The year 2022 was full of exciting web shows that kept all of us hooked to various streaming platforms. OTT web series have become a staple diet of Indian audiences now that they can watch it not only with the luxury of watching it anywhere and anytime but also can binge-watch the entire show at one go, without waiting for weekly episodes. Amazon Prime Video, Disney+Hotstar, Netflix, Zee5, Alt Balaji, SonyLIV, MXPlayer provided wholesome entertainment for all with their shows that catered to all genres – thrillers, political dramas, rom-com, and family dramas.
Here are a few of the best shows that streamed on OTT in 2022:
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Duranga – Zee5
It is a rare feat that a remake can be as good as the original. However, Zee5’s Duranga managed to nail it with panache. Headlined by Gulshan Devaiah (in a career best role) and Dhrasti Dhami the series was the official adaptation of Korean show Flower of Evil. Staying true to the meaning of the word ‘Duranga’ that means of two colours, the show presents to us two diverse and contrasting sides of human nature as showcased by our protagonist Gulshan. Gulshan plays Sammit Patel/Abhishek Bala Banne, a loving husband and a doting father but who has a sordid past thanks to his father Bala Banne who was a serial killer. Sammit’s wife Ira (played by Drashti) is a police officer investigating a murder whose modus operandi is similar to Bala Banne. Sammit goes to extreme lengths to conceal his past with a new identity but when the murder investigation comes too close to home will the past revelations destroy the perfect family life of Ira and Sammit? The Indian adaptation co-directed by Pradeep Sarkar and Aijaz Khan presents a great cat-and-mouse story with ample amount of twists and turns that keep you hooked till the very last episode. Every episode ends on a cliffhanger which makes it difficult to not binge watch the series. It is a great thing that a second season is already in the works and Duranga not only works for its taut storyline but the impeccable performance put in both by Gulshan and Drashti. The action packed thriller thankfully does not get lost in its complicated plot but offers a captivating and compelling buildup that keeps you guessing till the very end.
Modern Love Mumbai
In a world torn by strife, war, hatred, jealousy and corruption, love is the only emotion that makes life worth living and it is a huge deal to find someone to love and be loved in return. Prime Video’s anthology Modern Love Mumbai, the first of the three localized Indian versions of the widely acclaimed international series Modern Love features six heartwarming stories about discovering and exploring love in all its varied shades and emotions. Starring a stellar ensemble cast that includes Arshad Warsi, Chitrangda Singh, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Bhupendra Jadawat, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Tanuja, Pratik Gandhi, Ranveer Brar, Manasi Joshi Roy, Talat Aziz, Yeo Yann Yann, Meiyang Chang, Wamiqa Gabbi, Naseeruddin Shah, Sarika, Danesh Rizvi, Ahsaas Channa, Tanvi Azmi, Masaba Gupta, Ritwik Bhowmik, Prateik Babbar, Aadar Malik and Dolly Singh, Modern Love Mumbai has been superbly adapted to resonate with the city, its people, their aspirations and their lives. The six tales depicting various shades of love have been directed by Shonali Bose, Hansal Mehta, Vishal Bhardwaj, Alankrita Shrivastava, Dhruv Sehgal and Nupur Asthana takes us on a roller-coaster ride of emotions inspired by the famous New York Times column but rooted in the heart of the city of Mumbai. The series works for its simple yet beautiful love stories and some really impeccable performances. Masaba Gupta, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Pratik Gandhi, Ritwik Bhowmik, Tanuja and Yeo Yann Yann really shine in their particular shots.
Tripling Season 3
Sumeet Vyas, Maanvi Gagroo and Amol Parashar return with the third season of their hit Zee5 show Tripling. With crackling chemistry and power-packed performances by the leads along with Kumud Mishra, Shernaz Patel and Kunal Roy Kapur, the light-hearted family drama has made everyone roll on the floor with laughter. Tripling 3 has been directed by Neeraj Udhwani and the story is by Arunabh Kumar and Sumeet Vyas.
Gullak Season 3
SonyLIV’s Gullak Season 3 brought the Mishra family back on the screen with new chapters added on to their middle class lives. Starring Jameel Khan, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Vaibhav Raj Gupta, Harsh Mayar, and Sunita Rajwar amongst others the third season of the hugely popular series brought to light the everyday experiences of a small town middle-class Indian household, documented beautifully through interesting anecdotes mirroring daily life. Despite their endless bickering what ties them together is their undying love and support for each other, which come through in the most unexpected ways.
Rocket Boys chronicles the scientific achievements of India’s pioneering scientists Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai. Headlined by Jim Sarbh and Ishwak Singh, the SonyLIV series follows the two as they embark on getting a newly independent India on the world map and cater to the energy requirements of the country. Homi Bhabha, known as the Father of the Indian Nuclear program and Sarabhai as the Father of the Indian Space Program, the two men changed the course of the country with their scientific revolutions. The series is not only worth watching to understand the scientific breakthroughs that the two scientists made but also boasts of superlative acting by the cast and crew as well as impeccable direction by Abhay Pannu.
Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari’s Disney+Hotstar drama Human explores the dark underbelly of medical scams and human drug trials. The show is an eye-opener on how the nexus of pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors work in performing illegitimate and often risky drug trials on people for profit and money.
The Great Indian Murder
The Great Indian Murder was yet another crime thriller that came on the digital platform this year. However, the series hit the bull’s eye with the performance of its stellar star cast and gripping storyline that keeps the suspense intact right till the end. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, The Great Indian Murder starred Pratik Gandhi, Richa Chadha, Ashutosh Rana, Paoli Dam, Shashank Arora, Vineet Kumar, Raghubir Yadav, Sharib Hashmi, Jatin Goswami, Parineeti Seth, Kenneth Desai, Rucha Indamdar, Amey Wagh, Rushad Rana, Mani PR and is streaming on Disney+Hotstar.
The daily struggles of Abhishek (Jitendra Kumar), an engineer who ends up working for a panchayat office in a remote village of UP continues in the second season of this slice-of-life comedy web series. The series also stars Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Faisal Malik and gives a real vibe of the village life while focusing on the real life issues faced by people in rural India. Streaming on Prime Video, the series brings emotions and humour with aplomb.
Delhi Crime 2
Shefali Shah reprises her role as Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vartika Chaturvedi in this Netflix crime drama. This time around, DCP Vartika and her team's fight is against a serial killer gang that violently murders and robs affluent elderly citizens in South Delhi. Inspired by the crimes conducted by the kaccha-baniyan gang, Delhi Crime 2 is a sharp, gritty and incredibly dark depiction of society. The series also stars Rajesh Tailang, Rasika Dugal and Tillotama Shome.
Huma Qureshi and Sohum Shah return with the second season of their political drama Maharani. An enthralling series it is more powerful and staggering than the first part but becomes a winner due to the star cast’s commendable performance. Besides Huma and Sohum, Amit Sial packs a punch in Maharani 2.
Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives
Netflix’s Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives returned with a second season this year. The Bollywood wives – Seema Sajdeh, Bhavana Panday, Neelam Kothari and Maheep Kapoor return with the reality show which is full of celebrity gossip and fun which might seem a bit cringe-worthy at times. Targeted heavily towards ardent Bollywood fans the show might fail to connect with others but still remains one of the most watched shows on OTT.
The Fame Game
Madhuri Dixit impressed with her web series debut with The Fame Game. The highly anticipated series bowed down on Netflix and subsequently became one of the most watched shows on the streamer. The show explores the dark side of Bollywood with Madhuri playing a superstar who goes missing. With her sudden disappearance several skeletons start tumbling out of the closet that threatens to expose not only the film industry but also her personal family life. The Fame Game also stars Sanjay Kapoor, Manav Kaul, Muskkaan Jaferi, Lakshvir Saran and Gagan Arora and is directed by Bejoy Nambiar and Karishma Koli.
Varun Mitra and Shriya Pilgaonkar star in Guilty Minds, a courtroom drama that brings several gripping cases to fore. The cases are so hard-fought and so intelligently presented that it is difficult to pick sides. Even though a courtroom drama, Guilty Minds does not have a very political outlook which makes the series entertaining to watch. The romantic tension between the two warring lawyers played by Varun and Shriya gives an edgy romantic side to the series which appealed to fans. The series can be watched on Prime Video.
Mukhbir The Story of a Spy
Mukhbir The Story of a Spy stars Zain Khan Durrani, Zoya Afroz, Prakash Raj, Adil Hussain, Barkha Sengupta, Zoya Afroz, Harsh Chhaya, Satyadeep Mishra, Karan Oberoi and others and tells the story of one agent who was instrumental during the 1965 Indo-Pak war and made his exemplary contribution without fighting the war. Mukhbir’s strength lies in its screenplay with the story being the main hero. The Zee5 show is worth a watch.