Lily Collins Explains Why Netflix's Emily In Paris Avoided COVID Storytelling In Season 2

Lily Collins on Netflix's Emily in Paris
(Image credit: Netflix)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the world for about two years now and, for many Hollywood creatives, it's been hard to ignore. With this, a number of TV series within the 2020-21 season opted to integrate the pandemic into its storylines, as doing so would more effectively establish that the shows are meant to mirror our own realities. Others, however, decided to let COVID be either a thing of the past or totally non-existent in their fictional universes, which was the case for Lily Collins' Emily In Paris.

The romantic dramedy, which sees Lily Collins play the titular character who finds herself getting her dream job in the City of Lights, did not include the Coronavirus during the first season last year. This is likely due to the fact that it wrapped filming ahead of the pandemic. Though surprisingly, the upcoming second season, which filmed this year, will also avoid it. Now, Collins has explained the keen reasoning for this in a recent interview with Variety:

Season 1 allowed us an escapism when it came out that it felt it was something that needed to continue — not addressing it because it brings a sense of escapism and joy and laughter in a time that we need it the most.

It honestly makes sense as to why there's no mention of the health crisis in the first second season of Emily In Paris. TV is indeed a form of escapism, and people have definitely had mixed feelings when it comes to producers including the pandemic on shows and in movies. The reception varies due to the respective storylines. For some shows, it works because it feels organic and natural but, for others, it may seem forced. Given its lighter tone, it's probably best that the Netflix series chose not to move in that direction.

Of course, though the virus didn't play a role in the plot, it still makes things a tad difficult when it comes to filming, since the cast and crew still need to be kept safe while working. Lily Collins discussed what it's like filming a show that has a COVID-free world in a world that's not free of the virus. And it’s as confusing as you’d think:

Shooting a show in a city that is highly populated where people are wearing masks, yet we’re shooting in a world that doesn’t exist with COVID — so it’s making sure that when we’re rolling the masks are off and when we stop rolling they come back on. There were a couple of times when they started shooting and I was like, ‘Wait, half the people in the scene are still wearing masks.’

Despite the somewhat disorienting and difficult filming process, it's worth it to keep everyone safe and give fans a series they can immerse themselves in. It's also worth mentioning that as some shows decided to completely or almost entirely avoid the pandemic, others have now decided to move into a post-COVID world. While the global health crisis may be far from over, it’s good to know that TV can serve as outlet for those who are need it, and it's to sure increase viewers' hopes that we’ll get back to a sense of normalcy sooner rather than later.

Don’t miss Season 2 of Emily In Paris, which drops on Netflix Wednesday, December 22! And check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 winter and spring schedule to see what shows to check out in the new year!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.