The Big Day

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Big Day TV Poster Image
Modern Indian wedding docu shows lavish events, drinking.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Showcases lavish weddings but also highlights how modern Indian couples are choosing to redefine traditional wedding customs and events in a positive way. Indian American stereotypes are referenced by a parent living in the United States.

Positive Role Models

Some of the brides and grooms come from wealthy families or are financially successful in their own right. Some cast members are Indian American, or Indian Australian, and come from different castes and religious backgrounds. One couple is gay. 

Violence
Sex

While love and flirting is discussed, and kissing is sometimes shown, conversations aren't very sexual. However, sexuality and sexual orientation is discussed in one episode. 

Language
Consumerism

Indian designers and locations are featured. Indian, British, and American popular music make up series soundtrack. Monster.com is referenced. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer and cocktail drinking is visible at homes, bars, restaurants, weddings. People are shown smoking hookah pipes. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Big Day is an Indian documentary series featuring modern brides and grooms planning and participating in their wedding celebrations. There's a substantial amount of drinking visible (champagne cocktails, beer), and hookah smoking is shown. Indian designers and locations are also featured. Some conversations are about flirting and falling in love, but there's no sexual content. 

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What's the story?

THE BIG DAY is a reality series that features modern Indian couples planning and celebrating their wedding day. From a young, down-to-earth couple planning a "simple" 1,500-person wedding near a fortress in Jaipur to a gay couple challenging the traditional conventions of Indian society, it offers an engaging look into the details of each lavish affair. Interviews with the brides, the grooms, and their families reveal how the couples met, and the reasons behind their choices when it comes to their wedding location, decor, and certain traditions. Cameras also follow them during the wedding events -- usually three days of festivities, including the Sangeet (which is similar to a rehearsal dinner) and the ceremonies. Designers, wedding planners, and guests also share their thoughts about the celebrations. 

Is it any good?

Part wedding reality documentary, part travel show, this series offers audiences an opportunity to learn more about the planning and execution of Indian weddings. Each of the three installments offers glimpses of opulent venues, Bollywood-like performances, and endless feasts, all meticulously planned by the couples with the help of professionals. The Condé Nast India-produced series also showcases impressive video footage of different regions of India, while the cast helps explain what makes them unique or special. 

If you're looking for a lot of family drama or last-minute nuptial-themed emergencies, you won't find it here. At the core of The Big Day is a conversation about modern India, and how a generation of Indian professionals is reinterpreting -- or even excluding -- the cultural and religious traditions they were once expected to follow without question. While some parents express a few concerns here and there, these brides and grooms are overwhelmingly supported and respected by the people around them, making their weddings even more spectacular.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes reality shows about Indian weddings interesting to Western audiences. Is it the cultural traditions? How lavish they can be? Or just the fact that they often look different from what traditional weddings look like in the United States? 

  • What does The Big Day reveal about contemporary India? How does it challenge common stereotypes about the country and the people who live there?

  • There are many reality shows based around weddings. What other ones are you familiar with? What makes this one different? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: February 14, 2021
  • Network: Netflix
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • Character strengths: Communication
  • TV rating: TV-MA
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: August 4, 2021

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