Review: 'Alice In Paris'

Post by: Rick Ellis 18 August, 2020

Streaming services such as Netflix rightfully receive a lot of credit for having realized that it you want to truly be a global media company, you need to have some studios located outside the United States. You also need to have relationships and production deals with bright young local talent who can provide the international point of view that can help set your content apart.

But digital brands such as Tastemade also have a global audience and global production assets. And while they haven't always been quick to take advantage of them when it comes to scripted programming, there are some indications that is changing. 

Alice In Paris is Tastemade's first long-form scripted series and while I've only seen the first episode of season three, that episode is as well-made and charming as any series that might come from a more traditional streaming video service. The series began about four years ago as short episodic videos that ran less than two minutes. Alice (played by show co-creator Alysse Hallali) was a college student who loved food and always found a reason to end up in some cute little Parisian shop or restaurant. The short videos didn't leave much time for a storyline or even a pause. But Hallali was charming and for lack of a better description, Alice came off as the type of college student most people outside of France picture when they think of Paris. She's passionate, a bit obsessed with food and proud of her city in a way that almost veers into arrogance.

Season two premiered about two years ago and the length of the episodes doubled to between 3 and 4 minutes. That increased length (and what appears to be an increase in budget) allowed the show to have some real storylines and also to introduce some new characters. Including Alice's sister (played by Alex Bénézech), who returns for season three. While the season two episodes often felt a bit short, watching them gives you a sense of why Tastemade execs thought the show merited full-length episodes. "Alice Loves Paris" is a love letter to the city but it's also an entertaining glimpse into the life of a young twentysomething culinary fan in the world's most intense city for foodies.

In season three's premiere episode, Alice gets into trouble when she impulsively steals a microphone at a big culinary festival and provides her own narration for the event. She's surprised when the rest of the local culinary scene doesn't appreciate her spontaneity and perfect sense of taste. To save her reputation, she embarks on a madcap adventure that includes trying to save a restaurant's Michelin Star by recreating a missing chef's prized creation. The episode is charming, witty and entertaining in a very French way. 

Hallali was in college herself when she and her boyfriend created the series and it's impossible to imagine the show being produced anywhere but Paris. Every scene of the series is a love letter to Paris and even if you've ever been there, you'll start to imagine what it would like to live in the world's most romantic city.

Season three of Alice In Paris premieres today (August 18th) on Tastemade's streaming network. Seasons one and two are available on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 August 2020 15:42