was it a great show? No. Did it make me cringe? Every five minutes. Did I binge-watch it? In a single sitting.
And honestly, there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you just need a light-hearted, entertaining, mindless watch after a long day. And lucky for you, we've got some excellent suggestions.
While the show was definitely revolutionary when it came out, it might not have aged as well. In 2020, SATC would have been called out for its casual homophobia, occasional transphobia and the grossly unrealistic portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw's ~glamourous~ life. A weekly sex columnist who lives in New York City's Upper East Side, buys Manolo Blahniks by the dozen and never has to go to an office?! Even my fantasies aren't this unrealistic. But if you're willing to temporarily suspend reason and logic, you'll actually enjoy the show for the female friendships, sex-positivity and jaw-droppingly gorgeous outfits. All you need to do is tolerate the highly-unlikable protagonist. You can't have it all *shrug emoji*
The younger version of Carrie Bradshaw is a lot more likeable and a lot less problematic. This show introduces us to the teenage Carrie--before she became a famous NYC-based sex writer with a debatable amount of disposable income. It also sells us an equally unrealistic plot--a high school student ends up writing for Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine? Sure. But it does have some fantastic supporting characters--young Samantha is sassy AF and Carrie's mentor Larissa's Big Dick Energy is hard to ignore. Oh, and her teenage love interest Sebastian is so fine, you'll wonder how Carrie's taste in men drastically worsened over the years (you guessed it--I hate Mr Big). The only tragic part is that the series got cancelled after two seasons.
When you get tired of 40-year-old Carrie calling herself a 'gal' in every episode, we suggest you take a break and switch to another show by the same creator. If you're okay with the fact that the show glorifies identity fraud--which is a criminal offence--it's actually a great current watch. And while their portrayal of the publishing industry may not exactly be realistic, it is definitely interesting. The downside? Protagonist Liza Miller (a 40-year-old pretending to be a 26-year-old) is so boring, her two love interests might have better chemistry with each other than with her.
Hey Upper East Siders, Gossip Girl H--okay fine, I'll stop with the cliche Gossip Girl intro for every goddamn article on the internet. For most young adults growing up in the mid-to-late 2000s, Gossip Girl was an iconic show. But my 2020 self re-watched it recently, and I must say, I was kinda heartbroken to realise how problematic the show actually is. Firstly, the premise of the show is classism--and Blair Waldorf is its gatekeeper. Serena's self-destructive behaviour is painful to watch, Chuck is a toxic, abusive romanticised hero and Dan--well, I'm sure every fan has a lot of ~thoughts~ on Dan. So yes, it's a bunch of awful characters (except for Nate, he must be protected at all costs) doing awful things to each other. But you know what? I'd re-watch any single episode in a heartbeat.
Yes, this is one of the first mainstream teen shows with a brown female protagonist. Yes, it's created by the legendary Mindy Kaling. And yes, it's still a bad show. What makes Never Have I Ever so hard to watch as an Indian is probably the desi stereotypes it is littered with--controlling parents, arranged marriage, and a cousin who talks like The Simpsons' Apu. Add to the mix the casual fatphobia, a seriously unlikeable protagonist and a done-to-death plot--and you have the recipe for a perfectly disappointing but bingeable show. If nothing, watch it for Devi's seriously hot love interest Paxton.
All set to hate-watch these shows?
Featured Image: Netflix