Until a few years ago cinema and television series ruled over the entertainment industry. However, for almost half a decade, viewers have been scouting to find content that is relevant to their daily lifestyle. Youth oriented channels like MTV and Zoom did come up with some content but those were limited in quantity. That’s when channels like TVF(The Viral Fever) and AIB(All India Bakchod) came to rescue with creating platforms in New Media for daily and weekly entertainment dose for all kinds of audience. The entry of OTT(Over-The-Top) platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix and many more further accelerated the rise of digital media and changed the video consumption scenarios in India. They have even started constructing original web series while keeping the likes of Indian audience in mind.
These web series are an interesting blend of internet and traditional televised programming. Web series imperatively duplicates the composition of television programming, with the only quirk that the content is broadcast online. Let’s have a look at some of the web series that’s been a hit among the viewers in the past couple of years.
‘Permanent Roommates’ (2014)
The very first original web series by TVF, ‘Permanent Roommates’ is a situational comedy based on the life of a couple who have been in a long distance relationship and the prospect of their marriage. The series explores the quintessence of a relationship in modern era. A very relatable plot with a blend of humour and insightful content,has left the audience always wanting for more.
‘Baked’ chronicles the life of three university students who have started their own midnight delivery system highlighting the trending youth culture. The perfectly non-pretentious narrative decked with the beautiful rendition of college life leaves one with the feeling of nostalgia. It’s a buoyant show that is redolent to all the crazy things that one has done throughout their own college life.
‘Bang Baaja Baaraat’ (2016)
A coming of age web series, ‘Bang Baaja Baaraat’ portrays the urban love and relationships. The series hits the right chord among the audience owing to its changing definition of relations and depicting that sex after all isn’t really a taboo. Witty writing, amazing performances and humorous plot twists is what forms the crux of the series. The contemporary talks touching the subjects of pre-marital sex, ageism, marriage and relationships makes the series a sensible watch.
A very unique and out of the concept plotline, ‘A.I.S.H.A’ is a romantic sci-fi thriller. The story provides us with the slice of reality where the millennials are hooked and obsessed with the virtual world and artificial intelligence. It is an ironical tale that hints on how the virtual world will be the doom for all. Directed by Sahir Raza, it had won the best overall web series and best suspense/thriller at South Florida WebFest in Miami, 2016.
A dark political web drama set in the dystopian world, ‘Ghoul’ deals with the subject of sectarianism, racism and false patriotism. To spice up the narrative there are subtle cues of horror and supernatural elements. Patrick Graham’s direction of the near future filled with war and terrorism is unlike anything. The web series based on Arab folklore monster named ghoul manages fairly well to spread the targeted message.
‘Yeh Meri Family’ (2018)
The seven-episode web series takes a train down the route of nostalgia to the 90s decade. Going back to an era without internet and digital medium gives the show a refreshing charm. The series can be enjoyed with the entire family and it’s extremely relatable content and acting by the ensemble cast wraps the show into a lovely watch.
‘Sacred Games’ (2018)
Directed by Anurag Kashyap, this crime thriller is gripping, brutal and raw. One of the best web series commended by both critics and audience. The cat-mouse race between Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the USP of the show and one just can’t have enough of it unless the mystery is resolved. A swift narrative coupled with dark moments, this gangster saga is a perfect weekend binge watch.
‘Mirzapur’ is a complete package of crime, investigation, brutal scenes and violence. The series takes the audience for an exhilarating ride of gory and entertainment along with some unpredictable twists. The layers unfolds with time and provides high shock value, hence keeping the viewers enthralled and engaged throughout the season.
‘Four More Shots Please’ (2019)
A series revolving around snap lessons in feminism and subtle curses to the pattern of patriarchy, ‘Four More Shots Please’ is a female centric entertainment. Desi culture with a squash of western flavour gives the appeal to this series. It goes on to convey that, woman no matter how different they are in their beliefs and value from one another, still are capable of being empathetic and supportive towards each other through the myriad of prejudices and biases working against them.
‘Made In Heaven’ (2019)
A web series that discloses the realities behind the shiny and sparkly big fat Indian wedding. The nine episodes anthology revolves around the different kind of Indian weddings and it’s not-so-pretty truths. Despite the visual opulence and fondness for extravaganza, ‘Made In Heaven’ discloses that there is more to the working-class than what meets the eye. It is a series that will keep you hooked and create a desire to watch at one go.
By Survi Agarwal