“Made in Heaven” is a one-of-a-kind web series that takes place in modern day India. The web series, found only on Amazon, is about two wedding planners, Tara and Karan, in Delhi. With each ceremony, they enter the lives of a different bride and groom.
The weddings Tara and Karan work introduce them to the complexities of Indian life while providing mirrors to their true selves. Tara is revealed to be a woman from the wrong side of the tracks who clawed her way up into high society through marriage while Karan is a gay man living in a country where homosexuality is illegal.
Today, India is in a transitional stage where tradition is clashing with modern, individual aspirations. “Made in Heaven” is a must-watch binge simply because it presents modern struggles in a society where tradition has been the foundation for centuries.
“Made in Heaven” goes against the norm of Bollywood films and shows, but it is still identified as such because it was produced and directed in India. I believe the traditional cultural trend of what we know as Bollywood is now taking a step forward into a “New Bollywood” generation, in which the world sees that India is actually not all ha-ha-hee-hee. It is important that other viewers who are not familiar with the culture know what it is like to live in a society that survives on prejudice.
When I started binging the show, I found myself conflicted; not with the show, but rather with myself. Being raised in an Indian environment where appearance is everything, I of course could relate to “Made in Heaven.” However, because I grew up in a family where appearances matter, I, in a twisted way, cherish this tradition.
Of course I fully encourage the “New Bollywood” generation where we showcase all the elements of the struggling transition of India’s society, such as homosexuality, drinking and failed marriages, which all basically challenge the thing that has carried the society through today: tradition. However, the idea that the old values of India are fading seems kind of somber to me. I grew up with the old values, but it is 2019, and it is time for India to change. I need to fully accept this.
We must remember that the decriminalizing of homosexuality in India was not even a year ago, so for “Made in Heaven” to talk about homosexuality immediately after the law was passed is a daring but bold move in the Bollywood industry. The feedback to presenting homosexuality outright went surprisingly well. Despite the fact that the majority of the viewers of the show are Indian, they graciously accepted the showing of social injustice in India.
“Made in Heaven” is a wonderful show that I believe everyone, yes, including those who are not familiar with the culture, should watch — if not to watch the social injustice taking place, then to watch the sheer drama and internal strife that happens within families. Yes, Indian families have problems. Like I said before, appearance is everything. One mustn’t show the problem because it then affects status. But this is a common theme throughout the episodes, and a theme I must admit is my absolute favorite.
Each episode, as I mentioned in the beginning of the article, shows a different bride and groom. What this means is that each episode shows a different, but very common set of problems that the public doesn’t see. I believe the writers’ intention was to show that families would not only go to such great lengths to hide their problems in order to save face, but to also show that marriage is not easy. While Tara and Karan try to fix the clients and their family’s problems, they must also try to fix their own problems, which, spoiler alert, they fail to do until the very end.
The audience is presented with a show that emphasizes a journey of the self through other people. In other words, the main characters experience cathartic journeys through their jobs that ultimately lead to them finding and being content with themselves.
Screw societal standards, let’s just be okay with self-expression. “Made in Heaven” is a show that will have you on a binge for nine hours, and by Jove is it worth it. From the scenic shots, to business partners struggling with self-identity, to the struggle of running a wedding planning business, to even showing hidden familial struggles, “Made in Heaven” will have you experience anger, laughter and tears all at once.