Of late, Tamil web-series and original films have been getting a push by paid digital platforms such as Amazon Prime, Viu and Hotstar. Now, with Zee5 announcing the launch of 72 new originals across six languages, there’s a lot to look forward to, especially since the series promise stories that are lighter and closer to our lives, with less censorship.
Zee5 has announced three Tamil series that will release in the coming months – Auto Shankar, Thiravam and Postman. Auto Shankar is based on the six murders by Shankar and his gang between 1988 and 1989; they killed people, cremated them and then dumped the remains in the Bay of Bengal. After a trial, Shankar and his associates Eldin and Shvaji were sentenced to death.
Thiravam is about a holy grail, and a man who claims to have found it. Postman is the story of a man on a mission to deliver letters that he missed out on, after an accident left him in coma for 20 years. He wakes up determined to find the people the letters belonged to.
There are also a few older series available on YouTube that are a must watch. The ‘Other’ Love Story (2016) by Roopa Rao is about two women in love; it is set in the 1990s in Bangalore. HipHop Homeland documents the lives of rappers in Mumbai. Divine and Nazey (the inspiration for Gully Boy) feature in this series.
Black Sheep was a popular show the same year. Director Gautham Vasudev Menon made a YouTube series called Weekend Machchan, about four techies who slog through the week to enjoy during the weekends. If you enjoyed movies such as Dhanush’s VIP, these are the shows closer home for you.
Here’s a list of must watch web-series on the Internet right now.
Behind Closed Doors
This 12-episode web series in Tamil and English is about the daily lives of people who have funny and comforting moments in relationships, and also their share of insecurities. One episode deals with first love, another is about a boy whose mother comforts him after heartbreak, and a third is about two people bored of each other. The characters are the kind of people we would meet in real life, and every episode has something new to offer.
The series is directed by Naveen Kumar, Bhargav Prasad and Rakesh Lenin and produced by Viu and Banner Films. The first episode released on Viu India, in October 2018.
As I’m Suffering From Kadhal
This series features young people who have committed to a relationship. There’s a modern couple, a trendy one, the single father who doubles up as mother, the couple who only wants a fling… The show is packed with drama, but it never gets too intense, and so is relatable and entertaining.
The 10-episode series on Hotstar is written and directed by Balaji Mohan, who initially planned this as a feature film but didn’t want to condense it into two hours. It stars Balaji Mohan, Sunder Ramu, Nakshathra, Sananth and Abishek Joseph George, among others.
Mitta is a funny series about two stoners and their friends who land in trouble after selling a bag of weed to their peddler friend. They must get back the weed to save themselves, so they go from one party to another in search of the bag only to land in more mess. The series is said to be based on true incidents. The way the story pans out is a bit similar to the Hollywood film Hangover.
Mitta’s first episode premiered on Zee5 on January 23 this year. Pitched as a dark comedy, it stars actors Lallu, Sathu and others.
Alarm is a story about a cop and his assistants who have 24 hours to look for a girl who has been kidnapped. Their search leads to a lot of chasing and a crackdown on a prostitution ring in Chennai. The show is built on the stereotype of a saviour-cop and suspicious black magic-performing parents, with very little about the women. But it’s binge-watchable with some scenes bringing you to the edge of your seat.
Written and directed by Kaushik and produced by YuppTV for Zee5, Alarm stars Prem Kumar of Jodi No.1 fame, along with Girija, Anjali Rao and Subadhra.
Kallachiripu begins as a series about 24-year-old Mahati (Amrutha Srinivasan), who is unhappy in an arranged marriage. She then accidentally kills her husband after a heated argument, setting off a chain of events that involve her planning the disposal of his body, covering up the murder and cleaning the mess with the help of her boyfriend. Mahati is shaken but stands her ground; she shines as the hero in almost every frame. The characters also speak normally about their desires, sex, porn and homosexuality.
This series is written and directed by Rohit Nandakumar, and produced by Karthik Subbaraj. They previously worked together on the anthology series Aviyal, which Nandakumar wrote and acted in.
Vella Raja unfolds in Bawa Lodge (from Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Aaaranya Kandam) where crime lord Deva or Bobby Simha lives with large amounts of cocaine in possession. He isn’t a bad person, neither are the corrupt officers or lawyers who can’t fight the system. The suspense is built around finding what it is about Deva that makes it so difficult to catch him. For an action thriller, parts of Vella Raja can feel a bit slow but the series has its high moments.
The show released amidst a lot hype, as Amazon Prime’s first Tamil web series. It is directed by Guhan Senniappan, and also stars Parvatii Nair, Gayathrie, Kaali Venkat and others.