With the OTT space giving its audience an access to content from all around the world, viewers know how to pick the grain from chaff. The OTT world and the competition on it has encouraged writers, actors and directors to push the envelope and put only their best foot forward. While many failed to achieve what they dreamed of, some of the series stood out and received immense love from the audience. Now that we are six months into 2022, here’s the list of the best we had so far.
This SonyLIV series proves that science is not boring and doesn’t necessarily has to be serious. The Nikkhil Advani project is based on the lives of Homi J Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, excellently performed by Jim Sarbh and Ishwak Singh of Pataal Lok fame, respectively. It is dramatic, stays true to the timeline and the culture Bhabha and Sarabhai belonged to. Talking about the series, Nikkhil Advani told indianexpress.com, “Dr Bhabha was the father of atomic energy and Dr Sarabhai Baba was the father of space research, but their lives were much more than just that. So, when you’d watch Rocket Boys, you will experience the period of 1942-1962 in a wholesome manner. It’s not just about science, It’s about the people of that period, the culture, the art and what these two men did to influence it.”
2022 was also an year where if crime/thrillers were working, drama and romance were also being hailed equally. The makers of Panchayat 2 had the pressure to perform better than its last season, which was critically acclaimed. But the second season managed to surprise us, and in the good way. Starring Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta and Raghubir Yadav in the lead role, Panchayat 2 stuck to its rootedness and simplicity while serving a compelling storyline. This season was yet another proof of how simple yet strong script supported by good performers can take a series/film to another level. In an interview with indianexpress.com, Panchayat 2 director Deepak Kumar Mishra revealed the secret behind the series’ success. “It’s the simplicity. Every other show on the web is talking about violence in the hinterland. With Panchayat, people saw themselves as the characters. I think it’s the relatability and simplicity that did the trick,” he said.
The world of OTT proved that only a star or a big name cannot run the show, and Gullak 3, which is currently streaming on SonyLIV, is a perfect example. Starring Jameel Khan as Santosh Mishra, Geetanjali Kulkarni as Shanti Mishra, Vaibhav Raj Gupta as Annu Mishra and Harsh Mayar as Aman Mishra, the series is a sneak-peek into every middle-class family that learns to live and find happiness in small things. What makes Gullak 3 appealing is the fact that it hosts more than one relatable characters and dreams that leave you grinning and sometimes, teary-eyed. The credit for this heart-warming series goes to the writer Durgesh Singh and the actors.
Crime thrillers are not new for the OTT world but what makes Mai different is the gaze. Mai is told from actor Sakshi Tanwar’s point of view. She plays a mother in the series. In Hindi film industry, there is nothing a mother cannot do, and Sakshi’s role does just that. She is a grieving mother, who is finding answers to why her daughter was killed. The series shows an imperfect, needy side to a mother, which is excellently performed by Sakshi. She’s the hero, she’s the storyteller. Mai opened to rave reviews. “Mai pulls off a tough feat: it coaxes you to suspend tons of disbelief because you have been drawn into its world, and have become invested in its characters. Every time you go, how is that even possible (and this happens over and over again), you are yanked back into the narrative, which relishes its every gritty, grimy, ultra-violent beat,” The Indian Express’ critic Shubhra Gupta mentioned in the review.
Modern Love Mumbai
Love knows no gender. It doesn’t look at sex, age, caste or anything else. Modern Love Mumbai states just that via different stories based in the city of dreams, Mumbai. Be it finding the power of self-love and independency in Raat Rani or proving that love or attraction has no age bar in I Love Thane and My Beautiful Wrinkles, Modern Love Mumbai makes your heart feel full. However, some of the tales lack perfection. For instance, the intimacy scene between Pratik Gandhi and Ranveer Brar could have been better. But overall, it’s one of the must watch of this year.
The Disney+Hotstar series, starring Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari, shows the dark side of the noble profession. The series revolves around the concept of drug trials on humans, and how it can ruin lives. From the script to performances by Shefali and Kirti, everything about this series stands-out. Vishal Jethwa and Riddhi Kumar are one to look out for.
While we have already mentioned the best of the year so far but here’s a shout to some of the series in this ‘special mention’ segment:
If you liked Gullak 3 and if you are a pet lover, Pet Puraan is a series for you. The series stars Lalit Prabhakar and Sai Tamhankar as a married couple who are dealing with the pressure to have a baby as they have complete five years of marriage. However, they are not prepared to be parents, and decide to get a pet to ease themselves into that world of responsibility. But the catch is, Lalit’s character Atul wants a dog and Sai’s Aditi wants a cat. And accidently, they end up owning both. The series tackles their journey and struggles. It is one of the cutest series that promotes the message of co-existence, and we recommend you give this one a try.
Like Gullak, Home Shanti also revolves around a middle-class family of four. But in this one, Supriya Pathak and Manoj Pahwa’s characters, who play a middle-class couple, take us on a ride full of challenges and emotions as they build their dream house. Manoj Pahwa’s comic timing and Supriya’s perfect mother-like avatar makes this series a winner. It’s streaming on Disney+Hotstar.
The Fame Game
Madhuri Dixit’s web debut The Fame Game presents the Dhak Dhak girl in a role familiar to her but different for her fans. It takes us inside the life of a superstar. In this one, you should definitely watch out for Madhuri’s chemistry with Manav Kaul.