The first all-Indian American cast returns to television for a second season. From Diwali to dealing with meddling aunties, Bravo’s Family Karma is back and continues to shed light on the vibrant Indian community nestled in equally bright Miami beach.
Combining the mix of modern and traditional, the series chronicles the lives of the second and third generations of Indian families who migrated to the area and documents their experiences navigating their East and West identities.
While their parents had arranged marriages, “We had arranged friendships,” explained 34-year-old Vishal Parvani.
When it came to getting their very traditional parents to bare it all in front of the camera, Parvani says that was a task in itself.
“We’re very reserved people. Like, we don’t want our issues out in the public. We always want to maintain this perfect image but we’re not,” dished the commercial real estate agent. “I think it’s been very freeing that we can showcase that this is who we are. All of us.”
After dropping over $40,000 on an engagement party at the end of last season, he admitted that his relationship with fiance Richa Sadana isn’t going so smoothly. “We both had to navigate the pandemic. Unfortunately, we were quarantined apart and that just added further strain to our relationship.”
Despite sharing some heavy personal struggles on-screen involving his fiance and future mother-in-law, he’s happy to be adding to the South Asian representation in media.
“I think it just validates, you feel more connected when you see yourself in media and tv, and we didn’t have that growing up,” Parvani exclusively told Monsters & Critics. “But I’m so happy with the direction that we’re going and how overwhelmingly positive season one was taken and I’m just excited to see what season two brings.”
Parvani added, “You’re seeing so many people that are proud to be Indian-American and I don’t think this was always the case growing up.”
Hopping on a Zoom call before heading off to a lush premiere party with the cast on South Beach, Vishal caught up with Monsters & Critics to reflect on season one, dish on his relationship with Richa, and give some teasers about the upcoming brand new season.
Exclusive Interview with Vishal Parvani
Monsters & Critics: So how is your relationship with Richa?
Vishal Parvani: So as you saw, season one ended with our engagement ceremony. Unfortunately, things are not so smooth on that front right now. We both had to navigate the pandemic together. Unfortunately, we were quarantined apart and that just added further strain to our relationship.
When you’re long-distance, it’s so easy to ignore one another. And during the quarantine apart, when you get into fights, the fights just dragged out so much longer just because they could. You can’t talk in person and handle these situations. So, unfortunately, yeah things are not smooth on the relationship front. I think people would even describe it as a s**t show.
M&C: Sorry to hear that. We’re all rooting for you two. She gets your quirks, she loves your goofiness and you two just understand each other as a couple.
Vishal Parvani: It’s been nine years. We’ve grown together, you know? It’s not so easy just to end things, but we can’t just keep being in this cycle that we’re currently on, the cycle of will they, won’t they? Ignore me, get into fights…
We have to figure out what the end game is.
M&C: Last season, you had the theme of ‘brushing it under the rug.’ Now that you were able to watch yourself back, has that changed at all? What have you learned since watching yourself on Season one?
Vishal Parvani: I’ve learned a lot and I guess I would always consider myself a people pleaser. And that’s just because of my avoidance of stress…I think I’ve learned that I can’t put people’s happiness in front of my own. So, I need to figure out and hold dear to what my truths are and deal with it.
I think therapy has helped a lot with that. I don’t want to go out of my way to make everyone else happy, I gotta first put my own happiness before everyone else and when that’s the case, I can own my truths and I think that’s better for everyone.
M&C: What else can fans expect from Season 2 of Family Karma?
Vishal Parvani: You’re gonna get a much deeper dive into all our family dynamics. The family’s gotten bigger, you’re going to be introduced to a few more people in our lives.
With all families, you always have expectations. You always expect them to want the best for you and that’s not necessarily – you don’t always see eye to eye and when you don’t, you will see some friction amongst the group of friends. And because of how involved our families are, that friction sometimes gets elevated to our parents and they get involved in our drama as well, whether we ask for it or not.
We’re all mama boys and daddy girls. It’s an interesting dynamic, but fun nonetheless. And I wouldn’t take that back for anything.
M&C: One thing I like about Family Karma is that viewers get a deeper look into the rich traditions of your culture. Last season we saw the cast celebrate Diwali, will fans get to see more Indian celebrations this season?
Vishal Parvani: I think holidays and celebrations are a big aspect of our culture. We’re very vibrant, very colorful and I’m so happy to see the representation of our culture on TV. We were the first ones, the first Indian-American cast show on television history. I love the way that we’re going and what’s transpired after the show. You’re seeing so many people that are proud to be Indian-American and I don’t think this was always necessarily the case growing up.
I don’t think it was necessarily cool to be Indian-American because we really didn’t have representation and people had a lot of misconceptions and ignorance, really due to a lack of knowledge. So I’m very happy with the direction we’re going but you are going to see a lot more of the holidays, the colors, the vibrance and families.
M&C: I bet your parents were not expecting this to happen when making the decision to immigrate to Miami those years ago.
Vishal Parvani: Getting Indian parents to be filmed and to open up their lives, that’s a task in itself. We’re a very reserved people, like we don’t want to have our issues out to the public, we always want to maintain this perfect image. But we’re not. I think it’s been very freeing that we can showcase that this is who we are. All of us. Bruises, scratches, we’re not perfect.
Check out our whole conversation below.
Family Karma airs on Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.