If you’re reading this, safe to assume, you’ve watched the cringefest on Netflix that is ‘Indian Matchmaking’.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know what the show is all about. Created in the US, the series follows a Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia, who guides clients in the U.S. and India in the arranged marriage process, offering an inside look at the custom in a modern era.
Ironically, the idea of the show was to dispel myths about the arranged marriage culture in India and break stereotypes about the Big Fat Indian Wedding. Yet, the show does just that – it portrays Indians and Indian families as an elitist, casteist, ageist, sexist and regressive bunch.
No, we’re not saying that the arranged marriage system in India is not a cultural practice that is embedded in misogyny and gender equality (Remember all those newspaper matrimonial ads about fair, tall and skinny brides which made you feel nauseous?) There’s nothing wrong about showing things as they are on television, but what’s worrying is that the makers fail to acknowledge that there’s a problem.
READ: ‘Patriotic, Brahmin Bride Needed’, This Absurd Matrimonial Ad Has Left Social Media Fuming
While most of us hopped onto the matchmaking bandwagon just to get our daily dose of cringe (and fodder for memes), we knew pretty much what to expect – Sima Taparia asking women to compromise, mothers looking for flexible brides for their sons, sons looking for women to take care of them like their mothers and so on. Desis knew what they were in for.
But the whole thing came as a shock for white people who have a negligible idea of how things work in brown families. For instance, someone on Twitter seemed really confused about why a family would want both brothers married before one of them could have a kid. Or, the fact that astrologers have a massive role to play in Indian weddings.
And watching white people discover Indian Matchmaking just happens to be our next favourite thing, after the Netflix show, of course.
I’m 5 mins into INDIAN MATCHMAKING and I think I’ve just learned that the matchmakers use astrology to figure out their sex life?
I AM IN. (For binging the rest of this show, not for matchmaking)
— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) July 21, 2020
it is V entertaining. my friend @TazzyStar says she heard that the creator made this show from the indian diaspora POV and not for the white gaze and it is delightful. although reinforces the caste hierarchies of the most elite/rich indian folks.
— Jenny Yang (@jennyyangtv) July 21, 2020
Aparna: I want to go to Iran.
Shekar: I want to go to Dubai.
Aparna: [Scowls] that’s a weird place to want to go. #IndianMatchmaking
— Mary (@writemarywrite) July 20, 2020
We all agree that Mansha (Akshay’s cousin) is an international assassin and should have her own spin-off show, right?
— John Siracusa (@siracusa) July 19, 2020
This thread is our absolute favourite – proof of how the global audience is more invested in the show than we’ll ever be:
Aparna on “Indian Matchmaking”…….. what’s going on.
— Bowen Yang (@bowenyang) July 19, 2020
Starring Sima Taparia, Indian matchmaking is now streaming on Netflix.