Web Series: The New Wave of Entertainment
Web series have gained immense popularity in the last decade because they provide relief from the usual television serials with their fresh content and can be watched as per your convenience instead of waiting for a fixed day and time. Web series are shows where a story is presented as a series of video episodes over a streaming platform and they remain available on that platform to be watched later. These series can be enjoyed on paid OTTs like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, etc. or free platforms which include YouTube, Vimeo, and MX Player. In 2020, there are so many online platforms where you can binge-watch web series from your favourite genre, be it crime, drama, suspense, horror or comedy. There are web series for every age group and class, which you can watch on your mobiles, tablets, laptops or smart televisions.
One more reason behind the growing popularity of web series is that reduced prices of 4G data, better internet connectivity and more number of people using the internet has provided the comfort to watch these shows whenever you want and wherever you want. Some online platforms also provide the option to download your favourite web series and you can enjoy them later when offline, while traveling or at places where internet connectivity is sloppy.
Difference Between TV Soaps and Web Series
TV soaps have dominated the small screen for decades before different YouTube channels like TVF, Dice Media, Timeliners, etc. started creating their own content and uploading it in the form of web series in the 2010s while creating their own audience. Then Netflix entered India and with the internet getting cheaper, other platforms like Zee5, SonyLiv, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Jio TV, etc. followed and took the online entertainment arena by storm. The short length and availability to binge-watch the web series as compared to TV soaps are some of the main reasons behind their increasing popularity as there is a certain audience who don’t have the time and patience to watch the long-running family dramas sitting in front of their TV sets.
Another major aspect which differentiates TV soaps from web series is that most of the TV soaps are based on concepts which are far away from reality, have huge star casts, costly sets representing lavish lifestyle and are produced by big media houses whereas for a web series, you need a nice camera, good actors and a strong storyline which can connect to the audience. A large part of the audience now wants more practical aspects of life to be shown sans the melodrama and slow-motion scenes depicted by overdressed actors. The mindset of the society is evolving and it wants content with which a common man can relate to and the larger than life characters of the TV soaps fail to do so. Moreover, the typical patriarchal culture and showing women as victims in TV soaps don’t go well with certain audiences. Whereas, some low budget web series have created a lasting impact with their more relatable narratives and stellar performances by the newbies. Web series have begun a new revolution in the entertainment industry by providing variety to the audience and is like a fresh breeze of respite from the mythical and saas-bahu sagas.
Top 10 Hindi Web Series: Don't Miss out on These Awesome Shows
With the number of online players touching double-digits, there is a plethora of web series in Hindi available online. But, not all web series provide quality content and it’s advisable to read the ratings and reviews before you jump to binge-watch any one of them. So, we have selected the top 10 Hindi web series from different online platforms which are immensely popular and have got the love of their loyal fans. The best Hindi web series mentioned below are in no particular order and we have selected the series from different genres.
A cute teenage love story which unfolds as a chemical reaction when the class topper Rajat gets attracted to Ishita, the new girl in his tuition centre. In the meanwhile, the bond between Pandey and Anusha, the best friends of Rajat also starts to blossom from friendship to a relationship. The story of the first season evolves with different shades of friendship and love. The 10 episodes take you on a journey down the memory lane in the teenage world where feelings are innocent and topping the exams and winning your crush seems to be the only important thing in life. Season 1 has 10 episodes and was released in 2018, while season 2 was telecasted in 2019 and has a total of 5 episodes. The lead actors are Ritvik Sahore, Tanya Maniktala, Shivam Kakar, and Sunakshi Grover and both the seasons are directed by Apoorv Singh Karki. You can watch Flames on YouTube, TVF Play or MX Player.
Another show by TVF Play, Kota Factory garnered the love of the audience and also received an excellent rating of 9.1/10 on IMDb while 98% of Google users have given a thumbs up to this web series. The series revolves around the life of 16-year-old Vaibhav who lands in the coaching city ‘Kota’, where thousands of students from all over the country stay while preparing for competitive exams. Vaibhav also wants to crack the IIT exams and enrols himself in one of the coaching centres. Released in April 2019, the web series has 5 episodes (all in black and white) and it shows the aspirations, struggles, challenges, and the life of students who stay and study in Kota. You can watch this Hindi web series on TVF Play or YouTube.
Released in April 2020 on Amazon Prime Video, Panchayat is a comedy-drama based in a remote village of Uttar Pradesh. The storyline revolves around Abhishek, an engineer who has to return to his village owing to the lack of better job options and he joins as a secretary in a panchayat office in the village. But soon he realizes that the rough lifestyle of the village and the crazy mannerisms of the villagers is not his cup of tea, so he starts preparing for CAT to get rid of the place as soon as he can. The story takes funny twists and turns between Abhishek and the villagers while touching few important social issues like dowry, class divide, gender equality, population control, and many such aspects. The star cast includes veterans like Raghuvir Yadav and Neena Gupta, among others.
