With season 1 ending back in 2019, Made in Heaven finally came back with a second season that offered more well-written commentary and drama involving the Indian Desi community. And yes, with how things concluded, I need a third season ASAP!
Warning: This review of Made in Heaven season 2 contains spoilers. Tread carefully!
Trigger Warning: This review mentions sexual assault and domestic violence.
Fans of Made in Heaven had to wait for four freaking years for the series to come back. I understand that most of the delay was due to the pandemic. I also understand the pressure the creative team must have been under to really deliver for such an eager fandom.
Well, I have to say that Made in Heaven season 2 did deliver. It went all in when it came to tackling hard-hitting topics in Desi culture while using the glitz and glamor of Indian weddings as the backdrop. Picking up six months after the events of the first season, the seven-episode sophomore season of Made in Heaven went over colorism, sexism, classism, sexual assault, domestic violence, homophobia, and a whole lot more. And with each episode being approximately an hour long, the narrative was able to, more or less, do justice to each topic it decided to talk about.
One of the things I continue to enjoy about this show is that it doesn’t shy away from depicting the darkness present in Desi culture (other cultures will be able to relate, too). Even though our leads Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan (Arjun Mathur) do notice the problems involving the people they are planning the weddings for, they aren’t fictional superheroes capable of solving issues with a snap of their fingers. They are ordinary humans who have to operate under certain societal rules. More often than not, Tara and Karan are left feeling helpless due to being unable to aid certain people. Their only path forward is to hope society changes for the better as time goes on.
An example would be the bride in episode 1 who was being forced to feel insecure about her dark complexion and the bride in episode 2 who couldn’t put a stop to a very manipulative and downright abusive husband. Tara and Karan couldn’t force such women to change their minds. They were there to do a specific job. And if the bride wanted the wedding to happen, they had to silently oblige with said request.
With each episode focusing on a particular issue, the overall narrative also set aside time to have our leads go through some character development. Tara’s character arc involved a very brutal (yet entertaining) battle with Adil (Jim Sarbh) over their divorce. At first, Tara wasn’t interested in asking Adil for a big chunk of his family fortune, but with Faiza (Kalki Koechlin) basically taking over Tara’s past life, I think it was understandable for Tara to put up more of a fight to get what she felt she deserved. Tara’s ex-mother-in-law not siding with her really pushed Tara to go all in. And I was living for every moment!
The show has made it obvious that Tara and Karan aren’t goody-two-shoes. They are nice enough people. But they will come for you if you decide to get on their bad side. And Adil and his family did that to Tara. The way she strategically played with Adil was awesome to see. After what he’s been through, Adil should have realized what Tara’s capable of, but I guess he never gave her much credit to begin with. And I wouldn’t be surprised if their little “reunion” will come back to bite Adil and Faiza down the line.
As for Adil, his storyline was about showcasing how children end up becoming like their parents. Even though Adil’s father was considered an upstanding family man, he had a secret family of his own. And Adil was, more or less, following in his father’s footsteps with how he treated Tara and began an affair with Faiza.
Personally, I don’t care about Adil or Faiza. I wouldn’t mind if we don’t get to see much of them during the third season. However, I won’t hold my breath because the second season decided to introduce Adil’s adult half-sister and the writers probably have something in mind for her during the third installment.
Coming to Karan, with the first season dealing with the homophobia Karan faced, the second installment significantly pulled back on such storytelling. Instead, Karan’s character arc involved his complicated relationship with his ill mother. Even though his father and brother were supportive, Karan’s mother refused to accept her son being gay. Seeing her, while on her deathbed, trying to blackmail Karan into marrying a woman was a new low for her.
I liked how the show made it clear that she hadn’t been a good mother to Karan. He could still love her, but he didn’t have to like her (parental relationships are complicated!). There was no need for Karan to stop living his authentic life for such a woman, or for any person for that matter.
What was surprising to me was how Karan’s first love Nawab (Vikrant Massey) came back twice to help Karan go through some intense emotions. After how things ended between the two, I wasn’t expecting Nawab to come back. But I’m glad he did. The bond they two shared couldn’t be broken even though Nawab had moved on with his life. And I appreciate how the writers didn’t decide to continue messing up Karan’s life by going with a cheating storyline between Nawab and Karan.
I doubt Karan would ever stop loving Nawab. But at least he was respectful of Nawab’s current relationship and didn’t try to destroy it. I don’t know about you, but the scene where Karan fell on the bed Nawab had slept in just so he could feel close to his scent was quite romantic for me.
Now, seeing Karan try to find some solace in cocaine and gambling was a bit disappointing. But, fortunately, the writers had Karan get over that quite quickly. Another gripe of mine was how his addiction and gambling created a rift between him and Tara. I like seeing the two work together and I wasn’t a fan of seeing our co-leads spend time separated from each other until they reunited after the death of Karan’s mother.
The final scenes of the first and second seasons showed that Tara and Karan were always going to be there for each other. Even if everything was falling down around them, as long as they had each other, they were going to be fine. That’s why I hope that the third season doesn’t create any unnecessary drama between the two, and allows them to operate as an effective duo.
As for Kabir (Shashank Arora) and Jazz (Shivani Raghuvanshi), I just can’t get into their continuing “will-they-or-won’t-they” situation. Both characters have major commitment issues that they need to sort out first. I do like seeing them onscreen, but I’m not a fan of their romantic drama.
I do have to say that seeing Jazz’s parents refusing the marriage proposals being sent to her house because they feared she would stop taking care of them if she got married was sad.
Also, with Jazz’s brother dealing with drug addiction, I kind of wanted to see her pick up on Karan using drugs and trying to have a heartfelt conversation with him.
Made in Heaven season 2 added two new characters. We got Mona Singh as Bulbul Jauhari and Trinetra Haldar as Meher Chaudhry. Bulbul served as Made in Heaven’s auditor while Meher helped with the wedding planning and other operations. I liked how the writers gave both new characters their own arcs separate from the co-leads.
Meher’s storyline involved trying to find love as a transgender woman in India. She got some well-written scenes where she stood up for herself against transphobia and related disrespect (deadnaming, etc.). I wanted Meher to find love during the second season and I was glad when she finally did. She deserved it.
Bulbul fit right in with the OG cast as a sharp businesswoman. Seeing her butt heads with Tara, Karan, and the rest of the team when trying to find ways to save money was fun. She also brought a more experienced perspective to the team as someone who had gone through something quite unfortunate in her life years ago.
Bulbul’s storyline involving her young son was one of the darker arcs during the second season of Made in Heaven. It shone light on what numerous young girls have gone through, and continue to go through, after being blackmailed (involving sexual video footage). I appreciated Bulbul siding with the victim even if it meant going against her son. Many parents don’t have the courage or the moral compass to do so.
All in all, Made in Heaven gave me everything I had hoped for and more. There’s still a lot of stories that can be told and I hope we don’t have to wait another four years to see them.
Did you watch Made in Heaven season 2? What did you think of it?
Let us know.
Released on August 10, 2023, Made in Heaven season 2 is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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