The Hookup Plan

I started watching “The Hookup Plan” (Plan Cœur) because I was looking for something after Dix Pour CentThe Hookup Plan is more like Emily in Paris in that the situations are highly exaggerated, but I wanted to watch something comedic and light. I know I won’t find something as good as Dix, it’s highly unusual to get two great shows in a row, but I hope it can at least be enjoyable. 

I can identify with Elsa because I know what it’s like to come out of a relationship and be crushed by it. Usually I’m capable of moving on quickly, but I am completely broken by it so I’m stuck in this place I can’t get out of. I haven’t gotten to being single for two years, but I totally get how it can get to the point where your friends are so worried about you that they will hire a male prostitute just to get you back out there. 

I like her personality. She’s a little boozy at first, but she seems a bit lost because of her breakup. When you’re hurt that badly all you want to do is numb the pain. At the very least she seems fun. If French girls were half as fun, and half as ballsy and brash as her, I would have gotten on with them more. She’s almost a New Yorker in the way she handles herself. I find it hilarious because Paris can turn you into that, but I never saw French girls who were anything more than passive. It’s not a French personality trait I ever witnessed.

But she’s also a bit of a dork. I love that she told ‘Jules’ “later alligator” when she met him. I dated a guy named Victor for a while, crazy gorgeous, but lacked ambition, so it didn’t work, but we used to have this thing where we would end our messages with colloquialisms (in a while crocodile, take care polar bear, etc). We would try to one up each other. It was ‘our thing’, and really cute, and okay maybe dorky, but he was actually better at them than I was (and he was fully French)! 

This show has its ‘Parisian moments’. The crappy, and rude, Uber driver who goes in circles! Agh! In the Marais it’s the worst because the city constantly changes the directions of the streets, and those drivers act like they’ve never driven in Paris. I had 3 Uber drivers cancel on me once when I was staying at a friend’s flat on Saint Merri. They couldn’t figure out how to go down to Verrerie, up Archives and turn à gauche. The 4th one didn’t cancel, but he made me walk all the way to rue du Renard dragging these IKEA bags the size of large suitcases. I told him he better pick some up and help me. I had been waiting for 60 minutes on the street, with those annoying tourists gawking at me like they had never seen someone moving stuff, trying to get a ride, and I was in no mood. I wanted to murder him. I was so rude to him. I shouted at him, and he started being rude in return. I was tired from not sleeping, and frustrated, and angry because I was having a bad day, and I missed and wanted Christian there. Christian has been the only person I’ve known who can calm me down, and when I’m in that mood he’s the only one who can snap me out of it. You know when you just need a hug from the person you love to make you feel better? But he was in London, and I ended up crying (you know when you get so frustrated you just start crying?), and then the driver felt really bad because I was crying, and in the end we both ended up apologizing to each other by the time we got to the 16th and he was extra helpful with my bags. 

I kind of want to go episode by episode giving some insights, but the episodes are so short. It’s like nothing much happens in them. I hate when shows are like that. You basically have to watch all of the episodes in one go or else you’ll walk away unsatisfied. 

Episode 2 -

Unfortunately there isn’t an app in Paris that lets you pick a guy by his dick. But imagine? That would make dating so much easier. I mean obviously they’d need to show their faces too. Face is equally as important, and rarely do you get a guy with both. The universe balances it out by giving ugly guys huge dicks. And the last time I picked a guy by his dick, without seeing his face, he ended up being bald. 

Elsa lives near square Anvers. For 3 years I taught English to a family of Philharmonic musicians with a 3 year old who lived near there (on rue Petrelle). And from that area you can see the Sacré Cœur just like in the episode. 

I love Charlotte. I love women with masculine energy because I have masculine energy (from growing up with all boys). I love her, because she’s just like me.

The parc they eat in when Elsa finally texts Jules is in Trocadéro. I wouldn’t recommend going to it as crackheads hang out there, and there are tons of rats. But you’ll usually see tourists taking their kids there. Probably because they know no better. 

She’s right, when you live in Paris it just becomes another city and you stop looking at it. I regret that when Christian and I dated that I didn’t discover more of the city with him, but at that point it had been 5 years and I had already done everything. We used to do a lot of things on his weekends, but after living there you become jaded, and you don’t see things like a tourist does. The allure wears off. 

