It’s common to see Indian weddings portrayed as Technicolor fantasies — in Bollywood films, in the images of Priyanka Chopra’s wedding to Nick Jonas in 2018 and in stories about the extravagant wedding of Isha Ambani, the daughter of one of Asia’s richest men, with a bill that ran into the millions.

But “Indian Matchmaking,” the Netflix reality show released last week, makes clear the Indian wedding industrial complex is no fantasy, and not just because none of the show’s couples actually make it to the altar. Instead, it highlights how the marriage market is uniquely besieged by the same divides and prejudices that run through large portions of Indian society.

The show, created by Smriti Mundhra, follows “Mumbai’s top matchmaker,” Sima Taparia. Armed with stacks of “biodata” — carefully vetted profiles that list a person’s qualifications and background — Taparia attempts to pair up not just compatible couples but also compatible families.

But the show also depicts people who unthinkingly normalize some of the most pernicious biases that plague South Asian communities. At no point does it make any effort to interrogate or dive deeper into these attitudes.

Read more here.