Indian Matchmaking is a delusional show that reinforces the very stereotypes and cultural practices it set out to shame. Sima Taparia from Mumbai symbolizes all the nosy relatives and Indian Aunties that make it their business to find suitable partners for children in their family, often without their knowledge.
The show highlights the deep-rooted evils of patriarchy and misogynistic values that govern Indian-Americans and India’s elite.
1. Quick Review
Indian Matchmaking is a frustrating show that lacks a spine of its own. It is a blatant reinforcement of the same castism, racism, family pressure, and prejudices that the Indian Youth has been fighting against. Sima Taparia is the character you will hate with a passion as she casually tries to justify her regressive ideas while bashing women.
The show has an absurd pace, and no vision as many clients vanish, and Sima’s credentials are never validated.
2. Info & Watch Links
Indian MatchmakingAir Date: July 16, 2020 Status: Finished Studio: Netflix No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 8
3. Is It Worth Watching?
Indian Matchmaking is the show that the Desi audience is watching with a vengeance. It introduces you to a system that Sima refers to as “a big-money business” and makes you sympathize with the young men and women that are forced to go through it.
Shoving ridiculous practices and superstitions down viewer’s throats and terming them “Indian Tradition,” the show shows you a system that the Indian Youth is continually fighting against.
Indian Matchmaking follows Mumbai’s life-based “matchmaker” Sima Taparia and her list of high-end clients. The Netflix show features the families of Indian Americans and the Indian Elite that often have the control and say in their child’s marriage. A host of men and women are introduced, hoping that Sima finds them a suitable bride or groom.
The families tell Sima about the specifications and qualifications that they are looking for in a potential husband or wife. Sima then dips into her database of men and women and comes up with a suitable contender. The dates that the couple-to-be go on are the show’s high points and are mildly entertaining and highly unpredictable.
Indian Matchmaking fails to offer its narrative or run a counter-argument against Sima’s repressive practices. The show gives her a free rein to flaunt her ideologies and makes a mockery of Indian Traditions mixing them with cringe-worthy superstition.
II. The Misogynistic Matchmaker
Sima Taparia, from Mumbai, introduces herself in every episode and has managed to exploit a system to her advantage. She uses the most basic things that two people have in common, be it their caste, or profession and sets them up, hoping that they will get married and live happily ever after.
Sima is continuously saying that the key to a good marriage is compromise. This advice, though, is always given to the girls stroking the patriarchal Indian Male Ego of the men. Her unsolicited intrusion into the girls’ personal lives and the fact that she dishes out commandments dictating that the girls compromise and adjust in every situation is only one problematic thing about her character.
A show that is meant to focus on a matchmaker, Indian Matchmaking, never reveals how Sima got into her particular line of work and how much she charges for a particular session. The show never highlights how Sima is more qualified than any other Indian Aunty or friend setting you up with someone.
4. Detailed Review
Indian Matchmaking highlights cultural evil that exists and upholds the gender-politics in an Indian Household. There are so many things that are wrong with the show. Netflix could have used the platform to make a compelling story around the custom of arranged marriage, its evils, pressures, successes, and failures. Instead, helmed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Smriti Mundhra, Indian Matchmaking, feels like an advertisement celebrating the custom.
There is an instance where a young man refuses to settle down and is blamed for his mother’s increasing blood pressure and deteriorating health. While the situation is portrayed as mildly amusing, Indian Matchmaking forgets that there is a history of violence, honor killings and forced marriages in the middle-class when the child refuses to obey their parent’s demands.
Some women and men stand against Sima and refuse to go along with their matches and their families’ demands. They face a barrage of criticism and insults and are glossed over with older couples’ images to prove that arranged marriages work.
6. Final Thoughts
Indian Matchmaking lacks an insider’s clarity and propagates a tradition that has been divorced by the current generation of Indian men and women. It is a wasted opportunity that is not clever enough to offer social commentary and not informative enough to provide an insight into the origins and spread of arranged marriages in today’s elite.
If you have to watch an Indian Production on Netflix, make sure that it is not Indian Matchmaking.