The Multiple Dealbreakers of Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking”

Netflix’s latest attempt to corner an Indian market is entertaining but overlooks crucial issues in the arranged marriage industry.

Pradhyuman on a date with actor and model Rushali Rai, set up by matchmaker Sima Taparia on Netflix's "Indian Matchmaking." (Netflix)

Ishani Nath


July 16, 2020


5 min

If the pandemic has somehow made you miss old-school, judgmental aunties, then add Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking to your watch list.

The eight-part reality series premieres today and follows multiple single millennials in India and the U.S. who have decided — or in some cases, been told by their parents — to employ the services of matchmaker Sima Taparia, “Mumbai’s top matchmaker,” to find a partner. On paper, it’s a blend of Meet the Patels (2014) with the slick, voyeuristic aesthetic of Netflix’s Dating Around (2019- ). In reality, it is nowhere near either.

Indian Matchmaking, by its very title, purports to show viewers the realities of the multimillion-dollar arranged marriage industry, both in India and within the diaspora. Instead, it gives viewers a series that glosses over or, in some cases, completely ignores the pressing problems with matchmaking. For me, that was the ultimate dealbreaker.

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