It took me forever to figure out where I had seen Jules from; The Chalet. If you want something French to watch give it a go. It’s supposed to be a thriller, or a horror, but the French hate being scared so it’s more just a tepid suspense. And then that ending! What was that? 

So I take it Elsa is supposed to be the anti-French girl? If those girls exist in Paris, I never saw them. It makes her more relatable, but I wonder if that is an actual thing. Maybe outside of Paris? This portrayal is giving Frenchgirls a bad rap. They would never be so uncool.

Episode 3-

This is weird, because I worked with children, so I have been to every parc in Paris more than I can count, but I have no idea what parc they are running through. That lake is too large for the inner city ones. Maybe Buttes Chaumont? It’s going to drive me crazy. 

For clarification Charlotte says she thinks the ring is from Tati, not Target, like the subs say. Tati is this ghetto store in the 18th near Barbes. I kind of liked it the one time I went because stuff was so cheap. But you wouldn’t buy clothes and things of that nature from there. I guess it could be compared to Primark. Or Walmart for the American equivalent. 

Ha! It was Buttes Chaumont! That little dome pavilion thing on the hill gave it away. Do I know my city or do I know my city? 

Mamie Blue is a vintage shop in Pigalle (near Elsa’s flat). I haven’t been to the area since I stopped tutoring Chloe (having to go to Gare du Nord to pick her up for lunch from Maternal was too brutal. I can’t wake up before 11am), but across the street there used to be this cool little bar with an indoor Pétanque area. And next door was this hipster place that only sold craft beers by the bottle. Pigalle is a pretty cool area (kind of like Brooklyn), or it was. I imagine it’s probably been gentrified since 2016. 

The Paris Aquarium is probably one of the few things I never visited, which is weird because I lived down the street from it. I think I suggested it to Christian one weekend but he didn’t want to. It’s so weird that something like that exists under Trocadéro. 

I think even if she works in the basement, working at Hôtel de Ville is really cool. I know I’m a history nerd, but it’s not even about that. The building itself is so beautiful. I was sad I never got to see the inside of it during Heritage Days. I only got to see a certain section of it during a Brassaï exhibit. When I first moved to Paris they used to put the ice skating rink in the Place de Grève, and they put twinkling lights on the roof (like on the Eiffel), and it used to look magical. It’s one of my favorite top 3 most underrated buildings in Paris (along with Invalides, and Conciergerie). 

Episode 4 -

One thing I always loved about Paris was that you didn’t ever have to dress up for work. The French don’t really dress up for most things. They’re a pretty casual society in general. I taught English to kids who’s parent who worked at the Sénat, and the wife used to go to work in jeans and trainers (the husband did wear suits). When I went to work in French offices I didn’t have to dress up. The guys I dated who were marketing directors always wore jeans, never suits. I dated a journalist at France 1 and he wore jeans. But all of the guys I dated who worked in finance had to wear suits? No idea what the official French dress code is professionally, but from what I saw, as long as you weren’t a banker, a lawyer, or in finance it was pretty lax. 

Her friend peeing in her sink had me dead. Life in a chambre de bon really is The Struggle TM. 

I love that Charlotte’s “fashion job” was being one of those people that hand’s out Stylist at the metro. 

Jules’ Mum is a guardienne. Meaning she takes care of a building, which explains why she had the faux mezzanine bed and the front door with the glass window. Flats that have ceilings that high are usually on the ground floor. Some of them are cooler than others. I had a boyfriend named Clement who rented an ex guardien flat near Jardin de Plantes. It had the proper mezzanine/loft with the railing, and the stairs. He only paid 800€ for it. It was a steal by Paris standards, but he didn’t appreciate it. Anyhow I’m not sure why it was such a big deal that he had to take care of her. Guardiens get paid. In fact you have to give your guardien a bonus at Christmas. Like you give your doorman in NYC. Except this person collects a check, and an apartment. Even if she’s making French minimum wage, which is $1600 a month, she’s living better than most. 

Why is Emilie so mean to him?! He’s so nice, he puts up with her crap, but she’s never nice. I get it, sometimes I can be a bit harsh, but I haven’t seen her apologize to him once. She’s always angry at him. 

Episode 5 - 

Pizzas in Paris aren’t big so usually when you go out to dinner everyone will order their own. It’s pretty weird for 3 people to share one. But girls in Paris don’t eat so I guess it would make sense for three of them to share one. 

