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Friday, July 10, 2020

What to watch on July 2: Web series, TV shows and movies to stream online

Here are the shows and movies you can stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, ALTBalaji, SonyLIV, ZEE5, Apple TV+ and Voot among more.

Written by Sampada Sharma , Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi | Updated: July 9, 2020 8:09:03 am
what to watch, streaming guide Bad Boys for Life is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. (Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing)

While the lockdown is starting to ease in many parts of the country, social distancing is still the norm of the day. Amid following the new guidelines of safety, many are preferring to stay indoors and continue their work from home. Life within limited space can surely get mundane, but streaming platforms have surely come as a saviour in these unprecedented times.

Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Voot Select, AltBalaji, Zee5, Sony LIV, Apple TV+ and other streaming platforms are putting their best foot forward so that their audience can get the best possible content. In the last few days, Netflix’s Bulbbul, Sony LIV’s Bhosle, Disney+ Hotstar’s Aarya have gotten a great response from the audience.

Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming series Breathe: Into The Shadows is the next big OTT release. The show marks Abhishek Bachchan’s debut on the web platform.

Disney+ Hotstar is also increasing the stakes in the OTT space as the streaming platform is releasing as many as seven Bollywood films. These films are – Dil Bechara, Sadak 2, Bhuj, The Big Bul, Laxmmi Bomb, Khuda Hafiz and Lootcase. This comes after Amazon Prime Video released Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan starrer Gulabo Sitabo. Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi is also set to release on the platform soon. Other OTT releases include Janhvi Kapoor starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl that is coming out on Netflix.

Among the international content on OTT platforms, Netflix’s Dark Season 3 seemed to please the viewers. Indianexpress.com’s Kshitij Rawat wrote in his review of the series, “Dark has been one of my all-time favourite Netflix Original series, and would easily make it to my list of best five science-fiction series. I first tried this German series because I was told it was Stranger Things, only, well, darker. And indeed, the first few episodes did make it seem as though it was Stranger Things set in an infinitely bleaker parallel universe. But Dark soon became its own thing, with a complex mythology that was knotty enough to rival Lost.”

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Here's what you can watch on OTT platforms today.

16:29 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Tales from the Loop: Amazon Prime Video

A science fiction drama TV anthology series, Tales from the Loop is a gripping, superbly shot and well-written piece of entertainment that will delight everyone, but specifically those who liked HBO's Westworld and FX's recent series Devs.

16:05 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Brooklyn Nine Nine: Netflix

A sitcom about a bunch of police officers in a New York precinct, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is continuously funny. The performances are great, and the uniquely written characters never let you get bored.

15:42 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Disney Hotstar

This film was all about repairing the supposed damage that the previous entry in the sequel trilogy, The Last Jedi, did. Essentially, it tried to please the fanboys and turned out to be so messy that it did not please anybody. However, as a send off it is pretty good and if you are a fan, it will make you emotional and teary-eyed.

15:20 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Epicenter: 24 Hours in Wuhan: Docubay

This documentary film chronicles Chinese city Wuhan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in its initial days. For those who do not know, Wuhan is now considered to be the place from where the novel coronavirus originated.

14:52 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Black Sails: Netflix

Although the first season was marred by more talking than action, the definitive pirate TV show Black Sails picks up from second, gets better in third, and goes out with a bang with its fourth and final season. The story is the prequel of Treasure Island, classic adventure book by Robert Louis Stevenson.

14:02 (IST)02 Jul 2020

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14:02 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Parineeta: Amazon Prime Video

An adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Bengali novel of the same name, Parineeta starred Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Sanjay Dutt in lead roles. The film’s director Pradeep Sarkar won the National Award for Best Debut Film of a Director, and Shantanu Moitra along with lyricist Swanand Kirkire wove magic with their music.

13:55 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Rick and Morty: Netflix

The animated series follows a mad but brilliant scientist Rick Sanchez and his naive, impressionable grandson Morty Smith's adventures across faraway galaxies, planets, parallel worlds, different realities and so on. Rick and Morty boasts some of the most intelligent writing in the medium currently, with jokes that are easy to miss if the attention wavers even a little. And before you have managed to wrap your head around it, the show has already moved ahead.

13:16 (IST)02 Jul 2020
The Night Manager: Amazon Prime Video

Based on the 1993 novel of the same name by John le Carré, this miniseries has two of the best actors on television: Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston. It is a espionage drama and is engaging throughout its run.

12:37 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: Netflix

This one is among the weirder and eccentric shows. Frodo of Lord of the Rings movies, Elijah Wood, plays an everyman whose life is turned into a veritable whirlwind a flamboyantly British "holistic" detective; holistic because he believes everything in the universe to be interconnected. And indeed, he has a seemingly preternatural ability. The feel of the show is like from one of the more strange comic-books from the 80s came to life. The story is loosely based on the writings of the great Douglas Adams.

12:05 (IST)02 Jul 2020
The Lego Batman Movie: Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar

This Batman movie is the most Batman-esque movie. In fact, if you see only this movie, you will have a pretty good idea as to what the superhero is all about. Will Arnett's superbly written and voiced Caped Crusader is as much a tribute as a parody of every live-action version of Batman. And it is downright nuts. Voldemort and Sauron are two of the villains that the Joker recruits to take down Batman, for crying out loud, and that is not the craziest thing in this movie. Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes are also part of the film's voice cast.

11:38 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Malgudi Days: Amazon Prime Video

The classic Doordarshan TV series based on RK Narayan's charming small-town based stories still holds up well. Relive your childhood (if you watched Malgudi Days as a child, that is) with this series.

