The internet has changed the very dynamics of entertainment for the better. Today we get easy access to music, films, webisodes (web series in the episode format), and a lot more from around the world, at negligible rates and without any commercial breaks.
Winds of change
The movement has given impetus to the Indian entertainment industry to evolve progressively and move beyond the realms of ‘saas-bahu’ series. While there is yet a legit and compelling need for ‘family drama’, there is a growing want for freshly brewed content in various other genres such as politics, crime, and comedy, which is being explored by writers.
Before Netflix was launched in India in 2017, enthused viewers found themselves catching up on their favourite American webisodes off YouTube. Some of these included House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Narcos, The Crown, Madame Secretary, Sherlock ,CSI and Blacklist. Today the list is endless. Viewers are now open to watching films and webisodes in foreign languages too. The key reason for changed preferences can be attributed to encouragement that is duly given to new talent, and the absence of time-consuming commercials. Today, the world of webisodes generates just as much or more than the silver screen business. The market opens doors to a wider audience, exploring endless possibilities.
While some of these webisodes are transcending into the next era of Netflix, the buzz for the commendable plots and ever-invigorating cast, crew and production doesn’t seem to abate anytime soon. We hereby take the opportunity to introduce you to some of the most watched American webisodes by Indian viewers.
The Crown and Versailles
Produced and directed by Peter Morgan, The Crown explores the nuances of the British monarchy, and the life of Queen Elizabeth. The cinematography is simply strapping! Clarie Foy, the lead protagonist transports us back into the 1940s, taking us on a graphic tour of old Britain through the eyes of the Queen. Her emotions are vividly displayed, giving us insight into the psyche of the monarch.
Season three is under production, and Olivia Colman will now play the lead. The Crown is a typical classic; favoured by all audiences. For history buffs, another web series that can be explored is Versailles. It provides insight on King Louis XIV’s scheme of things, when he plans on moving affairs of the court from Paris to Versailles. The politics is intriguing.
Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black explores the life of protagonist, Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schiling) at a minimum-security federal prison. The scenes are well planned and executed, throwing light on the American justice system, which like all other systems, could be shaky and chilling all the same. On its last leg, season seven will bring the curtains down on this brilliant award-winning series that has been successfully aired since 2013.
Narcos and Narcos: Mexico
Narcos truly deserved a round of applause on such a well thought out plot. The writer has explored the dark side of the drug cartels of Cambodia. The Chris Brancato production takes us through the life of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (played by Wagner Moura), giving us a stellar account of how he makes it big through the violence, manipulation and political grime. Narcos: Mexico on the other hand has been set in the 1980s in Mexico. It gives us a graphic insight on how a small marijuana farmer, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo in Sinaloa, climbs fast to lead one of the finest drug cartels in the world.
House of Cards and Madame Secretary
Both of these are political thrillers based in Washington DC. House of Cards is based on a novel written by Michael Dobbs. Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) has been passed over for appointment for the Secretary of State. The power-hungry Frank and his wife plot the most intriguing conspiracies to get to his desired goal. There are eight seasons to House of Cards. The last one was aired from November 2, 2018.
Madam Secretary is less dark giving us a thrilling insight on the numerous problems faced by the Secretary of State. Secretary McCord (played by Tea Leoni), skilfully conquers all these issues using her diplomatic skills. To break away from the politics, creator Barbra Hall creatively enters the personal life of the Secretary of State, and takes a sneak peak into the life of Dr McCord (Tim Daly), the Secretary’s husband who works as an undercover agent in the secret service.