Considering how a TV Show should be, 2022 may not have added many new additions to the Indian streaming series. Hall of Fame includes shows like Made in Heaven, Mirzapur, The Family Man, Pushpavali, Patal Lok, and beyond. Just the sheer number of series worth discussing and celebrating this year was its own triumph. We may not have had many game changers but the overall level and diversity of storytelling on offer was something to be thankful for. 2020 has also been a gloriously unpredictable one for streaming based on what we’ve come to expect thus far. Netflix India was surprised and delighted. Amazon Prime video disappointed. Disney plus Hotstar continued to make the most noise and get the big numbers. But little else and Sony Liv remains stuck as the Intriguing player to watch out for so in no particular order here’s my list of the best shows of the Year.
Show #1: Rocket Boys
Sony liv’s latest and perhaps most incredible achievement Rocket Boys. Rocket Boys tells a massive sprawling story spanning decades about the friendship between Dr. Homi Baba and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. Two self-confessed mad scientists who through the 1950s and 60s were instrumental in shaping Independent India. Founding India’s nuclear and space programs. And let’s face it, navigating the politics of independence and international relations and nuclear science none of this is a particularly sexy subject matter. But it’s a testament to the writer and director Abhay Pannu’s rich storytelling.
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Some stellar performances that there’s never a dull moment. You’re never not engaged amidst all the decades spanning the global stage this big. It’s a deeply empathetic series that approaches its characters with so much love that it ensures that we do too ultimately. Ultimately, Rocket Boys is a tender intimate show that I just wanted to hug and hold on to. This is the last thing I thought I’d ever say about a scientific history politicking series.
Show #2: Jamtara S2
Netflix’s Jamtara tells a fictional story based on true events. Around how Jharkhand’s Jamtara district became the cybercrime and fishing scam capital of India. If the scattered first season gave us the Jamtara origin story. Of how a handful of boys started scamming people over the phone. Season 2 sees the show entirely come into its own between writer Krishan Srivastav’s screenplay and director Surendra Radhi’s compelling craft this season’s hold on us is immediately impressive. Unrelentingly together they offer up a far stronger more self-assured and straight-up smashing second season.
Bigger, better, and diving deeper into both its characters and scams. But, the soul of Jamtara remains its terrific ensemble of bloody talented young actors. Who elevates this world and the material? Jamtara season 2 is a binge of the best kind where more than easy twists big reveals and convenient cliffhangers. It’s this story and these characters that suck you in and for the most part refuse to let go.
Show#3: Humble Politician Nograj
Based on actor-creator, Danish Seth’s hilarious character Nagaraj. The 10-episode web series on Voot select is one of the funniest things to come out of the Indian streaming space. The show follows the adorably obnoxious antics of the morally bankrupt kooky corrupt cartoon politician Nagraj. As he tries to win the election to become chief minister of Karnataka. The show flits between Kannada, Hindi, and English but after a while, you barely register the subtitles amidst the laugh-a-minute gags galore. I could tell you that Humble Politician Nagaraj is a wacky joyful comedic triumph.
That it’s a biting satire that it’s incredibly brave. It’s unabashedly silly self-aware comedy at its finest. But above all in a year that seeks to challenge test and stretch many of us to our breaking points. What very few shows have this year laugh till my face hurt. I sincerely hope that it does the same for you.
Created by Atul Mongya Netflix series stars a phenomenal Sakshi Tanwar. she is a shield a grieving mother who sets out to track down the culprits after her daughter is killed. As she starts to ask questions and dig deeper. She’ll soon find herself sucked into a world of gangsters murderers and the mafia a gripping cocktail of grief revenge and crime.
Mai is one of Netflix India’s strongest crime dramas the series is led by formidable Sakshita. Who expertly navigates the coldness and compassion of a mother reeling with loss. To create one of the year’s most fascinating and compelling characters. Half of the show at times feels at odds and disjointed from the shield of the story. At its best Mai is one hell of an emotionally charged vigilante origin story and a fine addition to the weaponized parenting sub-genre.
Show#5: Panchayat S2
There are some shows you couldn’t replicate or reverse engineer. Even if you wanted to so specific is Panchayat’s delicate balancing act of workplace comedy and deeply empathetic. The drama is so well-edged with other characters and so keenly observed and lived in, are the performances that you can’t imagine anyone else inhabiting these heart-stealing figures. From the endlessly watchable Jitendra Kumar to Raghu Bir Yadav, Nina Gupta, Faisal Malik, Chandan Roy, and beyond. Panchayat was some of the finest television this year. Both unpredictable and dependable absorbing and comfortable serialized achievement that masterfully manages to find the storytelling in the simple the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Those were some of the Top 5 shows of the last year. Hope you found it helpful. Don’t worry if you had watched all of them, we’ll cover even more the next time.