As the decades-old, traditional Indian television shows fail to generate interest in contemporary India, desi web series are now an exciting and emerging form of entertainment for the youth. They are now gaining in prominence in urban India.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word road trip? Friends, booze, fun; right? But, when was the last time you considered a road trip with your siblings? ‘Tripling’, the five-episode web series by The Viral Fever (TVF), is the story of three siblings who are forced by circumstances to go on a road trip together. And, why not? The trip traces the story of Chandan, Chanchal and Chitvan as they start a hilarious journey to find themselves.
“The show is lighthearted, funny and emotional at the same time. It is likely that you will for sure think about going on a road trip with your siblings,” exclaims Shruti Sharma, a student of the Delhi University.
Contrary to the melodramatic and unrealistic family sagas on the Indian television, the grand entry of customised web shows for the Indian youth with captivating and close to real life content are the next big thing.
It all started in 2014 with ‘Permanent Roommates’ by TVF, that was the first Indian web series and garnered a lot of buzz amongst the youngsters with a different kind of love story, with more than 50 million views and still counting. The audience connected with normal characters set in a real world and appreciated the simplicity and innocence of the story. “The scenario for web series started with TVF. In terms of ambitions, we always had it, but, it finally began with our rom-com (Permanent Roommates),” Arunabh Kumar, Founder and CEO, TVF, informs the Media India Group.
The Indian youth is barely tuning into television with the web shows offering 10-50 minute episodes, that has become a way of life. And, you know a production has touched the clouds when you see internet memes, T-shirts and coffee mugs with dialogues from the show.
Vansh Sirohi, a computer applications student in West Delhi, was ready wearing his ‘bro trust me’ (a famous dialogue from the web series ‘baked’) T-shirt, when we arrived. “I love ‘Baked’ and ‘Pitchers’ the most. These are just the type of shows I want to watch. Ambitious and humorous at the same time,” he says.
‘Pitchers’ by TVF is the story of four friends who give up their jobs to launch a start-up venture and following the same lines but completely apart is ‘Baked’, by ScoopWhoop Talkies and Pechkas Pictures, which is a seven-part web series that takes us through the adventures of three college students in Delhi who start a midnight food delivery service.
Not only these, but many more web series by various production houses like TVF, Dice Media, Filter Copy and even the famous Bollywood banner Yash Raj Films (YRF), among others, have entered the business to target the youngsters, especially, who are bored of the regular reality shows and household stories on the Indian television channels.
What make these internet series stand out are the new faces in lead roles, a bunch of friends that you might associate with, characters that speak a mix of Hindi and English and situations with which the younger generation can connect.
However, along with the fresh faces, as these online shows are gaining greater recognition, Bollywood actors like Kalki Koechlin and Parineeti Chopra have also featured in episodes of ‘A Man’s World’, the popular, short web series by YRF. And, following the new trend, Bollywood director Rohan Sippy is working on two web series for Eros Now: ‘The Client’, starring Bipasha Basu, and ‘Side Hero’, starring Kunaal Roy Kapur and Konkona Sen Sharma.
After the Indian youth was done with their favourite western shows, the web series culture in India came in at the right time. “Youngsters have stopped watching TV and there is going to be a lot more to grab on the internet. With shows like ‘Friends’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’, which are being watched repeatedly on the internet over the years, web series tend to never go out of fashion and we intend to serve the ever changing content needs of our audience,” adds Arunabh Kumar.
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