can i have more people in paris on telly si'il vous plait? merci beaucoup ma cheri

Because of nothing but a thought I just had, Parisians make better pandemic telly.

HELP ME I CAN’T FIND ANYTHING TRIPE TO WATCH! Please take this plea as a cry for help, a television SOS.

Desperately, hopelessly, immediately, I need to sink slop into my eyeballs.

Before EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, I direct you to the attached cease and desist for any suggestions for prestige dramas. No to anything that was on HBO. I get they are good, like I know, Succession is my jam. EAT THE RICH is its unofficial tag line, however FOR THE LOVE OF ME, STOP RECOMMENDING THE UNDOING! Nothing that will set off my startle reflex. No Nicole Kid cold stares. No Hugh Grant stuttering. No!

There is a painful nonsense deficit in my life. It is making me nostalgic for Emily in Paris.

Emily in Paris was perfect. Actually, it was not, rather it was a cowpat of a programme however, currently I crave, the sweet, sweet smell of manure.

It was pink, a plastic confection which was apt because it seemed to be the daydream of a preteen girl, imagining the reality of the wannabe influencers she follows on social media, one who hasn’t learnt about story writing techniques, and believes one note is good because it means you’ve been economical with your notes.

The fantasy mainly manifests into waltzing into rooms and charming the pants of people who initially hate you. The dislike is because you're the stereotype of an ignorant American tourist in Paris, a thing you could actually help by simply uttering some beginner phrases scrapped out of Duolingo. She is apparently the world’s most loveable twat, which is unfortunate because I under the impression that was me.

No one is free from Emily’s weird unexplained excellence, whether this is legendary haute couture designers, cosmetic Chief Marketing Officers and sexy downstairs neighbours. Unexplained excellence is the key theme in this show. Why is she the chosen one. How does one sign up?

At first, glance, her social media expertise is framed to be on the money, the creme de la creme of digital marketing. This is believable to me as I’m a grandma. Being successful at Instagram is not in my wheelhouse. My contributions are limited to posting photos of cats and feeling flattered when someone I went to school with likes it. Judging by the hoards of people who have experience in this field on my Twitter timeline, it not a correct portrayal.

Emily in Paris was perfect for this time because there were no real stakes. I have had enough of stakes. Give me nothing but wrap it in a bow. Smother the bare minimum in Chanel No5 and let the aroma do the work. It’s benign but still frivolous, fun to hate .

It was easy to route against her. Aside from breaking every single rule I know about Parisians (not bothering to speak French), she just acts like an mean girl. Case and point, she is always snogging Gabriel, the man with the world’s nicest girlfriend, who was nothing but kind to Emily. Seriously, I don’t mean to be holier than thou, but if I met someone like Camille randomly in the street, who helped to boost my career by introducing me into very important people, I like to think shagging their boyfriend would be off the menu at any point.

Please, Camille, stop being friends with that loser and call me. By the way, do you know any commissioning editors? Do they come to your fancy gallery? Do they like versatile wordsmiths who can write with authority in many different topics and tones, whether it be reviewing or reporting, some of which you can find right here? Seriously I don’t just rabbit on about telly, I can talk about anything - finance, books and politics.

I'd love to come to your vineyard in the Champagne region. I wouldn’t even try and market your wares. I’d just drink it like a good little houseguest. Either of your brothers would float my boat because they look so much like your boyfriend, but have the benefit of not being your boyfriend.

WHERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE CAMILLE, BOTH GENUINELY LOVELY AND WELL CONNECTED? This is not to say that I have not or will not come across people like this ever, but as we in a pandemic, it is increasingly hard to locate and corner these people. Networking is my favourite. I’m very much an extrovert, even if I worry this year has made me forget how to be one. Camille and I need a meet-cute on a cobbled street. Let’s set it up. I’ll be a better friend.

Bad things do happen to Emily. This adds to the show because she deserves them too. Luckily for her, the show pulls her out of these sticky situations in the nick of time. This is really the crux of its appeal. Nothing bad actually happens. Nothing bad can actually happen. There are no court cases, or nothing not able to be wriggled out of. We get reassurance, nice views of Paris and lots of attractive men that all look the exact same. It’s a Patricia Field clad sedative pill.

Out of the many shows I have watched for comfort, New Girl, Community etc, it really managed to be the only one that fully turned off all anxiety. Hypersensitivity and any good narrative are not a match made in heaven. Despite these shows being “light entertainment”, their plots take you on emotional rollercoasters I don’t want to ride. Emily in Paris was the anti-motion social distancing sickness pill.

The fleeting ten-episode high of Emily in Paris was months ago now. Now, there’s left nothing but a hole that cannot be filled because GOOD COMPELLING STORYTELLING is apparently valued in television production. Pffft. Typical. in 2020? Tension for entertainment? A joke.

GIVE ME TELEVISUAL MUSH. My brain is too clogged to sift through my Netflix recommendations. Please, help me. I can only rewatch the US version of The Office so many times. Okay, this a lie, I could watch it infinitely, but I don’t want to. I do actually like trying new shows. I just want a new one that will soothe my anxiety down, not rev it back up.

ALTHOUGH, there was one show, also set in Paris, and also starring Phillippine Leroy-Beaulieu that is great and recently viewed by yours truly, and not in any of the ways Emily in Paris is, and that is Call My Agent.

Again, I ripped through the episodes much too quickly, and I’m so desperate for more. It’s funny and smart and glamorous and very French, not that I know what that means but I’m going to pretend I do because I was born in Paris. Once, at fourteen years old, I was forced to on an exchange to France and couldn’t speak a lick of coherent French, they all rightly laughed at me. My host mother and all her pals were so excited when they found this out, cooing “oh la la,”

Despite what people tell me, who have no authority on the matter, no understanding of French citizenship requirements, I’m not French. My time living in the City of Love was brief, a six-month stint, all of which I was a bebe. Sadly, no memories remain of living right next to the Eiffel Tower. Like a lot of people, I do have a pipe dream to learn the language, and hopefully, will one day finally follow through because I’m OBSESSED with the way that French people say my name, so light and airy, like a fluffy cloud. Either with my lack of Frenchness, I can confidently say you’d adore Call My Agent. It ticks all the telly boxes you’d possibly have.

I’d tell you what happens in Call My Agent but I’m desperate not to ruin it for anyone, but it’s really fantastic, like actually good, not in its rubbish that you love to hate. One of the show’s stars Camille Cottin was the French Fleabag, apparently, which just proves, it’s chic.

As a bonus, it doubles an exercise in mindful watching, as you actually have to dedicate your full attention to what is playing on your telly because of subtitles. You can’t doom scroll and know what’s going on unless you parlez vous Francais. Another parfait 2020 show.