“Indian Matchmaking” had become a phenomenon since its first season was released in the year 2020, amidst the long lockdown when people had nothing better to do. All of us indulged in the show just like any other dating show, from the television days to the dating shows on the OTT platforms. The only difference here is that the show caters to only the arranged marriage setup, which is a common phenomenon not just in India but among the Indian diaspora living across the world. It was all about Seema Taparia, the most renowned matchmaker in the country, and her belief in arranged marriage, which made her a successful businesswoman in the field of matchmaking.
When the world is filled with dating applications where people are struggling to find a match for themselves that will stick with them forever, Seema Taparia guarantees success in her way of finding your perfect partner. The first two seasons of this reality TV show were a huge success, garnering enough audiences from around the world. Seema Taparia’s clientele has only increased from here on, and so far, her success has not seen a downward trajectory. A Netflix Original created and produced by Smriti Mundhra, who gave us the amazing “The Romantics” just two months ago. From giving us the life story of a man who made us believe in love to taking us back to age-old traditions of our country and giving us an unabashed look into a world and market we knew existed, but for the first time, it has been made open for the whole world to see.
‘Indian Matchmaking’ Season 3: Recap
Season one and season two had Seema Taparia shuffling between India and America and helping the clientele in both countries find a perfect match or at least start the process of looking for a partner. Season three has Seema Taparia expanding her base to London and helping her clients find a match that is suitable as per the checklist they have provided—someone they want to settle down with. We get Priya, who is a London-based clinical pharmacist from a Gujarati background, and a divorcee who is looking for a potential partner. She goes on two dates with the people set up by Seema. With no feeling or connection with the first two, she finally goes on to the third one, Vimal. It will be interesting to know if Vimal will be the right person for Priya after all. Bobby, a Stratford-based mathematician, had a hard time finding a match for himself because he considers himself to be a high-energy person. He is a talkative man who’s ended up being friends with most of his dates in the past, and unfortunately, he ends up with no matches that would suit him.
Vikash, an ER doctor from California, too has a catch, which is that he is hitting the age of 40, and he wants to marry and settle down. Since he is known for being picky and has a certain checklist, he ends up rejecting a couple of matches sent to him by Seema but ends up liking Janaki. His only catch here is that she is a decade younger than him. Something about which he feels a little awkward, but he and Janaki hit it off, and they both want to pursue it. While in Miami, Arti, a Sindhi woman who works for compliance at a cyber security firm, is on the lookout for a partner for herself. Though just like other clients, Arti does have her own set of wants that she is looking for in a partner, she ends up rejecting all the matches Seema has set her up with. Arti did get a tad bit irritated at how Seema was trivializing her needs, but Arti ended up choosing her path from then on.
Back in India, in New Delhi, Seema has been given the task of setting up Rushali, a model/Miss India finalist, with a suitable man. Rushali has restrictions that she cannot compromise on. After a detailed discussion of what exactly she wants from herself and what she is looking for in a partner, with her parents, friends and a life coach, Rushali steps back and starts working on what she wants from life in general. In the same city, Pavneet is a PR and marketing professional. She is considered too old to get married but is keen to find a partner through Seema. She is hoping to find someone who accepts her for who she is—a traveler and a fiercely independent woman. Seema sets her up with filmmaker Tushar Tyagi; they initially hit a bumpy patch but soon find a way to connect.
With many hits and misses, Seema Taparia constantly remains optimistic and happy for her clients, even if they don’t match. This season of “Indian Matchmaking” ends with a potential Youtuber who has his mother pitch for him as he is also on the lookout for a potential life partner. Seema also talks in this season about how she constantly remained ambitious about her career because she had a supportive husband who stood by her like a rock.
‘Indian Matchmaking’ Season 3: Review
The third season of “Indian Matchmaking” is here for everyone to binge on. Seema Taparia is back with the arranged marriage setup she has been asked to do; this time, she spreads her wings to the UK. Seema Taparia is a worldwide sensation amongst the Indian Diaspora, and thanks to this show, she will not be forgotten for years to come. With two successful seasons in Netflix’s kitty, Smriti Mundhra again brings us and takes us for a ride into the lives of the rich and privileged second-generation Indians living abroad and takes us through how they would rather stick to matchmaking by involving their parents than look out for their partner on their own.
There is no judgment here on why the second-and third-generation Indian kids go back to age-old regressive traditions of arranged marriage, where compromise and adjustment are yet again thrown constantly at the client to make them understand that it is the only way to make a relationship work, and if they marry, these words are the holy grail to sustain it. The pressure to get married by the time they are 30 is still real, not just among the Indians in India in 2023 but also among the young men and women who are financially settled but are mentally pushing themselves to find their happily ever after.
The discussion of caste, age, weight, height, and previous marital status is still considered an obstacle for the client who is on the lookout for a potential partner. There must be a way to tackle the issue of caste becoming a major factor in choosing a partner, especially in the NRI community. At a time when caste is being made a topic of discussion in America, with the hope of making it a part of their law that people of Indian descent on American soil should not be discriminated against based on their caste. But again, the subject of caste-based marriage is still a lurking one, which makes the viewing slightly uncomfortable. The last two seasons and now the third one has nothing new to offer nor it surprises the audience. The addition of the UK as a potential market to get more clients for Seema from Mumbai does not make any difference. The advice given to the younger generation is still the same and seems like a repetition of what has been seen in the past two seasons. Also, there is no scope for inclusivity in this way because we do not get to see people from around the country, be it from Eastern India or Southern India. They are not given any representation. Our country is filled with people of different regional backgrounds and sensibilities; it is high time those were also given some representation on a platform like Netflix.
One of the few positive signs that could be noticed is the emphasis placed on why kids of this generation find it hard to find a partner. They do want to settle down, but unlike the previous generation, they are not ready to make big sacrifices and compromises just for the sake of just marriage. These generations of kids are given the choice of who they want to be with. That has been positively projected throughout the eight episodes. There are also interviews of the couples at the beginning of every episode, where the husband and wife, who have been married for many years, talk about their marriage and how exactly they met. It gives a good impression of how marriage worked for them in just the right way, even though they come from a generation where the rules were different. But one client’s emphasis on the partner wanting to adhere to Indian culture and knowing the native language, which is Hindi, comes across as hypocrisy. In a sense, a man or woman who is born and raised in America and speaks fluent English cannot be expecting some extraordinary skill from their partner. It reeks of narrow-mindedness.
“Indian Matchmaking,” though acknowledged, brought in competitors that are running community-based dating apps and their founders to discuss in detail with Seema the current trends amongst the youth who are of marriageable age. This surely puts Seema in the good books for being willing to give space to people who are new in the market and trying to find a foothold in the matchmaking scene, especially in their own restricted community. But again, this restricted community-based matchmaking also leads to a version of ghettoization, as they do not wish to mingle outside of their community. That sends the wrong signal. But ending the show with Seema constantly talking about how she had no support whatsoever when she began her business, except her husband lets young women understand that it is completely okay to be ambitious and not let anyone stop them from following their dreams.
“Indian Matchmaking” Season Three was a lukewarm watch that did not seem different from what we have seen in the last two seasons. Also, the makers need to bring in more diversity in the show to emphasize the fact that the show is about matchmaking Indians and not just a certain selective community from India.