The 10 web series defining viewing trends in 2017

Web series as a concept was embraced by the West in the early to mid-2000, however it hit Indian shores not so long ago. The fever here was created by Arunabh Kumar’s brainchild, ‘TVF Pitchers’, which was among the first Indian web series. Hitting the computer screens in 2015, Kumar’s ‘Pitchers’ found its place ahead of popular American shows like ‘Suits’, ‘Downton Abbey’ and many others in the IMDB’s list of most coveted shows. Kumar took to YouTube to create original content after his ideas were rejected by mainstream TV channels, including MTV. 

With digital showing a steeper growth curve in India, content makers are betting big on the platform and tailoring concepts for the millennial population – who to get rid of the ‘naagins’ and ‘makhis’ of  daily soaps on TV, scoured the internet for a ‘change’. Gone are the days when MTV ‘Roadies’ and Channel [v]’s ‘Dil Dosti Dance’ used to be young India’s TV fad. Now, with the advent of OTT (Over The Top) and on-demand video trend, web series are not only grabbing viewers’ eyeballs, but also of various brands and advertisers to reach out to a right set of audiences. 

Adgully lists 10 web series that are not to be missed in 2017 – some are already breaking the internet by getting viewers’ glued to the digital screens – all thanks to the intelligent storytelling and scripting. 

TVF Pitchers Season 2

 According to the makers, Season 2 of the much awaited ‘Pitchers’ from TVF’s stable is expected to go on the floors in the second half of 2017. ‘Pitchers 2’ will continue the story of four underdogs (Naveen, Yogi, Jitu and Mandal), who are trying to chase the Great Indian Dream of starting their own business, amidst currency ban, cut-throat competition and uncertain global economy, which will be the backdrop along with human relationships. 

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Romil & Jugal

 Daily soap queen Ekta Kapoor recently forayed into the digital world with ‘ALTBalaji’, a video-on-demand platform, which has been creating buzz on social media through its thought provoking concepts in the form of web series. One such notable series is ‘Romil and Jugal’, which is a modern-day take on the story of Shakespeare’s two star-crossed lovers, ‘Romeo and Juliet’. But with the twist, with a gay couple under the spotlight. Launched in April this year, the series had three episodes in its first season. 

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 Yet another offering from ALTBalaji is ‘CyberSquad’, which will revolve around a set of teenagers. The series will be have episodic crime-related stories happening in the backdrop of a school, and how a set of ‘hackers’ will identify the root cause of the problems and will derive solutions to the crime. The web series is expected to go live soon. 

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 Bollywood bigwigs Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani have come together for the web series – ‘Inside Edge’, which explores the dark side of India’s favourite sport, ‘cricket’. Greed, corruption, politics, and money play a vital role in telling this tale. The show stars the likes of Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chaddha, Sanjay Suri, Sayoni Gupta, and Angad Bedi, among others. India’s first Amazon Original web series, ‘Inside Edge’ is the story of the Mumbai Mavericks, a T20 cricket franchise playing in the Powerplay League. Set in a landscape of conflicting interest, here sex, money, and power are mere means to an end.  

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Darr 2.0

 After creating waves with ‘Bang Baaja Baaraat’ and ‘Man’s World’, Y-Films came up with a cult thriller, ‘Darr’, some time back, which revolved around cyber stalking and digital crimes. The makers have already released a teaser promo for a reboot of the series, titled ‘Darr 2.0’, in a contemporary avatar as a five part mini-series. ‘Darr 2.0’ will feature the characters of Rahul, Kiran and Sunil from the original ‘Darr’ series, but in an entirely new milieu, woven in a modern, original tale of obsession and fear in the age of cyber stalking and digital crimes. The series holds a mirror to the perilous environment of online privacy invasion and social media harassment that can take a dangerous and disturbing turn, if unchecked. The web series is expected to hit the digital screens by the end of 2017. 

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Yo Ke Hua Bro

 A Voot Original, ‘Yo Ke Hua Bro’ released exclusively on the OTT platform on August 18 and stars Shamita Shetty, Aparshakti Khuranna, Gaurav Pande and Ridhima Pandit. After the success of its recent Voot Originals like ‘It’s Not That Simple’, ‘Untag’ and others, Viacom18’s OTT platform is back with this 6-episodic drama which revolves around 2 desi dost, 2 divas and an epic ‘kaand’. Millennials are here to get glued to their computer screens soon. 

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Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai Take 2

 Ye Nahi Dekha Toh Kya Dekha’ – the makers of popular urban sitcom ‘Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai’ returned with a Take 2 after a hiatus of 11 long years; not on TV, but in the form of a web series on Hotstar. Though the series has ended after 10 episodes, you can still watch it on the OTT platforms. While most of the cast from the original show have been retained, there are few new characters, like Jasmine Mawani, who you shouldn’t miss. 

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 Fat, Dark, Ugly, Short, B*#%h, Psycho, Gay and more – the list of tags that we associate people with is endless! Our first impression of people often associates them with tags! ‘Untag’, a web series by Voot, delves into the lives of regular people with seemingly harmless tags… Their dreams, their inhibitions and most importantly, their struggles. It gives the audience a fresh and light perspective of 6 characters, each dealing with their imposed tags, trying to become much more than what the world has labelled them as. ‘Untag’ celebrates friendship, relationships, love and the uniqueness of each of these journeys. 

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Married Woman Diaries

 An original web series by SonyLiv, ‘Married Woman Diaries’ is a humourous take on the lives of an urban couple – Shweta, a stand-up comedian, and her husband Rishi, who is a senior marketing manager in an ad agency. Told from the wife’s perspective, the 10-episode series released in early January this year and has been a hit among the millennial crowd, with every episode showcasing the differences and issues dealt by the couple on a daily basis. 

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Dev DD

 Produced by ALTBalaji, ‘Dev DD’ is the story of Devika, a modern day open minded girl – rather a female Devdas – hailing from Rajasthan. Devika smokes, drinks and does not want to get married to her boyfriend because of his mother as she wouldn’t let her work after marriage. She is, by Indian societal standards, a twisted psycho who believes in gender equality. 

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