In just six months, 2019 has ensured that I break most of my NY resolutions, and just browse through the depths of Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar, YouTube, and whatnot.
Essentially, I’ve binge-watched my way through six months of 2019 and I blame it on all the brilliant content available online. Like these:
1. Chernobyl: Hotstar
The fact that it became the top trending show on IMDb in India with just 3 episodes should be indication enough of how amazing, well developed, and engrossing the series is. Based on the 1986 catastrophic nuclear disaster of Chernobyl, and its aftermath, this dramatic retelling is worth every intriguing second.
2. Fleabag Season 2: Amazon Prime Video
Though the show originally came to the silver screen in 2016, it was in 2019 that both the seasons made it to Amazon Prime. And it’s the most accurate voice of our barely adulting self that we’ve seen in recent times. Created by, and starring, Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the lead role, Fleabag is an emotional, edgy tragicomedy that manages to inspire and impress at the same time.
3. When They See Us: Netflix
In 1989 five innocent boys of colour were wrongfully prosecuted for the rape and physical assault of a jogger. Years later, when they had already served their sentences, a convicted rapist confessed to the crime while already serving time. The miniseries is a dramatic retelling of the chilling events leading to the arrest, and the aftermath, and highlights one of American judicial system’s greatest failures.
4. On My Block Season 2: Netflix
A coming-of-age comedy-drama that represents the lives and struggles of people of colour, On My Block is not your average teenage series. It expertly marries stories of youth and friendship with the harsh reality of personal violence and societal crimes that a section of society is subjected to.
5. Russian Doll: Netflix
A woman is stuck in an infinite time loop, forced to live the same day, again and again in this inventive, strange, dark and critically acclaimed series. An unsettling yet inviting premise is ably supported by Natasha Lyonne’s exceptional performance in this comedy-drama.
6. Good Omens: Amazon Prime Video
Based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, the USP of the show lies in its brilliantly hilarious writing and the undeniable chemistry of the lead pair. If you love a healthy dose of all things humorous and heavenly, then this is the miniseries to binge watch on.
7. Hanna: Amazon Prime Video
Hanna presents the story of a 15-year-old child, with enhanced DNA that essentially makes her a supersoldier, fighting for her survival. The thriller may be a little slow for lovers of quick action and miniseries, but the character arcs and fight sequences do seem worth it.
8. Made in Heaven: Amazon Prime Video
Prime’s Hindi original series have been hit-and-miss, but with Made in Heaven they definitely flung the ball out of the park. The story of two wedding planners-cum-friends, who traverse through their personal problems and client demands, Made in Heaven is tailor-made for binging.
9. After Life: Netflix
Honestly, nobody does black comedy like British shows. And After Life is a perfect example of that. It showcases the story of a man struggling to come to terms with his wife’s death. And while the premise – and parts of the show – are exceptionally emotional, the overall treatment is one that will leave you grinning and crying at the same time.
10. Our Planet: Netflix
This is a hard-hitting, chilling, docu-series that shows how humans are slowly turning the planet they live on into a wasteland that can sustain no life. Our Planet is a must-watch for every person who cares about the planet they call home.
11. Sex Education: Netflix
Growing up, we’ve all struggled with the how-why-where of sex, and all it entails. And Sex Education takes you back to exactly the same time, only with a lot more clarity and hilarity, and yet, the same innocence.
12. Dead To Me: Netflix
When it comes to presenting ‘female friendships’, not all shows manage to hit the brief. But not all shows are like the dark comedy Dead to Me. What’s truly special about the show is how the seemingly natural chemistry between the lead pair make even the less-than-hilarious moments come alive spectacularly.
13. Easy Season 3: Netflix
A comedy-drama anthology, the final season of the show released this year and it was just as funny, smart, emotional, and relatable as the rest of the seasons. It’s insightful take into romantic relationships and fluctuating individual dynamics is what makes Easy a show worth every tear and smile.
14. Queer Eye Season 3: Netflix
If you love reality shows, fabulous styles, and all things wholesome and nice than Queer Eye should be a must-watch. In the third season the fabulous five once again help participants transform their lives around, and it’s the kind of goodness that will warm even the coldest of hearts.
15. Kota Factory: YouTube
A brilliant take at the life of every Indian student tirelessly preparing for the engineering exams, Kota Factory is a relatable tale indeed. Especially commendable is how it manages to become an impactful satire on the Indian educational system, without resorting to ‘preachy’ messages.
16. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes: Netflix
This is not your average documentary. But then again, Ted Bundy was not your average murderer. Possibly one of the most notorious serial killers ever, The Ted Bundy Tapes are horrific, spine-chilling, and will definitely fuck with your mind.
17. Laakhon Mein Ek Season 2: Amazon Prime Video
When season 1 had come out, creator Kalyan Rath had drawn on his own experiences to expose the fallacy of the Indian educational system. With season 2, he exposes the shortcomings of the Indian medical system. Starring Shweta Tripathi in the lead role, it’s just as shocking, insightful, and engaging as the first season.
18. Delhi Crime: Netflix
Based on the gruesome Nirbhaya gang-rape case, Delhi Crime is not an easy show to watch. But it is a very important one. While Shefali Shah has definitely done justice to her role, the whole series deserves all the credit for managing to retell a horrific tale, without resorting to cheap theatrics or unnecessary emotional tropes.
That’s it! 2019 definitely seems to be well on its way to become the year with far too many great shows, and clearly, not enough time to watch them all.
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