Referred to as a mélange between Sex and the City and Emily in Paris, the new series from US TV channel Bravo, Real Girlfriends in Paris, promises to tell the honest stories (with a healthy dose of drama) of six Americans trying to build their lives in the City of Light.
The Local spoke with Kacey Margo, one of the six Girlfriends, about what to expect from the show and why other Americans living in Paris should tune in.
— Bravo (@BravoTV) August 8, 2022
Similar to many other Americans who made their way to France via study abroad or teaching English, Kacey Margo also studied French in high school and university. She first moved for a study abroad program and then came back to teach English, with the program TAPIF.
“I wanted to stay after I really started to fit in here. I felt at home here, and I felt that I had a skill (teaching English) that was sought after.”
Kacey has been in France for over three years now, and more recently became famous on TikTok for portraying her life as an American in France, which ended up being a gateway onto Real Girlfriends in Paris.
Part of the reason Margo wanted to go on the show was to show an authentic version of life in Paris.
“I wanted to prove to everyone that I am not just taking pictures in front of the Eiffel tower every day or just eating cheese. I’m working and giving back to the community by teaching English.
“Being an American living in Paris is super interesting because people always assume you’re a tourist. It’s like no, I live here, I speak French, I am a permanent fixture. I am here to make a living.”
Kacey thinks other Americans in Paris will relate to that, especially after the Netflix show Emily in Paris – a series that led many frustrated Op-Eds and Twitter threads from French people who felt their culture had been mocked.
“Emily in Paris is fake,” Kacey said, laughing. “I hate when people assume that we don’t speak any French or that we don’t know the city. We’ve all been here for a while.”
Another experience, though a not-so positive one, that the English-teacher turned reality TV star thinks other Americans in France will relate to is visa-related.
“I think that any American in Paris’ ‘status’ is a central part of their life here,” said Margo. According to the Bravo website, this will be a central dilemma for her, as she is “determined to stay” but “unfortunately, complications with her visa could get in the way.”
While she could not go into detail about what viewers can expect for her visa situation (you’ll have to watch the show), Kacey did have some advice for other Americans who have found themselves in less-than-ideal residency situations:
“It’s like voting in the US: stay in line. Go to the préfecture, show them that you care about staying, show them that you have all the paperwork, show them you have a skill that is applicable in France. Once you have your foot in the door, don’t give up.”
Kacey wants other Americans in Paris to tune in for the show “because they will be able to see themselves in one of the six of us. You’ll see all of the problems that expats go through.”
Adding that “it’s super easy to feel alone, whether that’s because you are dealing with visa issues, marriage issues, or work issues, or any other problems expats experience, it’s so nice to see someone else in the same boat as you.”
And for Americans looking to make the move to France, Margo had some words of wisdom too, speaking frankly, she said “it’s not for everyone. If you are not prepared to go outside and live every day in French then I would not recommend it. Take the time to become fluent and adjust.”
The show premieres on Monday, September 5th at 9:15pm EST on Bravo – on TV or online – in the United States, but will also be shown from September 6th on the European paid-for streaming service, Hayu.