In Indian Matchmaking, Netflix’s latest reality TV series offering, traditional matchmaker Sima Taparia assists South Asian singles and their families with finding a romantic partner to wed. Like the streaming platform’s Love is Blind and Too Hot to Handle, the series was filmed at a time when the dating landscape looked a lot different — pre-global pandemic and all. (Hey, remember physical contact? Yeah, neither can we.) So, when exactly was Indian Matchmaking filmed? Taparia guided the single men and women less than a year before COVID-19 made meeting new people impossible. (Though at the rate 2020 is going, it might as well have been 84 years.)
Series creator Smriti Mundhra offered some pre- and post-production insights about the series and its central contestants Nadia, Pradhyuman, Aparna, Vyasar, Akshay, and Ankita, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times published on July 18, confirming that the show filmed in 2019. According to Mundhra, casting contacted over 500 of Taparia’s clients to find people willing to share their stories. Twelve agreed, but after more than six months of filming, producers focused on a select few for the final cut. The interview mentioned that the series wrapped last October, so with the six months in mind, filming likely began in February or April of 2019.
Following production and the series' debut on Netflix on July 16, none of Taparia’s onscreen matches are actually still a couple. Still, Mundhra maintains that the contestants’ personal growth is more important than their respective relationship statuses. “The means are more important than the end,” she said.
Mundhra continued, “There’s something fascinating about watching people go through this process, and seeing what it revealed to people about themselves, about their own expectations, and about the way the tradition of arranged marriage is changing.” Ankita, the Delhi-based owner of a denim fashion brand who decided to focus on her business instead of her potential partner, echoed Mundhra’s sentiments in the same interview. “I understand the many preconceived notions associated with arranged marriages — and believe me, before going on Indian Matchmaking, I had them too,” she said. “At the end of the day, it all comes down to a connection. If it’s there, you can’t deny it and it won’t matter how you two were introduced.”
Ankita isn’t the only cast member with a positive experience despite the end result. Nadia reflected on the “surreal” experience on Instagram following the show’s premiere. “The story was told in such a genuine way and I loved how real everything was," she wrote. "I’m so proud to represent Guyana, my family, and culture on such a great platform.”