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.

Ishani Nath

July 16, 2020

The Multiple Dealbreakers of Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking”
Pradhyuman on a date with actor and model Rushali Rai, set up by matchmaker Sima Taparia on Netflix's "Indian Matchmaking." (Netflix)

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.