The central theme of Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s web series “Made In Heaven” is equality, which continues into the second season. The new season follows characters striving for equal representation and acceptance in society. It portrays various narratives, such as a star-Dalit activist and Ivy League professor marrying into an upper-caste family, a transwoman navigating the dating scene in Delhi, and the discovery of an estranged daughter by her other family. Similar to the first season, this season addresses issues like patriarchy, misogyny, domestic abuse, casteism, and racism, all set against the backdrop of opulent Indian weddings.
The story takes place six months after the first season’s conclusion, with Tara and Karan still managing their wedding planning company, Made In Heaven. The original team remains, with new additions like transwoman production designer Mehr and audacious auditor Bulbul. The characters’ personal challenges are interwoven with their wedding planning endeavours.
Tara faces divorce from her ex-financier husband while secretly dating a chef. Karan grapples with his terminally ill, unaccepting mother. Kabir seeks to rediscover his filmmaking passion, and Jazz navigates South Delhi’s high society. Mehr, as a transwoman, explores the dating world. Meanwhile, Bulbul, known for her financial toughness, struggles with her rebellious son.
The series delves into unique weddings in each episode, exposing societal flaws such as patriarchy, homophobia, and skin colour bias. The protagonists’ personal struggles run as a common thread through the series, paralleling the wedding stories.
While the show adeptly reflects societal issues, it occasionally focuses excessively on the struggles of LGBTQ characters, possibly due to changing social acceptance. The episodes, at times overly lengthy, could benefit from editing. The cast excels, with standout performances from Sobhita Dhulipala, Arjun Mathur, Trinetra Haldar, Shivani Raghuvanshi, and Mona Singh.
Being a creation of Zoya Akhtar, the series features an array of well-known stars making cameo appearances. Performers like Mrunal Thakur, Radhika Apte, Pulkit Samrat, Neelam Kothari, Dia Mirza, Sanjay Kapoor, and more have well-suited roles in the show, a credit to the casting director Nandini Srikent. Personally, I was particularly impressed by Mrunal Thakur’s portrayal of an innocent, abused beauty queen trapped in a troubling relationship, evoking a strong emotional response.
In the second season of “Made In Heaven,” there is an attempt to explicitly provide the audience with a moralistic and somewhat unclear conclusion at the end of each episode. When solutions are not readily apparent, the series maintains ambiguity, though it refrains from allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions. This approach appears somewhat unnecessary within the overall storytelling.
Famous stars make cameo appearances in typical Zoya Akhtar fashion, adding to the show’s appeal. The series sometimes provides overtly preachy conclusions, guiding the audience’s understanding. Nevertheless, “Made In Heaven” remains engaging and visually stunning while critiquing privileged society. It’s available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.