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‘Indian Matchmaking’ is the newest Netflix show to spark controversy

The eight-part Netflix series attempts to give viewers and inside look at what it is like to be apart of an arranged marriage.

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Pictured: Vyasar (L), Manisha Dass (R) in “Indian Matchmaking.”

Pictured: Vyasar (L), Manisha Dass (R) in “Indian Matchmaking.”

Netflix

“Indian Matchmaking” is Netflix’s newest show to create buzz and controversy for the streaming service.

Context:

The show follows Sima Taparia and her work as a matchmaker to help people find arranged marriages. Taparia, who claims to be “Mumbai’s top matchmaker,” said, “Matches are made in heaven and God has given me the job to make it successful on Earth,” according to BBC.

The eight-part series debuted on Netflix July 16 and has been a hit both in the US and on Netflix India.

“Indian Matchmaking” sheds light on the reality of arranged marriages, which has sparked controversy.

What are the controversies?

There was no consultation with experts. Netflix India, which launched newly in 2016, didn't have any say in the show, and experts say that “it made the show suffer” according to Variety.

  • “It was commissioned out of Los Angeles, rather than Mumbai,” according to NBC News.

It has reminded people of their own experiences. Consider Ruchika Tulshyan, who was 22 when her family started to look for her future husband. Now 33, she decided to watch the Netflix series.

  • “I actually found the show to be something that really did resonate with my experience,” she told NBC News, “Unfortunately, it reinforces some of the very negative parts of India today. I was disappointed, of course, there’s colorism, there’s casteism, there’s a lot of emphasis on traditional beauty.”

The show has also received some criticism that it normalizes and encourages sexism, colorism and casteism. People are calling out the creators, saying they failed “to challenge the regressive beliefs” that were openly stated, according to NPR.

  • “I know there has been a lot of commentary around the idea of casteism in the show, but actually, nobody mentions caste as a priority, and almost every match that’s made is inter-caste, as we say, because that is a reflection of the reality,” executive producer Smriti Mundhra told Variety.

Do people like it?

However, many of Taparia’s one-liners from the show have become viral memes and jokes on social media both in the US and India, according to BBC.

So clearly people have issues with the show. But there are plenty who are watching, like Poorna Jagannathan, who stars in a different Netflix show. He tweeted, “#IndianMatchmaking was horrifying. Also, #Netflix, how soon can you drop season 2 (asking for a friend)”

According to Variety, there have been talks about a second season of the show but nothing has yet to be confirmed or denied.