We are already at the half-way mark of 2019 and so far, we have seen a fair share of web series from around the world. The content that was once largely a domain of the western players is now attracting desi makers as well. But in the times when content is available in abundance, the danger of quantity over quality has become a valid threat across all platforms. With streaming services launching new shows every other day, it has become quite tricky to catch the audience’s attention because let’s be honest, by the time you are done with one series, you have three more in your watchlist and it becomes almost impossible to catch up.
Here are some of the best web series of 2019, in no particular order.
Made in Heaven
Dropping soon after the success of Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, her show Made in Heaven gave Amazon Prime Video its first good show, in my opinion. The larger story arc focused on the lives of two protagonists Tara and Karan as they try to find their way in the wedding business while also handling the mess of their personal lives. Made in Heaven was a runaway success and deservedly so. A special shoutout to the casting department as all the actors cast in the episodic series did a splendid job.
The British teen comedy premiered on Netflix in January and uplifted the otherwise frivolous genre of teen comedies. Even though it features characters that can be boxed in the traditional archetypes of the genre – the popular boy, the nerd, the recluse, etc. – their problems i.e sex problems were given a laughable twist. Even though Sex Education is a teen comedy, it spends considerable time examining the problems that teens face that could impact their life as adults and this is highlighted with Eric’s story arc. As per a statement by Netflix, the show was watched by 40 million households within four weeks of its debut.
Also Read | Sex Education review: Smells like teen spirit
Starring Shefali Shah, this series was inspired by the 2012 Delhi gang rape case that shocked the nation. Here, we see the case unfold through the eyes of the police officials and how they managed to put the culprits behind bars. Created by Richie Mehta, the series premiered at Sundance and was soon acquired by Netflix. The makers have announced a second season that will handle another case, thus making it an anthology series.
Also Read | Delhi Crime review: Crime and Punishment
Co-created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland, Russian Doll premiered on Netflix in February. The series focuses on Nadia, played by Lyonne, as she gets stuck in a death loop which forces her to relive her last day over and over again. The starting point is always the same but her actions determine how she will die in the new timeline. The show has since been renewed for a second season but the plot is yet to be known. The first season ended on a note that hinted at the completion of the story.
This five-episode series by TVF was set in Kota where students from all over the country come to prepare for IIT entrance exams. The series was shot in black and white and stepped away from the engineering college tales that have become quite the staple of the internet. This series also did not focus on the pressure that the system puts on the students but instead chose to focus on how some students choose this life and it isn’t all that bad as it painted out to be. All the five episodes of this series have over 10 million views on YouTube.
Also Read | Kota Factory review: An engaging web series
The Twilight Zone
Rod Serling’s version of The Twilight Zone cannot be compared to the original but in the era when Black Mirror has lost its original appeal, this science fiction series engages the audience. The anthology nature of The Twilight Zone makes every episode unique and for those who have not seen the original series, this is the perfect vehicle for an introduction to the genre.