Why You Should Know ‘Dating Around’ Star Gurki Basra, Film Companion

Last week, Netflix posted a clip of what it called “a really bad date”. It was an understatement. The clip, which quickly went viral, was taken from an episode of their new reality show, Dating Around, which follows one person on five blind dates. The clip depicts an Indian-origin woman at the receiving end of cold remarks about her divorce from a man she’s on a first date with.

“Who says yes to getting married when you have doubts?” he demands. “You ruined eight years of your life. You lied to him and yourself. You agreed to spend the rest of your life with friends and family, and it was a complete lie. How could I ever trust you? How would anyone ever trust you?”

She tries to explain a little bit about culture clash and the Indian tradition of arranged marriages, only to be shut down. Here’s the clip:

Here’s a bit of backstory:

  • The woman in the episode is 36-year-old jewelry buyer Gurki Basra, who lives in Houston. Her parents are from Punjab.
  • After five years of dating a man, she caved into pressure from her family and married him at 24, despite her reservations. “That’s what you do in Indian culture. You date someone, you get married. I had doubts, but I went through with it anyway because I wasn’t sure,” Basra said in an interview to Refinery 29.
  • At 29, the two separated. “When I got divorced, there was a lot of shame around it. Since the show aired, I’ve gotten, I don’t know, a thousand messages. Even though there’s obviously a cultural thing to it, it’s not [only] a brown thing. A lot of women experience this shit,” she told Vulture.
  • The thought of making a fool of herself made her not want to be on the show, but the idea of inspiring other girls made her take it up.”When I was 15, 20, 25, when I got married even, I never saw the brown girl get divorced who was not [treated as] tragic. Everyone was always like, “Aww, she got divorced.” It sounds cheesy, but I was thinking, if there’s one girl out there going through my situation and I inspire her to not go through with the marriage, I’ll basically undo everything that I went through, and maybe I’ll make a difference,” she said.
  • Basra chose not to go on second dates with any of the guys she met on the show.
  • Despite her bad experience, she said Dating Around made her more optimistic about dating again. “It was almost therapeutic, in a way. Bring on the negativity. I was able to handle it. Now I can move on,” she said.
  • There’s been an outpouring of support for her on social media since the clip aired.


Subscribe now to our newsletter