Recently one was watching the web series The Broken News, which started streaming on the Zee5 platform from last month (June). One found the series well made and engaging. The performances of Sonali Bendre, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Jaideep Ahlawat in this series, which is all about the politics and machinations that are attendant in high-profile TV news channels, was consistently top-notch. The story, as it unspools, is realistic even while having the elements that make for dramas in these parts. One found it a must-watch.
But when one checked the social media platforms, there was hardly any buzz for such a series. Though the reviews were mostly positive, on social media platforms, which is where a web series draws its cred and clout, the word of mouth records was far and few between. A series like Suzhal – The Vortex got its strength from the glowing praise on social media platforms.
In the event, one got thinking about the web series that were not all that noticed, even though they were well made and interesting.
One has made a list of five web series, all in the genre of suspense and thrillers, that one feels were a bit underrated and deserve watching. Do realize that this is a subjective list, and has been compiled based on what one saw on social media platforms.
The list is Tabbar, Nail Polish, The Raikar Case, Dude, and The Final Calling.
It is an unwritten rule among the makers of web series that Pawan Malhotra has to be cast as a sardar. But you can’t fault them, as Pawan has made the character his own. Tabbar is a good example of that. In this thriller, which is also a moving family story, he plays a protective dad who goes to any length to save his wife and sons. In fact, he goes one step beyond Georgekutty of Drishyam. This web series is also steeped in Punjabi ethos and fervour that is not often seen on our screens.
NAIL POLISH (2021)
This is the most intriguing cat and mouse kind of thriller. The suspense endures till the last — even after you have stopped watching the series. The series deals with sexual crime in a manner that can jolt you — psychologically speaking. Is the mind or the body that commits the crime? It is exactly not a question that courts can grapple with. But it is what it has to contend with in this series which saw remarkable performance from Manav Kaul, Arjun Rampal and Anand Tiwari. The series shows great insight into what makes a twisted mind.
THE RAIKAR CASE (2020)
It is an uncomplicated murder mystery that ticks all the boxes for the genre agreeably. The story revolves around the Raikar family and the series kicks off with the youngest scion of the family is found dead. The initial belief is that it is a suicide. But soon it is established as a murder. But who could have killed him? Well, every surviving member of the large family is. As each episode brings to fore a hidden side to their personalities and their relationship. There is a bit of Agatha Christie-bestseller in the way story unravels. The story is said to be based on true events.
Platform: Voot Select
THE FINAL CALL (2019)
Imagine being on a flight that is piloted by one who is determined to commit suicide. No, wait, he could be on a murder mission. A pilot, who has difficulty living down a problematic past with the Indian Air Force, and a bunch of passengers who all have some intriguing connection, find themselves in the same flight that could turn out to be their last. This understated thriller is inspired from the book, I Will Go with You: The Flight of a Lifetime. The series also raises question on the idea of death and mortality, a tad new for a show of this type.
This is a detective drama that also brings to the fore a rare slice of life humour. The story is about an investigator who is solving his last case, and why it is his last case. Dude is an acronym for Detective Umesh Dhamija, the dad of the protagonist in this series. The plot also runs parallel to both the professional and private life of the investigator. Even as he is a dealing with a complicated case, he has to deal with the mystery of his mother leaving him when he was a kid.