While Bravo has long had a reputation for featuring top reality TV, Family Karma broke the mold as the first series in the United States to center around a full Indian American cast. The show debuted in early March of 2020, about a week before the first COVID-19 shutdowns took place in the U.S.
Those who were stuck at home or who were becoming more unsettled by watching the news escaped by tuning in to the hilarious Miami-based show.
Viewers soon grew attached to the multi-generational familial and romantic relationships among stars Brian Benni, Amrit Kapai, Anisha Ramakrishna, Bali Chainani, Monica Vaswani, Shaan Patel, and Vishal Parvani.
Throughout the first season, Vishal's loved ones criticized his long engagement to Richa Sadana and his decision to pop the question with an American-style proposal.
The pair made their family members happy when they had a traditional Indian engagement ceremony in the Season 1 finale. Though Richa and Vishal ended the show as a happily engaged couple, their relationship will be facing a few obstacles in Season 2.
Vishal spoke exclusively with Distractify about his relationship with Richa and what it was like to film the show during the pandemic.
Are Vishal and Richa still together?
Though the commercial real estate agent was already officially engaged to Richa before the cameras started rolling on Season 1 of Family Karma, he faced several uphill battles in order to prove himself to her loved ones.
Richa's mom, Lopa Sadana, called her future son-in-law a "moron" ahead of their engagement ceremony, and she also had issues with Vishal's mother, Reshma Parvani.
The two managed to put their differences aside, and Richa and Vishal were able to end Season 1 as a happy duo.
However, fans grew concerned about the status of the engagement when the trailer for Season 2 dropped. When Amrit asked Richa about her relationship, she shared that she took off her engagement ring.
"Do you see anything on my hand?" she asked. She later noted that she wanted Vishal to "grow up."
Vishal confirmed to his mom that things were not good between him and Richa.
"Because she does not want to be my fiancée anymore," he responded when his mom asked why Richa gave back the ring.
Aside from the sneak peek, fans were further alarmed because the two had not posted together on Instagram since the summer of 2020. However, Richa has been wearing her engagement ring in her recent social media updates.
Fans will have to tune in to the show to find out whether Richa and Vishal officially broke up or if they are still engaged, but the Miami native told Distractify that the cameras captured a difficult time in his relationship.
"It's definitely been challenging. We've been a work in progress," Vishal said. "The pandemic really proved to be a tough time for a lot of people, and I was no exception to that."
The reality star also hinted that his parents are still struggling to get along with Richa's family members.
"There's no perfect family. If I were to say that we were perfect, I'd be lying," he added. "There's lots of ups and downs, lots of expectations when it comes to family. That's not just [us]."
Though Vishal and Richa went through some serious relationship turmoil while filming Season 2, he's grateful that fans will be able to see it all unfold on the show.
"Hopefully a lot of people can relate to the journey that we go through," he said.
In addition to putting a strain on many of the Family Karma relationships, the pandemic also affected the production end of the series.
When was 'Family Karma' Season 2 filmed?
The first season of Family Karma may have aired in the early days of the pandemic, but the cast and crew actually filmed Season 2 in the midst of it all.
Filming commenced in Miami in the fall of 2020, but there was soon a pause in production when a cast member tested positive for the coronavirus.
Production shut down for two weeks in October, and it's unclear if there were any other delays.
Vishal shared that everyone took the pandemic very seriously during filming.
"The health and safety was definitely the main priority for the cast and the crew," he explained. We definitely took a lot of precautions — we filmed mostly outdoors, we avoided large crowds, and [we did] lots and lots of daily testing. ... Overall, we were able to keep filming within our families, and everyone felt safe throughout the whole process."
While the cast members were looking out for one another from a health perspective, there will still be plenty of drama on Season 2.
"It's an emotional roller coaster, but it's a fun ride. People are going to laugh, there's going to be some tears too. It's very relatable to the time that we're in," Vishal concluded. "People are going to see that we have our fun, but not everything is peachy and rosy in my life."
Family Karma airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo.