Consumption of video on handheld devices – smartphones – has increased tremendously in the last few years. Web series is a brand new idea of exhibiting artiste’s creativity. As there is no censor board-like institution to monitor these web series, the makers of these series have more freedom than making feature films.
In the recent past, we have seen more and more bold subjects coming through these web series. ALT Balaji, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Ullu, Viu are a few names which have produced some very hard hitting web originals. This new trend of web series started in our country only three-four years back.
Here are some web series which I have watched recently. Almost all of them deal with bold subjects to a certain extent:
Amazon’s Inside Edge, which started streaming in 2017, is about a story of T20 cricket league. It showcased a story of deceive, love, money, drugs, rave parties and sex. The series was produced by Ritesh Sidwani and Farhan Akhtar for Excel Entertainment and was directed by Karan Ansuman. The story revolves around a T20 cricket team going through tough times during match fixing. The main protagonist is the owner of this team played by Richa Chaddha. Angad Bedi has played the role of team captain, Sanjay Suri as team coach and Vivek Oberoi is in a negative character as a co-owner of the team. It has showed the black side of cricket, politics and power.
Recently streamed Amazon’s Four More Shots Please, produced by Pritish Nandy Communication, is a story about four different women who became friends in a bar and the ups and downs in their respective lives. Sayani Gupta played the role of a successful journalist; Kirti Kulhari played the role of a single mother and an advocate by profession. Bani J played the role of an ambitious small-town girl migrated to Mumbai and fourth character of a rich girl played by Maanvi Gagroo. All these four women are unapologetic in nature; they have experimented in their respective lives. Milind Soman, Prateik Babbar, Lisa Ray and Neil Bhooplam have also played some pivotal roles. The most important issue of this web original is that they frankly show different sexual orientations of some characters – sex is no longer a taboo for Indian audience now.
The most talked about web series is Gandi Baat by ALT Balaji which came in 2018. The season two of Gandi Baat has also streamed after sometime. The main theme of this series is about secret fantasies and lust stories of rural India. The first episode has showed how a married woman has to be involved in extra marital affair; the next one has shown the secret fantasies of an older man. The third and fourth episode has talked about woman’s unfulfilled desires and their power over man. The second season is more women-centric. It has shown secret sexual orientation of rural Indian women, their lust and struggle for liberty.
ALT Balaji’s another controversial web series which has streamed last year was XXX. It focussed on different aspects of sexual desires and lust.
The recently streamed Amazon Prime Video’s Made in Heaven is all about the lives of two wedding planners Tara and Karan played by Sobhita Dhulipala and Arjun Mathur and their journey in the process of arranging big fat Indian weddings. In this journey they come across different dark shades of these so-called high class families and their different lies, their greed for dowry etc. In the very first episode the duo was forced to investigate the past life of would-be bride, even they have to find clue about her virginity.
Apart from these series, Netflix’s Sacred Games has gone one-step further where you will find very strong and abusive language and frontal nudity.
The new generation is much more interested in this web series as these can be viewed any time and with ease and convenience. It can be played in bigger screens with the help of Amazon Fire Stick or can be viewed in Smart TVs. The taste of new viewers has also changed, they are no longer interested in old-age rom-coms, family drama or typical Bollywood flicks rather they are interested in bold subjects.