11:09 (IST)02 Jul 2020
The Big Sick: Amazon Prime Video

A low budget film that tells the story of screenwriter Emily V Gordon and her husband and comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who have also written the story together. This is a no-holds-barred story that does not gloss over anything a relationship is - messy, sometimes infuriating and perplexing, but beautiful and worth it nonetheless.

10:23 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Penny Dreadful: The City of Angels: Disney+ Hotstar

While the sunny Los Angeles is not as compelling a setting for horror as the dank streets of Victorian London, The City of Angels, Showtime horror series Penny Dreadful's spinoff, is surprisingly good, with a nice amalgam of contemporary social issues and the supernatural.

09:48 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Dark: Netflix

After a child disappears, the residents of the town discover that in a cave system adjacent to the power plant, there is a wormhole from which characters can travel through time. The discovery leads to new, truly fascinating revelations that often change the way one looks at the whole story. For instance, one missing child, Mikkel inadvertently travelled into the past, got stuck, grew up as Michael, had a son who was older than him when he went missing in the present.

Read the review of the third and final season here.

09:25 (IST)02 Jul 2020
Bad Boys for Life: Amazon Prime Video

The third installment in the Bad Boys trilogy, Bad Boys for Life brings back Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, respectively, who investigate a series of murders. 

The film received positive reviews with a  77 per cent rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus reads, "Loaded up with action and a double helping of leading-man charisma, Bad Boys for Life reinvigorates this long-dormant franchise by playing squarely to its strengths."

20:23 (IST)01 Jul 2020
Gulabo Sitabo: Amazon Prime Video

Starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan, Gulabo Sitabo premiered on Amazon Prime Video. The Indian Express' Shubhra Gupta gave the film 2 stars and wrote in her review, "I missed the zest, the drollness and sharpness, that Juhi Chaturvedi’s writing is so full of. Some of that edge shows up in the way the women, old and young, are etched, all happily themselves, never at a loss for words: you wish they had more to do."

Read the full review here.

19:48 (IST)01 Jul 2020
The Big Bang Theory: Netflix

The Big Bang Theory started as the story of two geeky scientists Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) who have a new neighbour Penny (Kaley Cuoco). The socially awkward science geeks live in a different world as compared to Penny, who works as a waitress and is an aspiring actress. It’s the clash of these two worlds that forms the base of this sitcom. Over time, supporting characters like Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and Howard (Simon Helberg) were given leading parts and Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Bernadette’s (Melissa Rauch) characters were also given top billing.

Also Read | The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon, hold the fort!

19:28 (IST)01 Jul 2020
Kadakh: SonyLIV

Written and directed by Rajat Kapoor, Kadakh is set during the day of Diwali when an unexpected incident derails the course of a marriage and many friendships. STarring Ranvir Shorey, Chandrachoor Rai, Mansi Multani, Rajat Kapoor, Cyrus Sahukar and Kalki Koechlin, this Rajat Kapoor film is streaming on Sony LIV.

Read movie review here.

19:15 (IST)01 Jul 2020
Bulbbul: Netflix

Starring Tripti Dimri, Avinash Tiwary, Rahul Bose, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Paoli Dam among others is Anvita Dutt’s directorial debut. Produced by Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Ssharma, the film has been receiving rave reviews.

Read the movie review here.

Anvita Dutt's directorial debut Bulbbul enthralled viewers. The haunting tale set during the 1800s in Bengal was mystifying and melancholic. Producer Anushka Sharma has received a lot of acclaim for backing good content via her production house Clean Slate Films. It is to be noted that Bulbbul comes shortly after Amazon Prime Video's hit web series Pataal Lok, which was also backed by Sharma.

Also Read | Bulbbul review

Director Anvita Dutt told indianexpress.com, "It was very exciting for me. The neoclassical period is anyway a very fascinating world. From the director of photography, art, costumes, everyone was on the same page. I just told them that I want every scene to look like a Raja Ravi Varma painting. We went with that vision and everything was very authentic. A lot of research went into it as the setting plays an important part while telling a fairytale. I am just relieved that we managed to pull it off."

Anushka Sharma spoke about the film and said, "The journey of Bulbbul, from innocence to strength, happens because of certain things that happened to her. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a balanced world. So there are a lot of times when you feel like you get pushed to the corner. You get undermined. You are underappreciated. And these are things that I and Anvita can talk from a professional point of view, but then there’s also a social part of it where women are literally not ever made to feel empowered. They are not allowed to grow. When you experience all of these, right from the time you are a little girl, you start to get aware of gender. What that does is it constantly makes you feel angry that you ultimately find that strength in you and transform into a stronger version of yourself, a more resilient version."

Half the year has passed and so far we have seen some top-notch shows from various platforms. Some of the best web shows of 2020 include - Amazon Prime Video's Pataal Lok and Panchayat, VootSelect's Asur, Disney+ Hotstar's Special Ops and Aarya.

Also Read | Top 5 Indian web series of 2020 so far | Top 5 international web series of 2020 so far

We have also seen some good content when it comes to international web series. Amazon Prime Video's Upload was an engaging series that created a new world while also delivering an interesting storyline. Apple TV+'s Defending Jacob starring Chris Evans was a slow-burner in the beginning, but as the episodes moved on, the story just got meatier. Netflix's mini-series Unorthodox told the emotional tale of a woman who is stuck in a world that is crippled by customs. Gente-fied, also by Netflix, gave a light-hearted tale of second-generation immigrants in America. Lastly, Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington starrer Little Fires Everywhere told a story about motherhood and its many faces.

With the second half of the year kicking off, it's time to see how the OTT platforms continue to engage their audience.