Well, we still think TV shows are mind-numbing without any substance. It is filled with long and dreary narratives and topped with over-acting. However, when the OTT and digital space started to bloom, all hope was restored. It produced content that was fresh and had substance. We hoped it would be devoid of stereotypical tropes which we have grown up watching. At least it did for a short period of time.
The space of web shows is now saturated and produces well-marketed content that lacks depth and is hollowed from the inside. Some of the web shows had a good cast, which prompted us to watch them, but in reality, they had a poor script and no relatability factor. Some of them lost their charm as they churned out their sequels.
All that glitter is not gold, and this is what these shows are- overhyped, well-marketed, and overrated.
Without further ado, let us look at the ‘famous five’ of Indian Web Shows that are overrated:
Tha Amazon Prime Original series, Mirzapur tops the list. The web series produced by Excel Entertainment and created by Puneet Krishna seems to be an extension of the Gangs of Wasseypur universe. The stereotypical trope of using family feuds, retribution, and gang wars, all taking place in the under-developed region of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, now seems more of fatigue than intrigue.
The tropes used in the show, portray a very unreal image of people living in such regions.
Now coming to the story, Mirzapur seems to be quite a successful Indianized version of the Game of Thrones series written from a male gaze. One can easily draw parallels with the characters and scenarios. Both the series have their version of the episode’ Red Wedding.’ This makes the show even more predictable, with the only saving grace being the development of the characters and the actors’ performance.
2) Four More Shots Please
When the series ‘Sex and The City’ was released, it gave a nuanced narrative of how women pursue desires and navigate their love lives.
The Amazon Prime Original Series, ‘Four More Shot,’ gives a messy and overhyped version to recreate the SATC universe in the South Bombay scenario.
The show’s content is marketed as a refreshing feminist narrative, but it lacks relatability for most women in India.
It portrays empowerment, navigating relationships, workplace politics, body issues; you name it, and the series has it. The queer relationship trope between a gym instructor and a fading Bollywood actress is a token in the narrative without any concrete substance.
With trying to cook something fresh, director Nupur Asthana simply portrays the four women making disastrous relationship choices with first-world privilege problems that only affect a few and, to be honest, are solvable.
The only white noise in this overhyped and overrated feminist web series is a throwback to the 90s by bringing Lisa Ray and Milind Soman on screen.
Imtiyaz Ali’s content has a magic of its own, but his creative trajectory has gone downhill in recent years. The Netflix Original cop-world erotica, ‘She’ starring Aaditi Pohankar and Vijay Verma, is another overrated product created by the ‘Jab We Met’ director. Its dual narrative of fighting repressive sexuality and hunting down criminals does not make any sense. ‘She’ forcefully tries to be feminist but uses the trope of how only a good-looking, well-groomed female cop can be the pawn to fight the criminals of the underworld. The first season of the show took sexuality and erotica on an extreme edge. But what is it necessary? Well, maybe Season 2 of the show might bring some answers with substance than just being an overrated mediocre content produced by Imtiyaz Ali.
4) Little Things
This might be an unpopular opinion, but the Netflix Original ‘Little Things’ is overrated. When initially released by Dice Media, it gave us refreshing content in the digital space with Dhruv Sehgal’s writing and his on-screen chemistry with Mithila Palkar. However, as the series progressed into sequels, it became drier and weary. The freshness slowly faded as it began dissecting the love story with every possible stage that any couple goes through. It attempted to be ‘Modern Love.’
Moreover, the scenario seemed unreal. The show somehow misses the real challenges of couples in India where an inter-communal live-in relationship of Dhruv and Kavya is still not accepted by parents, which the show portrays otherwise. ‘Little Things’ is sugary and cheesy, and not every couple feels that way in real-life.
5) Call My Agent Bollywood
The recently released Netflix Original series, ‘Call My Agent Bollywood’ is a remake of the French Netflix series of the same name. And when we say remake, we mean that the entire series is the scene-by-scene adaptation of the French original. The series had the potential of a solid premise and a stellar cast, but it missed the mark with its unoriginality. The world of Bollywood is dirty and brutal. The series failed to show the real challenge of managing Bollywood stars rather than the trope of ageism and catfight of actors. The adaptation seemed hollow with token queer relationships and father-daughter estrangement issues.
The only silver lining we could see in the series’ first season is its cameo appearance of Bollywood stars playing their inhibited exaggerated selves.
The audience today knows the difference between good and overrated content that is masked with glittery marketing tactics. As there is the need to churn content, we hope that the digital space does not become a sequel to the TV Network universe of creating series that make noise but are empty in its content.