With Radhika Apte in the lead role along with Manav Kaul and Rohit Pathak, Ghoul is a horror web series which is based on the Arab folklore demon called Ghoul. A Netflix India original, Ghoul was initially planned as a horror movie, but Netflix changed it into a 3-part mini-series. The story is based in near future India where a mysterious prisoner is sent to a military detention centre. Nida Rahim (Radhika Apte) is a newly recruited military officer in the same centre, who is very loyal to the authorities. She is given the task to interrogate the terrorist, but things take a weird turn when the prisoner starts to spill beans from the past of his interrogators and exposes a few dirty secrets. Nida, upon discussing with her colleagues, learns that the prisoner is possessed by a demon.
The Family Man
An action-thriller web series that premiered on Amazon Prime in September 2019, The Family Man features Manoj Bajpayee, Gul Panag, Vedant Sinha and Priyamani in lead roles and the story revolves around the life of Srikant Tiwari (Manoj Bajpayee), who is an officer with a fictional department under the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) of India called the Threat Analysis and Surveillance Cell (TASC). Srikant is married to Suchitra Iyer Tiwari (Priyamani) and they have two kids, but his family is unaware of the nature of his job. Srikant is juggling his personal life and job as he is supposed to save the country from terrorists while also fulfilling his duties as a husband and a father. The 10 episodes are packed with drama, emotion, action and the series earned a respectable rating of 8.6 on IMDb. The second season is expected to be released by the end of 2020.
Mirzapur is yet another blockbuster original web series by Amazon Prime Video (season 2 is in the making) with excellent performances by Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, etc. This crime thriller is set in the backdrop of Mirzapur, a small city in Uttar Pradesh famous for its carpet and brassware industry. The series is mainly shot in Mirzapur, while a few scenes were filmed in Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Ghazipur and Varanasi; the story is a cocktail of gangs, drug-lords, guns and lawlessness. The story starts with the accidental killing of a groom during celebratory gun-firing at his own wedding; which starts a tale of power, revenge and the dirty secrets of two families.
A crime thriller directed by Neeraj Pandey and Shivam Nair for Disney+ Hotstar, Special Ops has an impressive star cast which includes Kay Kay Menon, Vinay Pathak, Karan Tacker, Saiyami Kher, Meher Vij, Gautami Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Sharad Kelkar, and many more well-known actors. The series premiered in March 2020 and has 8 episodes. Himmat Singh (Kay Kay Menon) works with RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) and is trying to decode the pattern behind similar terrorist attacks; he seeks help from his 5 agents who are stationed in various parts of the world. The series is intriguing and the plot is inspired by real-life events that India has witnessed in the last 2 decades.
Yet another successful Hindi web series by TVF (The Viral Fever), I'mMature is a 5 episode romantic-comedy-drama directed by Prem Mistry which shows the struggle of a 16-year young teenager who is in a hurry to portray himself as a grown-up adult. The series which premiered on TVF and MX Player in February 2019 shows the many adventures of teenager Dhruv, the protagonist. The web series beautifully depicts the different aspects of the life of a teenager including many firsts like the first experience to impress his crush, the first fight, the first drink, or the first broken heart. The web series has an IMDb rating of 8.8/10.
Created by Dhruv Sehgal in 2016, Little Things is a romantic-comedy which stars Dhruv Sehgal and Mithila Palkar in lead roles. The first season was released on YouTube (also available on MX Player) with 5 episodes, but was such a hit that Netflix purchased the rights for the second season which was streamed on Netflix in 2018. Subsequently, the third season was also premiered on Netflix in 2019. The story is about a couple in their 20s staying in a live-in relationship, the ups and downs of their life, as well as work and relationships. This show won the ‘Best Youth Show’ at MTV - IWMBuzz Digital Awards 2019 and has an IMDb rating of 8.2/10.
Bang Baaja Baaraat
With an impressive cast of Angira Dhar, Ali Fazal, Rajit Kapur, Gajraj Rao, etc., Bang Baaja Baaraat was premiered in 2015 on YouTube. It has 5 episodes which portray the story of a young couple falling in love, getting married and how their families, who are from different backgrounds, try to cope with the shock as they inform their parents just 3 days before their marriage. This Hindi web series has the necessary ingredients for a rom-com and the sweet and simple love story is heart touching along with decent performances by the actors.
All Time Popular Hindi Web Series
Some more Hindi web series which are loved by the audiences are – Made in Heaven (Amazon Prime Video – IMDb rating 8.3/10), Gullak (SonyLIV – IMDb rating 9.1/10), Inside Edge (Amazon Prime Video – IMDb rating 8/10), Sacred Games – Season 1 and 2 (Netflix – IMDb rating 8.7/10), Delhi Crime (Netflix – IMDb rating 8.5/10), Breathe: Into the Shadows (Amazon Prime Video – IMDb rating 7.7/10) and Criminal Justice (Disney+ Hotstar – IMDb rating 8.1/10).
Be Wary of Adult Content in Web Series
There is no centralised review and a rating agency for the content being served via web streaming. Consequently, each web streaming provider is lax in rating the content properly. There is a lot of abusive, vulgar, violent and obscene content in many a web series which may not be suitable for kids and teenagers in your family. It is therefore important that you should be a little wary of the web series with such content, particularly when the whole family is planning a binge-watching weekend together. We hope this BP Guide would have helped you plan your weekend entertainment in advance. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.