THE YEAR OF OTT
2018 was in a way a breakthrough year for the Indian OTT scene. We saw the advent of many Indian original shows and even films this past year. There were more than 20 shows that were made and were pushed on the variius OTT platforms and in this feature I shall be mentioning the 10 that I feel made a real impact on the digital scene.
SACRED GAMES (NETFLIX)
SACRED GAMES was Netfl ix India’s first original show. It starred Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Saif Ali Khan in the lead with the show being helmed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap. The show was based on the Novel of the same name. The show created a lot of buzz before it came out and was a resounding success once it was released as it had literally become the talk of the town and was trending all over social media with people creatively making memes out of the dialogues and scenes of the show even today. The second season of the show is currently under production and the makers are hoping to release it sometime in the year.
BREATHE (PRIME VIDEO)
Breathe was Amazon Prime’s second Indian original show after INSIDE EDGE and released in January last year. It in a way was the first show to really hype up the Indian audiences about the OTT scene and the trends were just going upward since then. BREATHE starred R. Madhavan, Amit Sadh, Sapna Pabbi, Hrishikesh Joshi, Atharva Vishwakarma and Neena Kulkarni. The show was directed by Mayank Sharma. The show was a thriller about how far one is willing to go for someone they love. The second season of the show is in the works and it stars Abhishek Bachchan and Amit Sadh.
MIRZAPUR (PRIME VIDEO)
MIRZAPUR was another such series that was really hyped up before its release, especially after the trailer was released. The show didn’t fail to disappoint at all after it came out. People were constantly talking about it and were already excited about the second season of the show. The series stars Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, Divyendu Sharma, Shweta Tripathi, Shriya Pilgaonkar and Rasika Duggal among others. It was directed by Karan Anshuman and Gurmeet Singh and depicted the governance and rule of the mafia dons and their rivalry and the crime prevailing in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh.
LITTLE THINGS (NETFLIX)
Little Things was initially a web show on Youtube and was released in 2016 before Netflix came in and decided to make the show available for streaming on their platform. The show released its season 2 last year and it got people excited, specially those who had been watching it on Youtube and were eagerly waiting for it. The show stars Dhruv Sehgal and Mithila Palkar in the lead. The show is directed by Ajay Bhuyan and is about a cohabitating couple in their 20s who navigate the ups and downs of work, modern day relationships and about the little things they experience in their everyday life.
RANGBAAZ, a ZEE5 original, was released not a month ago and the show has been making a lot of noise. Those who saw the special screening of the show, couldn’t stop raving about it and called it one of the best shows to be made in the Indian OTT scene. RANGBAAZ is based on a criminal’s life who was feared even by the government and how the government formed a STF to end his reign. It stars Saqib Salim, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Aahana Kumra, Ranvir Shorey and is directed by Dhulia Bhav.
GHOUL, starring Radhika Apte as the lead was another Netflix original that released after SACRED GAMES. Riding high on the success of SACRED GAMES, the show generated a lot of buzz about itself too. Radhika Apte leading the cast was an added bonus and the show, which was originally going to be made into a fi lm, was divided into 3 episodes and is a horror- thriller based on the Arab Folklore monster Ghoul. The series was directed by Patrick Graham.
SIDE HERO (EROS NOW)
SIDE HERO is Eros Now’s first original show. It’s an out and out comedy show which really impressed the audiences ever since the promos were out. The show is a fictionalised take on actor Kunaal Roy Kapur’s life in Bollywood as a constantly neglected side actor. The series saw Kunaal Roy Kapur in the lead, obviously and was directed by Rohan Sippy.
APAHARAN is an ALTBALAJI original series that came out last year. It is an action suspense web series directed by Siddharth Sen Gupta and stars Arunoday Singh, Nidhi Singh and Mahie Gill in the leads. It is set against the backdrop of 1970s and the main premise of the show is kidnapping and extortion. The show being such a mystery/suspense thriller, created a lot of buzz and excitement among the audiences and was also well appreciated for its story.
BROKEN BUT BEAUTIFUL
BROKEN BUT BEAUTIFUL is another ALTBALAJI original which is a romantic drama. The show is the first webseries in India to have original songs in the film. That was an added factor why the show has worked with the audience. The realism and the relatabilty factor in the show is the main factor why it has garnered such appreciation. The series stars Vikrant Massey and Harleen Sethi as the leads in the film and is directed by Santosh Singh.
YEH MERI FAMILY (TVF PLAY/NETFLIX)
YEH MERI FAMILY is a TVF original series which is about a middle child trying to balance school, family, friendship and other challenges while growing up, in the summer of 1998. The show coming from TVF, who are in a way the pioneers of Indian web series scene who had initially come out with much talked about shows PITCHERS, PERMANANT ROOMMATES and the likes, was the main reason why people looked forward to this show so much. They are known to produce good content and this being another comedy drama which the audiences would relate to has made it one of the successful shows of last year.