2018 was the year that saw several web-series make their way into the mainstream in India. Netflix launched its first Indian series and it took the Indian online audience by storm. The youth is no longer ready to accept the desi saas-bahu dramas for casual entertainment. The success of Game of Thrones and other shows has created a demand among people for Indian productions of a similar kind, if not of the same calibre. Here are four web-series that changed our televisions this year.
The show was the first of many Indian web series launched by Netflix this year, along with others lined up for release next year. Boasting a cast of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Saif Ali Khan and Radhika Apte, Sacred Games well and truly became the figurehead of the Indian web-series scene.
With cutting edge dialogues, brilliant background score and cinematography, Sacred Games is not your everyday TV serial. Follow the story of how a poor boy killed his way to the top of the Bombay underworld and how his legacy intertwines with a police officer who couldn’t be further removed from him. One takeaway is certain, “Desh sankat mein hai.”
After the success of Sacred Games, Amazon Prime Video emerged with the web-series Mirzapur. It housed brilliant performances with special mentions for Pankaj Tripathi and Ali Fazal.
Imagine Gangs of Wasseypur but with more brutality, violence and gore. A shady businessman and his family rule over the city of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh but their reign is under threat as rivals vie for blood and new challengers mushroom within the city. Will Kaleen Bhaiya’s clan prevail or will there be a new ruler of Mirzapur?
Dear 90s kids, remember when you had hopes and aspirations that you thought would actually come true? Would you like to revisit that time of your life? Well then, this is the show for you!
Yeh Meri Family follows a young boy and how he sees and feels about the world he lives in – from his first crush to a typical birthday party of the time. The production team should be lauded for the hard work they have put in to make this show as authentic as possible. You can see this hard work if you are able to read between the lines. If you grew up in the 90s, this is the perfect show for you to revisit your childhood, laugh, smile, cry and feel like a child again.
Light-hearted, comforting and nostalgic. None of these words describe Breathe at all. The Indian audience has a soft spot for grey areas with heroes and villains who in their own ways, do the right thing.
It’s fast paced and enthralling. With strong performances from R. Madhavan and others, this show will make you question where your own morality lies.
As more and more people in India get connected to the internet, the potential for online streaming services in India is huge. The web-series mentioned above and many others that aired before this year have challenged the norms of the daily viewer and offered a variety in style and genre that few other platforms can offer. As Indian production houses set up their own streaming portals, it seems that the existing TV serials need to up their game if they want to survive the incoming onslaught of web-based content.
The liberty with which explicit language and imagery has been used in some of these series has stirred up a debate on censorship of online content which may soon end up being a landmark debate in the Indian entertainment industry. While the Indian TV serial has a large audience among the middle aged, the youth is slowly drifting away from cable
TV and moving to diverse content on the internet.
Will India’s TV houses move on from saas-bahu dramas or is there another twist in the tale?