Medical thrillers, black comedies, murder-mysteries and more; this year had an abundance of genres to offer in the streaming space for audiences stuck at home during the pandemic

2021 was a seminal year for streaming platforms, with several big screen stars entering the OTT space too. As the pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe, OTT shows proved to be a timely and much-needed escape from the doom and gloom of the news cycle. Here are some web-series from the last year you might enjoy revisiting — or catching up on — all over again.

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Little Things 4

The final season of Little Things was in contradiction to its title, as it no longer concentrates on just the little things between Kavya and Dhruv. The light-hearted relationship has progressed well beyond fighting over the television remote, or who has to do the laundry; the final season was all about the big things that stand as a testament to their love for each other. It also dealt with how a hectic work life can take a toll on love, and how having some ‘me time’ in a relationship does help.

We witnessed their struggles, saw how they split apart, and finally, how they found their way back towards each other, but before we knew it…. it was time to bid goodbye.

Streaming on Netflix

Mumbai Diaries 26/11

In this medical thriller, filmmakers Nikkhil Advani and Nikhil Gonsalves come up with their version of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, and the eight-part web series explores what happens in the Bombay General Hospital on that doomed night following several doctors, journalists and terrorists. Kaushal Shah’s camera succeeds in making us relive the gruesome memories once again, while the strong cast of Konkona Sen, Mohit Raina and Prakash Belawadi keep us hooked to the screen from start to finish.

Streaming on Amazon Prime

Aranyak

Aranyak is a potpourri of mystery, drama and mythology with a strong political undertone binding them together. The story starts off with the rape and murder of Aimee, a foreign tourist. This brings back the old folklore of the infamous leopard man to life and sets off a series of events in Sirona. The massive Sirona forest filled with the sound of slinking wildcats, unearths several skeletons from the closets of this closely-stitched community, as the plot thickens with each episode. Although it feels like there are too many sub-plots to keep up with, the strings are skillfully tied together as the series nears the climax.

Raveena Tandon plays a cop who is struggling to balance her roles at home and work, while Parambrata Chatterjee also makes his mark as a conscientious officer who has his own set of skeletons to deal with.

Streaming on Netflix

Bombay Begums

Strong-willed and independent women, of different ages and from different walks of life, cross paths with each other in Mumbai, each chasing their own individual dreams.

The six-part series showcases the lives of five different women, each battling their personal demons. We are constantly guided by the voice of teenager Shai’s voice throughout the series, as a great cast led by Pooja Bhatt and Amruta Subhash make for compelling watching.

Streaming on Netflix

Aarya 2

On the back of a terrific first season, comes an all-out Sushmita Sen show again, as she turns in a powerhouse performance. Co-creators Ram Madhvani and Sandeep Modi surround Sushmita with a strong supporting cast that keeps her on her toes, as we follow Aarya’s journey back to India and the drama that ensues after getting embroiled with the drug mafia again.

Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar

Sunflower

The black comedy, which is centered around a murder that happens in the chaotic community of the Sunflower residential society in Mumbai, is populated with several eccentric characters. An investigation brings out the over-the-top nature of many of the residents, and is headlined by a superb Sunil Grover who steals the show in every frame he’s a part of. A great binge-watch for a rainy evening in.

Streaming on ZEE5

Kota Factory 2

The battle to conquer the IIT-JEE beckons again, but this time around, there are several new twists and turns. There’s rivalry between coaching centres, and we get to experience the confusion, emotions and drama in the lives of these young students first-hand all over again. The performances are once again relatable, and the cast and writing is top-notch.

Streaming on Netflix

Aspirants

TVF’s Aspirants also concentrates on the culture behind competitive exams and the Indian students who are pulled into the rat race, but this time, it is the fight for topping the UPSC exams.

The series is set around the life of Abilash (Naveen Kasturia) – a pessimistic man who constantly second-guesses his decisions – who is all set to make a final attempt at cracking the exams, and how he and his friends prepare for their goal.

Aspirants, with its impeccable casting and writing, allowed every common viewer to resonate with its themes, and left us wanting another season.

Streaming on YouTube

The Family Man 2

The second season of The Family Man was one of the most-anticipated titles this year. The show’s trailer received massive backlash for its portrayal of Eelam Tamils, which piqued viewers’ interest, even before its premiere.

The new season off with Srikant Tiwari slaving at his desk job in the corporate world and struggling to keep his dysfunctional family intact. With his heart still yearning for action, he decides to return to TASC. He is ushered to Chennai to face a new set of antagonists, with a new setting helping keep things fresh.

Manoj Bajpayee returns with another exemplary performance as the jaded intelligence officer, while Samanatha Ruth Prabhu as Raji deftly portrays the role of a badass Sri Lankan Rebel, with her heart and soul set on avenging everyone who did her wrong. Much like the previous season, this one also addresses Srikant’s unravelling marriage, his pressures on the job and the camaraderie between him and JK.

Streaming on Amazon Prime

Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Story

Neeraj Pandey’s espionage thriller follows the origin of Himmat Singh, played by an excellent Kay Kay Menon once again, and is a treat for fans of the original show. The four-part series showcases what made Singh a man of substance and such a famed R&AW officer, the only drawback being the excessive usage of honey traps in some of the special tasks.

Streaming on Disney + Hotstar

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