La vie à Paris


Dunia Sarkis, Staff Columnist

Is quarantine getting you down? Does your life feel on loop, with days blurring into weeks and weeks into months? Have you stared at your computer screen for hours in the cozy darkness of your room, ignoring your responsibilities and worries, wishing you could just leave this flawed world and enter one where your problems dissolve within 20 to 60 minutes?

Have I got the column for you. Welcome to “Are You Still Watching?”, where you give me your top TV picks, and I recommend some binge-worthy shows you may not have heard of yet.

Every person has their own passions, and I’m no exception. Some people collect stamps; others read books, play chess, or do math. Most people are pretty good at these passions and are even commended for them. This is where I differ. My greatest talent is watching TV, and I’m good at it, maybe even one of the best around, but I’m told I’m lazy and should stop rotting my brain with nonsense, get off the couch, and do something useful with my life.

Still, I’m a very skilled watcher; I’m practically a pro at recommending shows. So the least I can do is hone my skills and help you find your next favorite TV series. Today’s themes? France and Romance.

If you haven’t seen “Emily in Paris,” you’ve at least heard of it. It was a huge success when it was released on Netflix last fall. If you’re not familiar with the story, our protagonist, Emily, travels to Paris for a marketing job. She expects a wonderful Parisian experience full of beautiful sights, high fashion, and delicious pastries. While some of her expectations are fulfilled (we often see her indulging in a crispy pain au chocolat), Emily is surprised by what she finds.

Upon her arrival in the city of love, she experiences a cultural disconnect: many conversations get lost in translation, people around her are rude and lazy, and French traditions give her some trouble. It’s a fun, easy show, full of flirting and uncomfortable situations.

For a different perspective of Paris, you might like “Call My Agent!” While “Emily in Paris” shares an outsider’s view and amplifies stereotypes of the French, “Call My Agent!” will show you the real, authentic Paris. The show follows the talent agency, ASK, and its employees as they deal with all of the conflicts of their misfit actors. Though the show is in French, English subtitles are available to accommodate your viewing needs! This show is one of my all-time favorites. It’s laugh-out- loud funny, heartfelt, and once in a while, you get a beautiful shot of the Parisian skyline. The characters grow before your eyes (we LOVE character development here!), and you may find yourself wishing you could partake in their gossip. The best part? Every episode features a famous French actor (How did they get so many legends on the show?), and you may even spot some familiar American faces.

You might also like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Paris may be the world’s most romantic city, but a close second is West Covina, California. Surely, you’ve heard of it! No? Well, follow Rebecca Bunch there, and soon you’ll see. Bunch, a big-shot lawyer, runs into her high school sweetheart in the busy streets of Manhattan. He tells her about his hometown, West Covina, and in an attempt to regain his love, she drops her job and follows him there. This show does not take place in Paris, and the closest you’ll get is the Season One song, “Sexy French Depression.” Oh, did I forget to mention? Rebecca’s thoughts are expressed through song. We get to watch her sing about love triangles, mental health, and much more. Who doesn’t love spontaneous song-and-dance numbers?

Though “Call My Agent!” isn’t always as glamorous as “Emily in Paris,” it’s charming and more real. I was drawn to the nuanced characters and felt invested in everything they did. I resisted watching the last episode for so long because I was devastated that it had to end.

As for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” its romance is nowhere near as fairytale-esque as in “Emily in Paris,” but the complexity of the love storylines makes it entertaining. Also, the songs are beyond catchy (I guarantee you will have some strange songs stuck in your head if you watch this show!). I find endless joy in this show, which addresses important topics while managing to be captivating and upbeat.

As you may have noticed, I love talking about TV. So, if you like these shows, let me know. I hope they bring you as much joy as they have brought me. Send your favorite shows my way (, and I’ll try to find you a new favorite series! What are you waiting for? Click that “Continue Watching” button, and binge away!