Why did Elsa invite the guy who destroyed her, and then left her completely broken for two years? Couldn’t be me. She’s nicer than me for sure. It’s very, very rare to piss me off to the point of hatred, but when someone does get to that point, I hold a grudge. 

It’s hard to find a place that makes birthday cakes. I used to go to Picard because they sold actual cakes (not sure if it was seasonal because the chocolate one was always there), and there are a few specialty shops, but for the most part the French don’t have ‘birthday cakes’. They certainly don’t eat anything close it it on their birthdays. One year for my birthday my friends threw a party and the best they could do was a slice of Opera cake from the boulangerie. You have to special order one from a specialty shop if you want one (or try to find one at Picard).

Lol the rudest thing you can do is wear heels in your apartment. Your neighbors would hate you. I think it’s like an unwritten rule in Paris. I had this neighbor beneath me when I lived on Valadon, and I remember once I put my boots on a few minutes before I left the house (they were thigh high so they were an effort to pull on over pants). It was maybe 3 minutes of me grabbing my keys, turning off lights, etc. and she came outside as I was walking down, and bitched about it. She was the most annoying.

Jules walks down one of my favorite blvds, Rochechouart/Clichy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a grimey area filled with drunks and crackheads during the day, and the dregs of Barbes at night. I guess if you look soft they’ll try to rob you, but I look like a mean bitch who will bite you head off when I walk the streets so they usually left me alone. It’s one of the few boulevards in Paris that’s wide enough to have benches on both sides, and an open area in between. Most people probably avoid walking down it, and prefer the street sidewalk, because it’s filled with drunks and crackheads, but it’s a lively place to sit, and since everyone else there are wasters too, no one cares if you spend your days there. 

Actually I can’t recommend the area from Anvers to Place de Clichy enough. I loved living in that area. It’s dirty, and it’s probably considered one of the poorer areas of Paris, but I liked it. I used to say Paris is a woman and Pigalle is her vagina. Just avoid the area at the bottom of the Sacré Cœur. The North African sellers around there are annoying as hell and try to grab you. Just tell them to fuck off if they get too annoying. It’s also the area where all of the sex shops are. Bonus, it’s the only, or maybe one of two, that has a 24 hour tabac and pharmacy. 

Episode 6 -

Seeing ‘Condorcet’ I assume the entire series is filmed near Anvers because so far all of the street scenes have been on the streets around there. As I said I used to work on Petrelle. I also lived on Maubeuge (at the corner of Faubourg Poissonnière). It’s more of a residential area. There’s nothing really there. You have to walk to Montmartre, Pigalle or St. George’s. But Gare du Nord is there, and the Philharmonic family I used to work for loved it because the husband also played for the symphony in Luxembourg, so weekly he would catch the train to Luxembourg. It’s not unusual for people to live in Paris but work in Luxembourg or London. I don’t know how they do it, or why they do it (for their kids I guess), but it’s possible. I also knew a lady who lived in Paris but worked in Brussels. Talk about a daily commute. 

I love that French is a slightly exaggerated whiney language. I don’t mean that in a bad way. When you live amongst the French, really spend a lot of time around them, you’ll realize that a lot of words or phrases have this extra bit on them that allows the French to show frustration or annoyance or something more. It really is something you don’t learn in a classroom, it comes from being around them 24/7. Like arrêt isn’t just arrêt, when a French person says it, it will come out as a whiney or annoyed ‘arretésvp’ all as one word. It’s funny. Or oui isn’t just oui when someone is trying to convince you of something, it’s ‘ah bah oui’. Or my favorite ‘pffft’ and ‘tac’. Those are kind of sounds that you learn to adopt. It’s informal French, but you learn it after you live there for a few years. 

I liked this show at first but now it’s kind of meh. I don’t know what went wrong, but... the last two episode haven’t been good.

Episode 7 - 

I love Charlotte’s idea for pink cars. I’ve always wished they had female Ubers for females only. Sérieusement, why haven’t they come out with those yet? 

I have asked every French person what ça marche meant and no one could ever tell me. I know this is a weird gripe, but thank you Netflix! I always thought it was sans marche by the way it’s pronounced, and now I finally know what it means. It only took me a few years. And I always thought ouais was spelled differently... #TheMoreYouKnow

I have never in my life seen a table sitting like that in Place de Grève. You won’t find it either because it doesn’t exist. Neither do those wooden things. 

