2021 has been an adventurous year for streaming platforms. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sony LIV, Disney + Hotstar and many more were the only ones responsible for providing us with entertainment for the second year in a row, and this time too they have done their best to distract us from the horrors of the real world. .
the Hindi series web space saw the creators experimenting with new genres and formats, which gave us a lot of options to choose from. While Sony LIV Tab bar gave us emotional family drama with a curious thriller element, the same platforms Gullak Season 2 raised the bar for slice of life content on the internet.
Manoj Bajpayee’s The Family Man 2 presented a gripping thriller where Samantha Ruth Prabhu captured the screen with its layered performance. Netflix’s Geeli Pucchi had Konkona Sensharma taking control of the screen as a lower caste woman whose desires and ambitions are dismissed due to her place in society.
Here are the 10 best shows and anthologies we’ve seen this year:
1. Tab bar (SonyLIV)
Sony LIV’s Tabbar began as the story of a middle-class family who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, it quickly turned into a heartbreaking story of a family, who will go all the way to protect themselves, despite the dire repercussions. Tabbar has been excellent in times when Omkar (Pavan Malhotra) and Sargun (Supriya Pathak) are faced with the moral conundrum of whether to take Lucky (Paramvir Cheema) to the hospital or let him die. The scenes where Omkar turns to his dark side makes you wonder if he’s already lost everything and if he’s just fighting a losing battle. The show ended on a poignant note and delivered one of the best endings for a Hindi series we’ve seen so far.
2. Gullak 2 (SonyLIV)
A simple bourgeois family lives in any town. Their life is as mundane as any of us, but this banality provides all the comforts of dal-chawal – satisfying, healthy, and simple. Sony LIV Series Gullak returned for a second season earlier this year and delivered some of the healthiest moments we’ve seen on TV last year. Whether it was Mum’s (Geetanjali Kulkarni) anger that caused family members to take note of her deteriorating health or Annu’s (Vaibhav Raj Gupta) frustration at not being as successful as he was. ‘hoped – Gullak felt like this was a cover version of a’ 90s TV show that makes you smile but can make you cry just as easily.
3. The Family Man 2 (Amazon Prime Video)
This show’s “father” has to save the nation, but also care for his family, and this season the two overlap. the Pin up have found great performers in Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Ruth Prabhu and the creators have taken their performance to the next level in this second season. The shooting at the police station, carried out in one fell swoop, was only one of many in the series, but the orchestration of the scene was so precise that you marvel at the preparation the directors put into it. .
4. Geeli Pucchi, Ajeeb Daastaans (Netflix)
This short film from Netflix anthology Ajeeb Daastaans explored how caste is deeply rooted in Indian society and how it trumps everything – love, friendship and even humanity. Delicately handled by director Neeraj Ghaywan, Geeli Pucchi told the story of a woman who starts the race far behind the line and has to step aside at every step just so she can exist. When she finally meets someone who might mean something to her, society reminds her of her place. Konkona Sensharma is the heart and soul of Geeli Pucchi and she particularly excels in the scene where she tells Aditi Rao Hydari’s Priya to have a baby.
5. Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa, Ray (Netflix)
The short was part of Netflix’s Ray and while not all of the shorts in this anthology hit the right chord, Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa with Manoj Bajpayee and Gajraj Rao took you to a surreal world that felt like a ride. The two characters, who are connected via a lucky pocket watch, are aware of their kleptomaniac tendency but the game of stealing and then putting the watch back on, as we witness their lives as an art installation in direct, keeps you going. The nostalgic boutique element that saves everyone’s secrets was icing on the cake here.
6. Mumbai Diaries 11/26 (Amazon Prime Video)
Set during one of the most heartbreaking days the country has seen in the 21st century, Mumbai Newspapers 11/26 there was a binge-watch written all over it, and while it was as mainstream as it gets, the show kept its promise. The series could have done without a few unnecessary stories, but it has created an exciting thriller that mixes fact and fiction in a way that certainly should be explored further in the Hindi content space. Mohit Raina was in great shape here, and was ably supported by some of the cast members, especially the cops.
7. Aspirants (YouTube)
The TVF show started off with a bang and rolled out weekly episodes on YouTube and before anyone knew it every episode of Aspirants raised the bar for emotionally satisfying content available on the internet. Aspirants spoke to a generation of students who sincerely believe that hard work is the path to success and who are willing to sacrifice their youth for a bright future. The show stood out amid content that repeatedly told young people to follow their unconventional dreams, rather than choose a traditional career path, and surprisingly, it spoke to large audiences. The series got a little too lenient at times and strayed from the main story towards the end, but it still made an impact.
8. Spotlight, Ray (Netflix)
Ray had another really awesome short film and that was Vasan Bala’s Spotlight. The story of a narcissistic movie star who fights a losing battle against a woman-god was as surreal as it gets. The short took on the theme of fandom, and how that translates differently to a movie star as opposed to a woman-god. Radhika Madan was the star of the show here which demands the attention of the audience while she is on screen. Her aura enchants you and you can believe why Vik of Harshvardhan Kapoor is mesmerized by her.
9. Grahan (Disney + Hotstar)
Disney + Hotstar Grahan was an admirable attempt to present a love story amid the 1984 riots in Bokaro. Grahan’s execution of a Forbidden Love Story was top notch, and it should be noted that much of it was achieved thanks to the right casting. The show’s current timeline, which unfolded like an investigation, recalled the horror of the riots as they painfully presented the stories of those who lost everything. The political angle of the story needed more weight because it offered nothing that was not clear from the start. Grahan was a thoughtful tale that had several heartbreaking moments, but the preaching that picked up the tale in the last two episodes has lost its weight.
10. Kota Factory 2 (Netflix)
Kota factory was one of the most popular shows of the year when it was first released, so there was a lot of anticipation for the second season. While the show had a little more than it could chew on, it was nonetheless an admirable attempt to try and tell a story of Indian teens who didn’t exploit their weaknesses. Of course, Kota Factory could have explored systemic issues even more, but the series never wanted to be the one that created a revolution, rather it was the one that tells the story of all who want to follow the herd.