Sima Aunty strikes again: “Indian Matchmaking” – Technique

Our opinion: 2/5 stars

“You have to adjust a little bit,” says Sima Taparia, aka matchmaker Sima Aunty on Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking.” “Then life becomes beautiful and smooth.”

For countless Indians, this is their reality: their expectation. In India, the rate of arranged marriages is 84%, and 53% of those surveyed disapprove of dating before marriage, according to The Washington Post. The way “Indian Matchmaking” subverts the traditional arranged marriage dynamic is by reframing the lens of Indian arranged marriage within a Western setting and involving dating. The purpose of the show is therefore twofold, as it empowers its Indian audience to see arranged marriages portrayed and explored quite intimately on an international stage, while also exposing Western consumers of the Netflix show to the concept of arranged marriage, lessening their alienation.

However, not every aspect of the show’s events or its cast sheds a positive light on on-screen arranged marriages. In addition to the return of familiar faces from season 1, season 2 also introduces a new set of matchmaking candidates in search of their forever partners. While the purpose of Sima Aunty, the matchmaker, is to highlight the positive qualities of the characters, thus encouraging couples and viewers to support and bond with her clients, the highly personal and documentary nature of the show inevitably reveals the flaws in each. client.

For example, Nadia, a returning client from Season 1, brutally turned down one of her best matches, Shekar, for another man she had just met, only to have her dumped a week later. Immediately, Twitter users took to the Internet and called Nadia the “villain” of this season. The drama got even more complicated when Aparna, another returning cast member from Season 1, ranted on TikTok, claiming that “I literally wrote an entire book called ‘She’s Nasty: And Other Lies That Bring Women Down.’ These are the lies that bring women down.” In a turn of events, she goes on to imply that the only “villain” present on the show is Sima Aunty and the arranged marriages themselves. The conflict between castmates and audience has produced a notable discussion about the way Sima Aunty promotes a sense of objectification of her clients through her bioprofiling system, reducing real and complex clients to a series of adjectives and measures. vague and uncomplicated. Not surprisingly, when clients finally meet, they must come to terms with each other’s complexities, and ultimately the relationship fails. After all, according to the LA Times, none of the season 1 couples were together when the second season premiered.

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Additionally, “Indian Matchmaking” is further criticized due to its regressive defense of colorism and the caste system. Clients often express concerns about their partner’s skin clarity and preferred caste, and neither Sima Aunty nor clients seem to see a problem with these preferences.

While the show attempts to build a much more progressive and modern portrait of arranged marriage, the problematic nature of arranged marriage profiling methods rears its ugly head.

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