Episode 8 -

One thing I learned from my ex Léo is that the things you do in romantic comedies, or in American culture (because we learn everything from romantic comedies), you would never do in France. Showing up unannounced for instance. Very American thing to do. Not a French thing. Plus you can’t just show up at someone’s door in Paris. You usually need to be buzzed in. Even if you have a door code for the first door, there’s usually a second door that you need to get through. 

Thoroughly confused. She gave up her job to move to ‘Buenos Aires’ which was just an apartment on Île Saint Louis? By the way, there is no Buenos Aires on Île Saint Louis. I lived in the building that gives that view of Notre Dame (it was my first apartment in Paris), and it was on Boutarel (quai d’Orelans is actually the street that faces the église). Rue Buenos Aires is a street in the 7th near the Eiffel. 

Season 2, Episode 1 -

Funny story. The street that Julio/Jules takes Elsa to/where Elsa’s new job is, I was actually there when they filmed. It’s on Mallet Stevens. The notices they put up referred to it as a porno movie. I saw them filming, but I didn’t know what they were filming until I saw this. Honestly I thought they were filming a porno. 

Interns only make 500€ a month. French law. They can’t work for free like they do in America. But apparently they can’t make much money either.

Side note, those kebab sandwiches sustained me for a short time when I lived with my friend Kevin. They’re cheap and they give you a lot of frites. You’ll mostly see drunk people getting them at the end of the night. Oddly enough once I moved to Rive Gauche (6th & 7th) I stopped seeing kebab shops. I guess you’re not allowed to have kebab in posh Paris. 

Ok the whole “Buenos Aires” thing is just weird. Who gives up their job, and their friends, tells everyone they’re going to “travel” but just ends up spending 4 months on Île Saint Louis? Doing what by the way? What was the point? If you’re going to run away from life, really run away. It was so stupid, and so weird. I liked the show in the beginning, and I still really like Charlotte and Milou but... not really caring for Elsa anymore. Or her storyline. And they don’t even explain why they did the whole “Buenos Aires” thing. What a stupid plot hole. They lost me at that. 

Season 2, Episode 2 - 

I feel bad wanting Elsa to get back with Max because he was a connard, who dumped her and broke her heart, and left her depressed and out of sorts for 2 years, so he deserves nothing but unhappiness. But he’s so sad. Despite me being heartless (because mine was taken from me by an English connard), I still want people to be happy, and I want them to find love, even if they’re fictional. And Julio/Jules is such a boring character. He has no personality. I can’t tell if the writers just don’t care enough to give him one or he’s supposed to be blank on purpose so the viewer can transfer all of their desirous traits onto him. 

No clue why Julio is going the wrong way down the street. Paris has bike lanes that you can clearly see (even in the scene). I’m sure of this weren’t a show he would have been stopped by the police. I dated this guy ‘from Sheffield’ for a while. One night he was biking home drunk and got a ticket for it. Bikes are regulated just like cars. 

If you’re are ever near Canal Saint Martin I highly recommend Point Éphémère. I’ve been there a few times and it’s a fun little spot. Or at least it used to be. 

Just an FYI Point Éphémère is actually really safe. There’s a firehouse next door. It’s funny because the Pompiers sometimes workout in the little park nearby and women will creepily sit and watch them. 

A doudou isn’t a comforter (Netflix subs suck), it’s a stuffed animal children sleep with. Usually a kid will have that one doudou that they carry everywhere and can’t sleep without.

I dated this guy named Cyril once. He was a painter, but he had a day job working at the Picasso museum. His boss was a woman, and I guess she hit on him one too many times, and it got to the point where he was so uncomfortable he claimed sexual harassment. Then she fired him so when I met him he was going through this legal ordeal. It was apparently a complicated thing because women aren’t recognized for sexual harassment or something weird and French. Anyway that scene with Julio and the music lady reminded me of that. 

Okay Elsa is getting annoying, and this whole storyline about Julio not letting her hang out with her friends (by the way that’s an abuse red flag) is dumb. I’m this close to giving up on this show. 

Season 2, Episode 3 - 

Carrying on with the show but not really interested in it anymore... only staying for Charlotte and Milou because I love them, and want them to have their own show.