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Netflix’s Delhi Crime, which chronicles the horrific Nirbhaya case of 2012, recently and very deservedly won the International Emmy for the Best Drama Series. Directed by Richie Mehta, it was released in 2019 and has the splendid Shefali Shah as its protagonist.


Netflix

While the show deserves all the accolades it has received, there are several South Asian web series that are just as good, if not better. Here are just some of the many impressive titles:

1.

Mirzapur


Prime Video

Deeply entrenched in blood, guns, drugs, deceit, and power politics, Mirzapur documents the life of Akhandanand Tripathi, or Kaleen Bhaiya, who will stop at nothing to hold on to his position as the mafia lord of Mirzapur, despite the recklessness of his unworthy son, Munna.

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video

2.

Sacred Games


Netflix

Based on the eponymous novel by Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games is essentially a puzzle created by crime boss Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) that the troubled police officer Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) is desperately trying to solve in order to save the city of Mumbai from an impending disaster.

Where do I watch it?: Netflix

3.

Criminal Justice


Disney+ Hotstar

What if you woke up after a one-night stand to find blood on your hands and absolutely no memory of the previous night? Shridhar Raghavan’s adaptation called Criminal Justice, starring Vikrant Massey and Pankaj Tripathi, explores just that. It is based on a British television series of the same name which was created by Peter Moffat. HBO’s The Night Of is yet another adaptation.

Where do I watch it?: Disney+ Hotstar

4.

Made In Heaven


Prime Video

Made In Heaven follows the many adventures of Delhi-based wedding planners and best friends, Tara and Karan. It helps the audience delve into the lives of the rich and fabulous while also offering an insight into just how regressive our society still is.

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video

5.

Paatal Lok


Prime Video

An incredulous Delhi Police officer Hathi Ram Chaudhary’s life changes when he is tasked with investigating a high-profile case — an assassination attempt on journalist Sanjeev Mehra — and is dragged into the murky underbelly of India’s heartland.

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video.

6.

Leila


Netflix

Based on Prayaag Akbar’s novel of the same name, Leila is set in a dystopian future, not very different from the one in which we are currently living, and follows the trials and tribulations of Shalini, who is in search of her missing daughter in an authoritarian world called Aryavarta.

Where do I watch it?: Netflix.

7.

The Family Man


Prime Video

Created by Raj & D.K., the incredibly fast-paced The Family Man is centred around Srikant Tiwari, an analyst at the “Threat Analysis and Surveillance Cell”, who fights terrorists while also desperately trying to be a good father and husband. Both Manoj Bajpayee and Priyamani are brilliant in their respective roles.

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video

8.

Special Ops


Disney+ Hotstar

A Hotstar special created by Neeraj Pandey, Special Ops is the story of RAW Agent Himmat Singh, played by the fantastic Kay Kay Menon, who is an expert at identifying similar patterns behind terrorist attacks, such as the 2001 Parliament Attack, and is on the hunt for the mastermind.

Where do I watch it?: Disney+ Hotstar

9.

Aarya


Disney+ Hotstar

To a layperson, Aarya Sareen lives the ideal life with her perfect family. The reality, however, is a case of “all that glitters is not gold”. With Sushmita Sen in the titular role, Aarya is a thriller replete with plot-twists and back-stabbing relatives. It will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat.

Where do I watch it?: Disney+ Hotstar

10.

Churails


Zindagi / ZEE5

A fabulously feminist web series from Pakistan, Churails follows the lives of four women who get together to form a detective agency that exposes the many rich and unfaithful husbands of Karachi. Every single performance is rock solid and so is the title track.

Where do I watch it?: ZEE5

11.

Scam 1992 — The Harshad Mehta Story


SonyLIV

Scam 1992 is the story of stockbroker Harshad Mehta, the “Amitabh Bachchan of BSE”, and the person behind the biggest financial scam to have come out of India. It is directed by the celebrated Hansal Mehta and has the dazzling Pratik Gandhi playing its titular character.

Where do I watch it?: SonyLIV

12.

Laakhon Mein Ek


Prime Video

The brainchild of Biswa Kalyan Rath, Laakhon Mein Ek traces the toxic and often unrewarding worlds of coaching institutes and medical camps through its protagonists — efficiently played by Ritwik Sahore and Shweta Tripathi.

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video

13.

Kota Factory


The Viral Fever

A TVF production and the first ‘black and white’ Indian web series, Kota Factory is very similar to Laakhon Mein Ek in the sense that it also deals with the lives of IIT aspirants. However it also throws light upon the city of Kota, famed for its coaching centres, and how it treats its nouveau, starry-eyed residents like machines.

Where do I watch it?: TVFPLAY

14.

Panchayat


Prime Video

Panchayat is a truly heart-warming show that revolves around the life of Abhishek Tripathi, a recent engineering graduate, who moves to the tiny village of Phulera as a Panchayat secretary and adapts to the place and its rather simple people. The cast is stellar with names like Neena Gupta, Raghuvir Yadav, and Jitendra Kumar. Watch out for Chandan Roy, who plays the adorable Vikas.

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video

15.

Bandish Bandits


Prime Video

A love story at its heart, Bandish Bandits is also the story of opposites — Radhe, a student of classical music and Tamanna, a pop star — as they traverse through a musical journey. Ritwik Bhowmik is a treat to watch!

Where do I watch it?: Prime Video

16.

Bad Boy Billionaires: India


Netflix

In just three episodes (the fourth is unreleased because of legal reasons), Bad Boy Billionaires spills all the tea on disgraced business tycoons Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Subrata Roy, and their many antics that earned them the moniker ‘bad boys’.

Where do I watch it?: Netflix





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