2020 might not have been one of the best years, but it sure produced some impressive web series. The OTT channels turned out to be a blessing for TV and movie buffs despite being quarantined at home during the lockdown. On OTT platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Voot Select, and Disney + Hotstar, several shows have been released that entertain viewers inside the comfort and security of their homes.
1. Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story
Scam 1992 is one of the biggest hits of 2020, adapted from journalist Sucheta Dalal and Debashish Basu’s book The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away. In leadership roles, the series stars Pratik Gandhi, Sharib Hashmi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Hemant Kher, and Nikhil Dwivedi. Scam 1992 tracks the life of Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker who brought the stock market and his disastrous descent to dizzying heights.
Another must-watch for 2020 is Voot Select’s Asur, starring Arshad Warsi and Barun Sobti. When Nikhil Nair (Barun Sobti) returns to the CBI to solve a case involving a deadly murderer, the crime thriller brings us to Varanasi. He reunites with his former mentor, Dhananjay Rajpoot (Arshad Warsi), and the duo try to get hold of the ‘Asur’ lurking in the darkness together.
3. Special Ops
Kay Kay Menon, Karan Tacker, Muzzamil Ibrahim, Meher Vij, Saiyami Kher Divya Dutta, Vinay Pathak, and Sharad Kelkar are part of the Disney+ Hotstar VIP collection. The spy thriller has outstanding performances based on a 19-year-old manhunt suspected of attacking Parliament in 2001. Neeraj Pandey directed the series.
With its believable story telling, Amazon Prime Video’s Panchayat will win your heart. A cherry on the cake was the impressive ensemble cast of Panchayat, including Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, and Raghuvir Yadav. The series traces the journey of Abhishek (Kumar), an engineering graduate who joins as secretary of a panchayat office in a remote village of Uttar Pradesh for lack of a better job choice.
5. Jamtara – Sabka Number Ayega
Netflix’s Jamtara was the first original from India. The series tells a riveting tale of a sleepy Jharkhand district that emerged a few years ago as the biggest den of digital crime. Conducted by Soumendra Padhi, Jamtara, stars Amit Sial, Anshumaan Pushka, Sparsh Shrivastav, Monika Panwar, and Aksha Pardasany. The crime thriller is about how the attention of a lawmaker, law enforcement agency, and media is captured by a lucrative phishing company run by school dropouts.
6. Four More Shots Please! 2
S*x and The City wowed the crowd. The series received a humongous response from viewers and was one of Amazon Prime Video’s most-watched Indian originals. The new season picks up the plot from where the second episode left off. The show stars Sayani Gupta, Kirti Kulhari, Bani J, and Maanvi Gagroo in the lead, produced by Rangita Pritish Nandy and directed by Nupur Asthana.
With the Disney+Hotstar VIP series, Sushmita Sen made a strong digital debut. Aarya, based on the Dutch series Penoza, has an interesting plot that keeps its viewers hooked. The show also stars Chandrachur Singh, Sikander Kher, Ankut Bhatia, Namit Das, and Manish Choudhary, among others, and is directed by Ram Madhvani.
8. Code M
Jennifer Winget turned a fauji for her ALTBalaji and Zee5 multimedia debut. The binge-worthy series revolves around Monica Mehra (Winget), who is summoned to solve what seems like an open and closed case by her mentor. Facts unfold as Monica starts her investigation and the case turns out to be murder rather than an encounter. Also starring in the series are Tanuj Virwani and Rajat Kapoor.
9. Mirzapur 2
Mirzapur 2, one of 2020’s most awaited web shows, has to be on your binge-watch list. Ali Fazal witnessed the sequel to a good Season 1 as Guddu Pandit attempted to take over the throne of Mirzapur from Kaleen Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi) after losing his brother Bablu (Vikrant Massey) and wife Sweetyyyy (Shriya Pilgaonkar).
10. State of Siege: 26/11
Based on the book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11 by Sandeep Unnithan, the series provides a true account of the various events that on November 26, 2008, turned into the prolonged terror siege of Mumbai. The crime thriller sheds light on the less-known truth and the difficulties faced during the rescue mission by NSG commandos. Arjan Bajwa, Arjun Bijlani, Vivek Dahiya, Mukul Dev, and Sid Makkar are the State of Siege stars, led by Matthew Leutwyler.
11. Paatal Lok
Paatal Lok, a gritty crime thriller from Amazon Prime Video, is one of the must-watch web shows in 2020. Directed by Avinash Arun Dhawre and Prosit Roy, the series stars Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Abhishek Banerjee, and Gul Panag in lead roles. All is nicely woven into the series, from the plight of journalism to the country’s politics.
This was released in August and though the second season premiered on MXPlayer in November, Bobby Deol-starrer Aashram Season 1. The series focuses on corruption and violence, which takes place in the guise of faith. Also playing key roles in the show are Aaditi Pohankar, Darshan Kumar, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Adhyayan Suman, Anupriya Goenka, and Tushar Pandey.
13. Abhay Season 2
For Abhay’s second season, Kunal Kemmu returned as Abhay Pratap Singh. The sequel had Ram Kapoor’s power-packed performance as the main villain. In the new season, Kemmu was joined by Asha Negi, Nidhi Singh, Chunky Panday, Bidita Bag, Raghav Juval, Indraneil Sengupta, and Asheema Vardhan. The thriller revolves around Abhay, a sharp police officer who knows the attitude of a suspect.
Mentalhood takes the audience through the topsy-turvy world of mothers and how they navigate their way through unrealistic expectations and eccentricities to raise their children, starring Karisma Kapoor, Sandhya Mridul, Shilpa Shukla, Tillotama Shome, Shruti Seth, Dino Morea, and Sanjay Suri. The series marked the return and streaming debut of Karisma.
15. Never Kiss Your Best Friend
Never Kiss Your Best Friend, an original Zee5, starring Nakuul Mehta and Anya Singh. The plot revolves around two best friends, Tanie and Sumer, who, after five long years, meet and how the laws of friendship are redefined by their heart-warming story. The series is based on Never Kiss Your Best Friend, the best-selling novel by Sumrit Shahi.