The "Pelotech" storyline in Emily In Paris is uncannily timed to And Just Like That's Peloton tragedy.
Warning: Light spoilers for Emily in Paris Season 2 follow. The Emily in Paris and SATC universes have finally combined to take on the same villain: stationary bikes — or at least, that’s what it seems like. In an instance of truly bizarre timing, both And Just Like That and Emily in Paris featured unflattering storylines centered on Peloton (or in EIP’s case, Pelotech) bikes just a couple weeks apart. Is this a coincidence, or does someone in the biz have a personal vendetta? All that I can say for sure is that Emily in Paris’ Pelotech story had *a lot* of similarities to And Just Like That’s series premiere.
Toward the end of its second season, Emily in Paris centered an episode on a suspiciously named Pelotech bike, which wound up being the first shot in an all-out brawl between Emily’s two worlds. The Gilbert Group’s American office, headed by the unsympathetic Madeline Wheeler (Kate Walsh), tasked Savoir with marketing the exercise bikes, which Sylvie, Luc, and Julien immediately bristled at. The three French execs quickly dismissed the bikes as sterile, unexciting, and decidedly un-French.
In the end, Sylvie seemed to come around to Pelotech when she tried it out, but not before her initial disgust led to a phone call that blew up the rest of Season 2. Sylvie expressed her disinterest in working with Pelotech while on the phone with Madeline, which inspired Madeline to book a surprise trip to Paris in order to restructure Savoir. Madeline’s trip to Paris is what instigated the season’s bombshell finale, ending on a major cliffhanger for Emily as she now faces a huge career decision. And it’s all because of Pelotech.
Does an exercise bike ruining everything sound a bit too familiar to you? That’s because the Emily in Paris Pelotech catastrophe aired less than two weeks after And Just Like That’s Dec. 9 premiere, which ended in (spoiler alert) Big suffering a lethal heart attack right after riding his Peloton. In the final moments of the reboot’s first episode, Big finished a rigorous workout on the bike and then fell to the floor on his way to the shower. The clear implication was that him overexerting himself on the bike is what did him in.
After that shocking moment, Peloton issued a statement arguing Big’s lifestyle and potential family history caused the heart attack, not the bike. “Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle — including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks — and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in Season 6,” Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist on Peloton’s health and wellness advisory council, said. “Riding his Peloton Bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event.” The brand then capitalized on the situation by releasing cheeky a commercial starring Chris Noth (which was then promptly removed after assault allegations again Noth arose).
Basically, Peloton’s image in pop culture has been one big mess ever since. Stock prices plummeted for the brand, and social media was filled with posts from fans roasting Peloton. All that hubbub is what made the Emily in Paris plotline all the more notable. At least it gave fans the Emily in Paris-SATC connection they’ve been hoping for since EIP premiered, considering Darren Star created both series (although he’s not involved in AJLT, so no one can *truly* blame him for leading an anti-Peloton campaign in both shows).
Emily in Paris Season 2 is streaming on Netflix now. And Just Like That is streaming on HBO Max, releasing new episodes on Thursdays.