The Family Man 2 To The Bombay Begums; 5 BEST Web Series Of The First Half Of 2021

From Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni starrer The Family Man 2 to Pooja Bhatt starrer The Bombay Begums, here's a list of 5 best web series of the first half of 2021.

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The Family Man 2 To The Bombay Begums; 5 BEST Web Series Of The First Half Of 2021
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many web shows and films that were released on OTT platforms. Talking about web shows, in particular, while some managed to entertain, there are some that failed to excite and impress. Speaking of that, here are 5 best web series of the first half of 2021.

1. The Family Man(Amazon Prime): The new season of  Family Man escapes The Curse Of The Second Season. I mean, gawd, look at what  happened to Mirzapur 2. The Family Man 2 is a lean mean, sexy, dramatic and topical  piece of work that shows a natural  organic growth  from season 1. Though it runs into 10 episodes there is not an ounce of  flab, as the sprawling yet taut narrative moves across a luscious labyrinth of global terrorism (helmed by the chilling presence of  Samantha Akkineni) and domestic warfare.Ah, domestic strife! Our unlikely hero Srikant Tiwari is still at it. His wife(played by  the underused Priyamani) is still sulking and his children Vedant (Atharv Tiwari) and  Dhriti(Ashlesha  Thakur) still think their father is a bit of  a fool. Little do they know. Incidentally,  or maybe  not so incidentally,this time  Srikant’s daughter has a  pivotal  part to play in  the  plot’s emphatic action. Super-skilled writing and an alert narration that catches the drama even as it falls, make this a  constantly watchable sequel with  actors from every generation pitching  in with performances that  sweep  the  storytelling  forward  into a sinfully engaging swoop  of adventure and drama. Indeed the only  good that comes  out of  crime against mankind  such as  terrorism  is that it  yields some terrific  art, instant or  otherwise.

2. The  Bombay Begums(Netflix):  Like  them or  loathe them, hug them or hate them, spurn them or ‘sperm’ them….The 5  women  in  Bombay Begums(one of them, just entering puberty) leave a  lasting impression. This is  a series like no other, replete  with  plot  twists  that  will keep  you watching until the very end.And when the ‘end’ comes, you want to know what these ladies  will do with their lives after we  leave them. Would they continue to be so fabulously flawed? Or would they…ummm… mend their ways to become faithful to their spouses? Would they stop thinking of  good sex being preferable  to a good marriage? It is very difficult to like these women but it isn’t difficult  to  love them. They are so robust, so vivacious,  passionate and self-assertive, they  won’t rest easy until they attain self-actualization which here has  different  connotations for different women.Different strokes for different fucks, I guess.

3. The Underground Railway(Amazon Prime): After spending  10 precious hours of my life  on Barry Jenkins’s certifiable  masterpiece, I was rendered numbed and  speechless. I  can only say  this for those  who have  yet not seen this monumental  classic:  go for it immediately, your life  and your understanding of  human suffering will be profoundly  enriched.Set  in the 19th  century in the thick of   slavery  in the plantations of Southern USA,  The Underground Railroad  is the story of  a very young very determined  girl named Cora(Thuso Mbedu) and her  repeated resilient  attempts to  escape slavery. I don’t know  how much Cora  suffered within herself. But her physical torture is  beyond endurance for us .Some  of  the episodes came with a warning about the graphic violence. Still,  nothing, absolutely nothing prepared me for the savagery of the  violence perpetrated  on  the black people. God, it seems, is  busy elsewhere.In  case you have forgotten how  cruel  humankind can be to the weak, The Underground Railroad  is a   rude reminder. A savage  nudge to the power games that  continue to commandeer relationships between  the rulers and the subjects , the latter  now known in democratic countries as the electorate.Call  them  by  any name,Cora for that matter. The urge to  suppress, subjugate and disempower  the underprivileged is  not a  thing of  the past. This  is what makes Cora’s  brave run  a  true  hero’s tale.

4. Chakravyuha(MX Player): Applause Entertainment's Chakravyuha, based on  Piyush Jha’s crime bestseller, fills that space  on the web which we want filled: the crime-investigation  drama. Filled with a cornucopia  of  twists and turns the 8 episodes take  on a tropical  zone of  mal-appropriation:  the internet. Cybercrime is  given a rapidly advancing  treatment as  Inspector  Virkar, who as played by a clean-shaven Prateik Babbars wears a perpetual  expression of  disgust  as  though his uniform were  two sizes too small for him, investigates the death  of  two cyber blackmailers followed  in the  third episode by  the  brutal assassination of the prime suspect.  In this way,  the  well-crafted series keeps steps ahead  of  viewers’  expectations. By  the time we  come to the midsection of the  rapidly  mutating plot we  know who the  main brain behind the gruesome  crimes are.And Vikar’s romantic liaison with a  therapist(Simran  Kaur Mundi) is  of no interest to us.

5. Grahan(Disney-Hotstar):  Produced  by JAR  Pictures,the  8 episodes  have a  certain consistent  momentum in the storytelling, and though  it moves through two time zones, actually  three, the  plot never  becomes  a jumble of  unnerving frisky  jumpcuts , as serials  about multi -time passages tend to. The  story is pronouncedly dramatic. And that’s how it should be, considering the improbable  brutality of what transpired on those 3 fateful nights when Sikhs were  pulled  out of their  homes and burnt alive. Bokaro was  one  of the cities that was most harshly affected  by the genocide. This is  where   Grahan is set. Shot on location, Kamaljeet Negi’s cinematographer captures that  frozen-in-time quality of  those small North Indian towns which have  never  grown up.There are no two ways  about the crime-thriller genre getting a refreshing new twist in the  8-episode spread with just enough thrills to keep you  hooked to the last. 

Image source: Instagram/bajpayee.manoj/ IMDb