YouTube has opened up so many opportunities for independent filmmakers and I love the number of Indian short films and series that have sprung up in recent times. These have a sense of artistic freedom that makes them edgier, unique and much more fun than mainstream TV. This is a list of my Top 3 Indian series on YouTube.
These are in English and some have a bit of Hindi in them. While I have seen a lot of short films from the South (will do a post on short films too), I haven’t seen series in any of the South Indian languages. I would love some suggestions if you know any.
All the series on this list have a complete season so they make for great binge watching.
I originally did these in order of preference but despite sitting on it for two days, couldn’t decide the order! 🙂 So here are my favourite Indian web series in no particular order :
This is definitely the show with the best production value of the three.
Tripling on the TVF channel follows three dissimilar siblings played by Sumeet Vyas, Amol Parashar and Maanvi Gagroo who appear to be named after an old Mukesh song – Chandan, Chanchal and Chitvan. They set off on an unplanned road trip in which they improve their relationships and help each other with some soul-searching.
The series is funny, refreshing and heartwarming – it’s the complete package. I personally love any kind of travel/road trip films but this one also has good acting, cinematography and direction so I really have no complaints.
Written by Sumeet Vyas and Akarsh Khurana, the series is better than most of the Bollywood films and definitely better than 99% of Indian TV shows. Indian TV is primarily driven by soaps and reality shows so it is rare to see something different. Tripling is the kind of show that gives me hope that there is change coming for Indian television audiences.
Better Life Foundation
This mockumentary is visually the least impressive but what it lacks in that department it more than makes up for in the writing and humour. Produced by Bangalore-based (yes that makes me happy) Them Boxer Shorts, this show is set in an NGO and is similar to the English sitcom, the Office.
Better Life Foundation is well-written and has a cast of comic actors so it is hilarious. With Sumukhi Suresh (I am such a huge fan), Kanan Gill (who doesn’t love Kanan Gill?), Naveen Richard (who created the show) and Utsav Chakraborty, this talented cast carries this show wonderfully.
The show brings humour with a dash of eccentricity into a mundane set-up and with such flair that you cannot help but laugh at every single scene. The episode where Jerry Pinto (Utsav Chakraborty) tries to conduct a sting operation when he and Sumukhi visit a government office, is the best example of the deadpan-ish humour with a twist of strange that this show does so well.
There is a lot of good stand-up comedy and short comedy videos these days, especially since AIB (who released this show) has gained popularity. But Better Life Foundation is India’s answer to an intelligent and funny fictional show such as the Office and Parks and Recreation. Despite being riddled with stereotypes and some over-the-top bits, it brings a kind of dry humour into Indian scenarios which is something we haven’t seen done this well before.
Better Life Foundation is brilliant, binge-watch it today for a good laugh. I really hope they are thinking of a second season.
Alisha which airs on the BLUSH channel is a series about a fashion detective. Those two words got me curious enough to watch the first episode and after that I couldn’t help watching the whole series. Lianne Texeira, who plays the titular character is also the creator of the series. There is a lot of girl power on this set, the series is directed by Akanksha Seda (yay for more female directors).
The series knows that is not a serious mystery show and in this self-awareness manages to come up with something quite unique and entertaining. The series is led by Alisha and her Watson, Tammy (Sara Hashmi) who delve into the dark underbelly of Mumbai’s fashion world. Alisha is sassy, sexy, witty, brave and can spot a real Gucci and identify the killer’s lipstick shade with her incredible powers of observation.
I love how the stories incorporate her knowledge of fashion with her powers of deduction. Each episode has a different treatment keeping it fresh and making each episode seem completely new. If you love reading Agatha Christie and Vogue, then this series is for you!
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Did you love these shows as well? Tell me if you have a favourite series that I missed out, share in the comments below!