“There hasn’t really been a show like this, particularly involving South Asian or Indian culture, so it was difficult,” Indian Matchmaking creator/executive producer Smriti Mundhra said during Deadline’s Contender Television: Documentary + Unscripted award-season event about the daring Netflix series.
“You know, the first hurdle we had to cross was to explain to people what we were doing,” Mundhra added of the show fronted by Mumbai’s self-described “top matchmaker” Sima Taparia. “Our show wasn’t an independent documentary like the kind I had made before, and it wasn’t The Bachelor or Big Brother. It was something in between.”
That’s putting it mildly. Launching on the streamer on July 16, Indian Matchmaking provided a glimpse inside a very different approach to marriage than most of us in the West are familiar with. Shifting between the sub-continent and America, the eight-episode first season focused on eight participants and their families – and a lot of expectations in the high-stakes affairs.
“The greatest change, after the show, now the youngsters have changed their minds and now they’re flexible and they are compromising,” Taparia told us via video from Mumbai about the impact the global success of the show has had on the couples.
And there have been some changes for Taparia, too.
“I was only working for love and respect, and fame was a byproduct,” she admitted.
Check out the panel video above.
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