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Netflix's Matchmaking Hit: Guilty Pleasure or Hate-Watch?

'Indian Matchmaking' has obsessive fans, but critics have some issues
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2020 10:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – The majority of marriages in India are still arranged, and often families recruit outside help to get them set up. That's where Sima Taparia, the self-proclaimed "top matchmaker" of Mumbai, steps in, via a new Netflix series that's left people clamoring for more. Indian Matchmaking has become a viewing obsession for many since the eight-part reality show debuted earlier this month, showing Taparia trying to set up affluent clients in both India and the US. But the show has also become a lightning rod of sorts, dividing its viewership into those who say it's an honest depiction of the arranged-marriage system, and those who hate-watch it for its antiquated attitude toward 21st-century relationships—"a disturbing reminder of patriarchy and misogyny, casteism and colorism," per the BBC. More on the show from around the internet:

  • 'Cringe-binge-watching': NPR lays out in further detail some of the criticisms of the show, including that women are told by the 57-year-old Taparia to "adjust and compromise" in order to find a mate. The motivation for many to find "fair-skinned" partners is also on display, highlighting the "harmful, regressive brutality" of discrimination against darker-skinned Indians.

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