On Friday, July 16, 2020, Netflix released a binge-worthy 8-episode show featuring a series of eligible Indian singles spanning from Austin, TX to Mumbai, India to Chicago, IL. Sima Taparia, the Mumbai-based marriage consultant, takes the stage in the new docuseries on Netflix titled ‘Indian Matchmaking’ claiming that “marriages are made in Heaven” and she has been put on Earth to simply help facilitate the introductions.
Executive Producer Smruti Mundhra, recently Oscar-nominated for her short documentary “St. Louis Superman”, perfectly captures the challenges of being Indian and single in a modern world, but with the involvement of traditional families. Many of the singles shown are products of arranged (and seemingly successful) marriages and have the additional pressure by their parents to simply pick a partner and make it work. However, many of the singles desire a more egalitarian approach to love (minus Akshay who just wants to be fed and cleaned after), making it challenging to satiate their ideals of a good partnership while respecting their parent’s more traditional expectations. However, they all seem to be in favor of opting out of dating apps and leaning into a more serious approach.
On the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement, the documentary doesn’t filter out any blatant colorism and casteism that happens all too often in Indian culture. It’s a raw look at how things like being “slim”, “fit”, and “fair” or being from a “good” family are prioritized or given preferential treatment. And the traditional matchmaker doesn’t shy away from divorce-shaming, highlighting deep-rooted conservatism in Indian culture.
From fun-loving Vyasar to polarizing Aparna—and even Sima Auntie—the docuseries proves to be an honest, familiar, and sometimes uncomfortable, look at Indian matchmaking and Indian culture. Check it out and let us know what you think of the show in the comments section below.