A new show that has graced Netflix recently is Indian Matchmaking and true to its name, it gives you a glimpse into the whole process of arranged marriages in India as well as America. The main person who runs the show is Sima Taparia who is – you guessed it – the matchmaker. This series manages to give us a deeper look into the thoughts, expectations, reactions of the people getting matched with each other and their parents. Yup, the involvement is high. People who are unaware of how things work in the case of arranged marriages will know many surprising things like the existence of a biodata, meeting parents on the first day itself and well, all the initial awkwardness of the first date (a LOT of awkwardness). I binge-watched this show today and boy, do I have opinions. Here’s my review of the show Indian Matchmaking on Netflix.
Indian Matchmaking – Should you watch it?
By now, you might have already seen some clips of the show, especially the ones featuring the star of the show – Sima. She makes it a point to visit the houses of her clients in India and abroad. She meets the families and understands their style of living, their nature, their expectations and lots more. Things do get very cringeworthy so I must warn you about it. Plus, there are quite a few regressive thoughts that have been perpetuated like preference of fair skin, sexism, casteism etc. The process of setting up an arranged marriage as a whole is very mechanical. But when you see those moments where the potential couple hits it off on dates, you will end up feeling warm and fuzzy. That is, until they decide to part ways, unfortunately.
Additionally, some things that parents or even Sima says might make you laugh (unintentional on their part). You will get to know so many different perspectives that it really ends up giving you insights about the human mind. If you have heard of judgmental Indian aunties who don’t feel shy about telling you harsh things on your face – yeah, this show has a lot of them. In Indian families, after you reach a certain age, the pressure to get married is REAL. The stress is evident on their faces in the show. Someone even gets a marriage deadline.
It is a mixed bag
Most episodes begin with a cute old couple talking about their ‘arranged’ love story and it is so darn cute. Some fight lovingly, some joke around and some share how they met. It gives you an idea about how arranged marriages have functioned and still do. I personally believe that it doesn’t matter if you have a love marriage or an arranged marriage – marriage is a lot of work and if you don’t put the effort, both can fail.
In Indian Matchmaking, you will often hear words like flexible, adjustment, compromise, biodata and proposals. Someone has been called a good match due to their fair skin or good height. A person gets called arrogant and negative because they stand their ground and don’t want to settle for just anybody. Plus, there will be some dialogues that will make you do a double take because…you have to watch the show to know what I am saying. Out of all the cast members though, Aparna, Nadia and Vyasar stood out and kept me glued to the screen. Nadia’s mom too – she is adorable.
At its core, matchmaking is a business so I get why Sima tries very hard to make matches happen. Apart from her own suggestions, you will see guidance from face readers, astrologers, kundli matchers and what not. Destiny is the real star here. Among all the astrologers, I felt that uncle Dilip was so sweet and kind. He was one of the best parts of the series for me.
Overall, this show has an interesting cast that will keep you hooked till the end. Although I don’t agree with plenty of stuff Sima says, I have to admit that she is fun to watch. She is perfect for reality tv.
This show has been receiving mixed reviews because of its problematic content. There are blatantly problematic themes as well as subtle undertones in this show but at the same time it is addictive in a way that I had to know how it ended while being mortified of the things being said. It’s a complicated emotion.
In a way, Indian Matchmaking revealed how things work behind the scenes in Indian culture and it is quite eye opening. If you want to see what various individuals from different backgrounds look for in a partner, how their families can impact their choices and more such insights about a person’s thought process – you should definitely watch this show.