Netflix has released the trailer for Indian Matchmaking, a series that’ll be about the custom of arranged marriage. It will follow acclaimed matchmaker Sima Taparia as she pairs up single millennials in the U.S. and India. She promises to help these people find “true love”, while simultaneously working in tandem with their parents. The series will be a novel addition to Netflix’s unscripted dating lineup, as most of its programs, like Too Hot to Handle and The Circle, focus on casual dating. Indian Matchmaking is all set to premier on Netflix on July 16.

The Trailer

The trailer of Indian Matchmaking attempts to take us back to the roots of arranged marriage. It also shares how the practice has evolved. In some ways, it felt like the trailer understood and was well aware of the inherent absurdity of some of the situations portrayed. For example mothers and daughters sit in their living room and judge people by reading about them on a piece of paper. Brown parents are shown saying things like: “If he doesn’t finalise, me and my husband are going to finalise the girl for him. That’s what I’ve decided”. Taparia, who is a well-recognized matchmaker in Mumbai, painstakingly hears her clients’ wishes, which at times get oddly specific— one woman says that she is simply not a fan of comedy, hence a good sense of humour is not what she’s looking for in a man.

Also Read: Why Indian Women Need to Claim Sexual Agency in their Marriages

The rest of the trailer follows Taparia’s clients going on dates with each other. While some of these dates are shown to be very successful, other seem to be at best, adorably awkward — at worst, complete disasters. Before this, Netflix had lightly touched upon the custom of arranged marriages in Indian culture in Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever. This eight-part series claims to offer insight into the benefits of arranged marriages, especially for people who feel that dating apps don’t yield the desired results for them.

The Reality of Arranged Marriages in India

It is no doubt that as the awareness regarding women’s rights has expanded in India, women are increasingly holding more power over their relationships. But sadly, that is the reality only for a very small percentage of women in our society. And even in their cases, there are constant clashes between modernity and tradition when it comes to female independence. The practice of arranged marriage has often stripped women of their right to choose their own fate. It’s a practice that also perpetuates a culture where women are judged only by their looks and meekness. And where men are deemed worthy by the size of their paychecks.

Also Read: A Friend Is Marrying Under Family Pressure, Would You let Them?

Therefore, while one looks forward to the show, especially given the uniqueness of its idea, one can only hope that Indian Matchmaking will not white-wash this practice to an extent that it obliterates the cost that millions of Indian girls still pay because of the society’s refusal to let go of its restrictive traditions.

Picture Credit: Netflix

Dyuti Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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