Locked inside your home? Not sure what to watch in quarantine’s slow, boring times? Worry not, we have the perfect watchlist for you!
After being criticized for sexist storylines and over-the-top effects, Bollywood has often been in the limelight for many wrong reasons. However, with the Indian content scene changing, numerous Hindi web-series are now coming up with brilliant storylines, great music and an ensemble cast that does absolute justice to their respective roles. Indian web-series have also brought those artists to the limelight, who’ve previously showcased their talent only in the sphere of theatre.
Here are some of the best Indian Web-Series to binge on during this quarantine:
1. Made in Heaven (Available on Amazon Prime)
Made in Heaven boasts of a fine cast and beautiful set to showcase the Indian Wedding scene. The show follows the lives of two wedding planners and good friends, Tara and Karan, who’s lies, mistakes and cheating are all portrayed beautifully. The show addresses issues considered taboo, like LGBTQ+, adultery, wealth gap, sexual abuse and dowry, especially in a conservative country like India. Each episode portrays a different wedding that suffers from an underlying problem, and how the wedding planners tackle each of these problems.
2. Kota Factory (Available on YouTube and TVFPLay)
Kota Factory is India’s first black-and-white web series, which revolves around the life of IIT-Aspirant Vaibhav, who moves to Kota in search of the perfect coaching center that can help him clear IIT. Kota Factory’s remarkable portrayal of the problems faced by its students in their daily lives makes it relatable to students and adults alike. The refreshing character ‘Jeetu Bhaiya’, a brilliant teacher working for mediocre pay just for the opportunity to teach, adds life to the series. Jeetu Bhaiya’s teachings in different points in the series, combined with Vaibhav’s frustrated monologues about the stress of studies, Meena’s hilarious one-liners which make him lovable and Uday’s loyalty make Kota Factory a story that hits the heart.
3. The Family Man (Available on Amazon Prime)
The Family Man highlights Manoj Bajpayee’s stellar performance as a father and intelligence official, trying to balance the two roles without offending the other. With a strong plot, The Family Man not only talks of life at home, but also about bringing down a known-terrorist’s crime operation. Both the lead and supporting actors have done a splendid job. The series manages to keep one hooked, with an array of storylines complementing each other perfectly.
4. Delhi Crime (Available on Netflix)
Delhi Crime, in-spite of being a difficult show to watch, brings to light one of the most important and heinous crimes ever committed in the Indian capital of Delhi, the 2012- Delhi Gang Rape Case, also known as the Nirbhaya Case. Although it has been criticized for being inclined towards the authorities, both Shefali Shah and Rasika Duggal have delivered immensely strong performances. This show, however, comes with a trigger warning for its sensitive plot.
5. Sacred Games (Available on Netflix)
Sacred Games has been one of the most talked about web-series in India, and the first one to draw the audience’s attention to up and coming web-series. Saif Ali Khan has done his role as troubled police officer Sartaj Singh to justice, while Nawazuddin Siddiqui convinces as a crime lord. This web series has inspired the audience to develop theories and analyze everything, from the titles of the episodes to the endings of the two seasons released till date. While Season 2 disappointed comparatively in spite of having a more powerful cast (Pankaj Tripathi, Kalki Kanmani etc.), we are still excited to know what Sacred Games has in store for us.
6. F.L.A.M.E.S (Available on MX Player and TVF Play)
This light-hearted series brings out the best of The Timeliners, who has a history of releasing some of the best short films and series. F.L.A.M.E.S takes one back to their tuition days, revolving around the simple love story of Rajat and Ishita. While the first season is full of ancient love songs and the feeling of ‘first love’, the second season addresses more important issues- the importance of mental health, effects of losing one’s loved ones, battling teenage hormones and dealing with one’s parents. Another major issue addressed in the second season is the drive to follow one’s dreams, which comes alive when Rajat stands up to his parents and tells them that he does not want to become an engineer, instead of wishing to pursue an Arts degree.
7. Mirzapur (Available on Amazon Prime)
Mirzapur is a violent revenge drama that brings out the best of criminal life down in the small town of Mirzapur. While Pankaj Tripathi delivers a calm, non-threatening yet convincing performance as the ‘king’ of Mirzapur, who regulates all actions that take place in the town, Ali Fazal and Divyendu Sharma are also brilliant in their portrayals of two boys who wish to take over as the new kings, in-spite of coming from two totally different backgrounds. The show is commentary on ‘never judge a book by its cover’, as the rich, spoilt Munna bhai, destined to follow his father’s legacy as the king of Mirzapur, is overlooked by his father for two brothers coming from a middle-class home, believed to run his business better. Sweta Tripathi has also done a splendid job as a simple, studious girl who volunteers for her college elections as an honest, genuine candidate wishing to bring about change. Rasika Duggal has also done justice to her role as a lonely housewife, yet a dangerous woman driven by sexual desire.
8. Pushpavalli (Available on Amazon Prime)
Written and performed by Sumukhi Suresh, one expects Pushpavalli to be a one-man show; however, it is far from that. This show portrays how stalking and psychotic behavior is often normalized, with Sumukhi Suresh delivering an exquisite performance as a simple girl who is victim of fat-shaming by her mother, and goes to undying lengths in pursuit of the love of her life, Nikhil (Manish Anand). Both seasons of the show leave one dying to know what Pushpavalli will do next; can one do more than marry another man or spoil someone’s business to gain the attention of the man she loves?
9. Little Things (Available on Netflix)
Little Things is a modern take on relationships today, with both Mithila Palkar (Kavya) and Dhruv Sehgal (Dhruv) trying to juggle their relationship along with changing jobs, differing needs and contrasting personalities. Both seasons of the show portray things which are normally experienced in relationships, like uncertainty regarding the other person, jealousy, and respect for each other. The second season ends on an unexpected, healthy note, leaving viewers happy and content.
10. Taj Mahal (1989) (Available on Netflix)
Taj Mahal (1989) has one of the best writing, dialogues, music and casting of all time. The series revolves around the intertwined lives of college students Angad, Rashmi and Dharam, their uncle who is a gold medalist in philosophy, his friend, Akhtar Baig (professor of Philosophy) and Akhtar’s wife Sarita, professor of Physics. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Lucknow, this series addresses issues like divorce, misuse of power and child trafficking within a well-structured storyline. Anud Singh Dhaka’s portrayal of Angad, a communist at heart, is the highlight of this series.
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought with itself an uncertain quarantine, but also some free time to binge on some of the best Indian web-series! This free time gives you a chance to explore some amazing Hindi web-series, and fall in love with them.