I bought an Indian TV set up box only to realise that it was a mere waste box. When it works, I spend most of my time scrolling through the limited channel list and wonder what to watch. Apart from some music videos, there is nothing to watch on Indian TV. Our dramas are regressive, news channels chant #JaiJaiModiJi and movie channels embrace mindlessness from the 80s. Agreed?!
After ignoring India’s hip and young for years, media companies and production houses are going all out to win over the millennials. Thanks to Youtube, ALT Balaji, TVF and Amazon Prime, who have undertaken India’s web series scenario and given us some kick-ass content to binge watch. If you are wondering TV pe kya dekhun, then read the list below. You can thank me later!!
IMDB Rating - 8.5/10
‘Breathe’ is an Amazon Prime web series featuring R. Madhavan and Amit Sadh. It comes across as an intelligent and well-thought web series about a loving father, Danny (Madhavan) who takes drastic steps to save his dying son. Kabir Sawant (Amit Sadh) is a police officer who is going through a divorce, trying to get over his daughter’s death and doesn't play by the rules. This thriller makes you clasp, clench and keeps you gripped until the very end.
2) Inside Edge
IMDB Rating - 8.3/10
Don’t take my word for it, but ‘Inside Edge’ seems loosely based on Indian Premier League. Featuring Vivek Oberoi and Richa Chaddha in powerful roles, it is a story about Mumbai Mavericks, a T20 cricket franchise which is set amidst match-fixing, sex, money, power, and politics. This series does not mince its words in showing the dirty reality behind all that glamour.
3) The Test Case
IMDB Rating - 8.8/10
Ekta Kapoor is all set to redefine herself as she taps into the digital space with her app - ALT Balaji. Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee announced the induction of women in combat roles in Indian armed forces, back in 2017. Who thought a convincing and stellar web series could be developed from the fleeting idea. The web series is about Shikha Sharma (played by Nimrat Kaur), training to be the first woman test case in a combat role, within the Indian Army. The web series makes a well engaging thriller which will engross you to the last episode.
4) Dev DD
IMDB Rating - 7.1/10
Ekta Kapoor’s version of Devdas is cool and badass. Asheema Vardaan essays the role of a modern empowered woman living in the modest city of Jaipur. The series comments on feminism, sexism, homosexuality, and modern-day relationships. It is a young and fun drama directed by Ishk Vishk fame director, Ken Ghosh.
5) Bose Dead / Alive
IMDB Rating - 9.3/10
Before I dwell into the series, I want to address - when was the last time we saw an Indian mainstream actor shave half their head for a character? Rajkumar Rao goes out of his way to portray the role of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose brilliantly and authentically. The series runs two parallel narratives - one chronicles Netaji’s journey from a rebellious student to a popular leader while the other explores the paranoia that was widespread speculating Bose’s staged death.
IMDB Rating - 8.1/10
Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt has joined the web series gang to give us a queer thriller series - ‘Twisted’. Starring Nia Sharma, the series is a bold commentary on homosexuality which will surely make you raise an eyebrow (if not both). So get ready to be tucked in your bed on a winter weekend and binge-watch this gripping crime thriller.
Evidently, the Indian entertainment industry is utilising the online platform to address contemporary subjects which would be perceived as ‘controversial topics’ through mainstream cinema. Online platforms provide freedom to the creators who can treat the series without censorship laws being applicable. The web series landscape in India is not a bleak one. Indian content is accused of being stupid, a myth which these web series bust successfully. Watch for yourself!!!
Note - Thank God we do not have to endure ‘Roadies’ in the name of a ‘young Indian show’ anymore *wink*!