Though the cinema halls were shut for most of 2021, OTT platforms took care of our daily dose of entertainment. They churned out some interesting content in the first half of the year, making binge-watching a matter of routine.
From a heartwarming story of a middle-class family in SonyLIV’s Gullak season two to an edge-of-the-seat thriller in Amazon Prime Video’s The Family Man 2, the digital medium kept us occupied in these grim times with some brilliant content.
So, as we enter the second half of the year and look forward to some more amazing web shows, here’s a list of the best content we watched till now.
It takes a rare franchise to overcome the curse of the sequels but Raj and DK did it with style. The ten-episode series lived up to the expectations of the fans of the franchise as the story travelled from India’s north to its south. From the story, performances, dialogues, to cinematography, everything about the show was spot on. Manoj Bajpayee returned as undercover agent Srikant Tiwari who had to safeguard his nation from an attack while dealing with his family issues. His team included JK (Sharib Hashmi), Chellam Sir (Uday Mahesh), Muthu (Ravindra Vijay), Umayal (Devadarshini) and several others who made the show a rollercoaster ride. Samantha Akkineni impressed as Raji, the Sri Lankan Tamil, who is determined to serve her community.
Looking to watch something heartwarming? SonyLIV’s Gullak season two is a perfect pick. It is the story of a middle-class family living in a north Indian town. The series and its lead characters, played by Gitanjali Kulkarni, Jameel Khan, Vaibhav Raj Gupta, Harsh Mayar, and Sunita Rajawar, feel too close to home and that is the USP of the Palash Vaswani directorial. Writer Durgesh Singh has explored the ‘kisse’ that takes place in a regular Indian household. In the short, five episodes series, 90s kids are bound to get nostalgic and relive their childhood days.
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Starring Naveen Kasturia, Abhilash Thapiyal, Shivankit Singh Parihar, Sunny Hinduja, and others in significant roles, Aspirants narrated the story of four candidates of the civil service exams whose personal life gets entangled with their aspiration of becoming IAS and IPS officers. Besides its well-crafted narrative, what worked for the series was the performance of its cast. The relatable dialogues and characters were a reminder of our college friendships and struggles of adulthood.
An eight-part series, Bombay Begums is centred around five urban women — Rani, a CEO of a bank, Ayesha, a naive newcomer to Mumbai, Fatima, a career-oriented woman, and Lily, a former bar dancer trying to live a life of dignity for her son. Through them, the Alankrita Shrivastava show gives a peek into the struggles, dreams and desires of urban women and how their lives intersect with each other while they try to fight patriarchy. The show was lauded for its realistic portrayal of urban women.
The Huma Qureshi starrer is a political drama which is set in Bihar of the 1990s. It showcases how the lead character Rani Bharati (Qureshi) has to take the chair of Bihar’s CM after her husband and the CM Bheema Bharti (Sohum Shah) is shot by his enemies. The show does take the level of political dramas on the web platforms a notch higher. Qureshi, along with Amit Sial, Inaamulhaq and Pramod Pathak, has delivered a strong performance. Apart from showcasing the dirty power politics, the Subhash Kapoor creation also emphasises the caste atrocities and Naxalite violence in some parts of the country.
This spy-cum-revenge thriller is a fairly entertaining show, just that you need to be a little patient as the makers take their own sweet time to get to the main plot. But, when they get to the point, Kathmandu Connection is undoubtedly a worthy binge watch. The plot of the six-episode revolves around police officer Samarth Kaushik (Amit Sial) and his search for Dawood Ibrahim aide and politician Mirza Beg (Zakir Hussain) and his associate Sunny (Anshumaan Pushkar).