Web series: Bypassing censor or testing water

By Abhishek | Published on 26 November 2018

Over the years, we have been used to seeing duels between censor board and filmmakers, and honestly, most of the controversies were uncalled for. The beeping out of words, the edited scene making sequences look confusing & incomplete. Web series have come like a breath of fresh air at such a time.

In India, the idea of web series is still catching up but the very fact that it has reached straight to our bedrooms and our mobile phones means that it has breached our privacy to an extent. With censor board out, there is no hindrance in the content that we see. Those who are used to binge-watching are used to seeing gory pictures, sequences otherwise considered controversial and sex scenes involving nudity. All these elements and more have been introduced to the Indian audience and how.

Sacred Games & its after effects

We have seen how Kubbra Sait playing Kukkoo stole the limelight from Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing Ganesh Gaitonde & ended up being a surprise package. Similarly, Angira Dhar in Love Per Square Foot (LPSF) left an impression and getting noticed while sharing screen space with Vicky Kaushal. Web series are like theatre where stardom alone won’t get you noticed and smaller names or unknown actors can walk their way straight to the hearts of the cinema art lovers. Sacred Games with a Cinebee score of 83 and LPSF with a corresponding figure of 60 have garnered a favourable response. In its short run, web series have not only stirred the demand for more interesting content but also evoked response from users who share their feedback, appreciation and surprise about their favourite series. Despite having Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin and Surveen Chawla, it was Kubbra who turned out to be the surprise package and that is the beauty of web series.

Indian audience has always been known to make a distinction between their sources of entertainment hence we can see how television and films have a clear distinction, and the line has not blurred for more than a decade. Web series as a medium was supposed to be something in between but it has carved a niche for itself, its content is not as mediocre as the tv but its production value is as good as any Bollywood movie.

Still in a nascent stage, one does believe that web series as a standalone source of entertainment is only going to prosper in future. The success of Sacred Games, Inside Edge, Dev DD, Permanent Roommates, Love By Square, Lust Stories etc are merely a threshold for what looks like a long success story. With Indians netizens lapping up all interesting content on the web we already have litigants and legal eagles seeking to scrutinize the content on the web but if too many riders are forced then the whole idea of having web medium of entertainment is defeated.


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