Though web series had slowly been becoming a part of our lives, the world of OTT platforms truly exploded in India with Netflix's first Hindi language web series, Sacred Games. Prime Video's Mirzapur followed soon after.

Sacred Games
Source: Film Daily

2 years after Sacred Games released, there are multiple streaming platforms, and just as many crime-dramas and thrillers streaming on them.

Paatal Lok
Source: Prime Video

And while the world of crime and thrillers has never looked more realistic or better, I, for one, am glad about the occasional, light-hearted gem, like Panchayat.

Panchayat
Source: IMDb

In 2020 alone, most of the top-streaming web series belonged to the genre of thrillers and/or crime. Paatal Lok (Amazon Prime Video), Asur (SonyLiv), Aarya (Hotstar), to name a few.

Sushmita Sen in Aarya
Source: IMDb

But TVF's Panchayat was definitely different from the norm.

In a year where every new show or film that I discovered was peppered with violence, swear words, and shocking climaxes, Panchayat was far removed from vulgarity and full of innocent, genuine, situational comedy.

It wasn't a fast-paced story weaving through violent towns and demanding cities. Rather, it was a gentle foray into life in an Indian village, showcasing experiences most of us have lived with.

I was not watching a protagonist uncover deadly mysteries and constantly fight for his/her life. Rather, I was watching a 20-something work hard at a job he hated and slowly come to terms with job life.

No points for guessing which protagonist I related more to.

Jeetu K in Panchayat
Source: IMDb

And finally, there was a show where I did not have to wear earphones or shut my laptop the second a family member entered the room, because of the language being used or the scene playing out on the screen.

Sacred Games
Source: Netflix

At a time when I have limited to zero privacy at home, watching certain shows can definitely prove to be a challenge.

But Panchayat became a show that I could fearlessly enjoy with my family, and it wasn't even a religious drama. In an age of Ramayan reruns, that definitely counts for something.

In a year where crime-dramas seemed to be a dime a dozen, Panchayat was a brilliantly written and executed comedy-drama that struck a chord with the audience.

Its success proved, that audience isn't moved by violence, crime, and sensationalism alone, and a good story will always be well received.

Panchayat
Source: IMDb

Simply put, like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai, etc., Panchayat is a show that you can return to, again and again, and it will always leave a smile on your face. Impossible not to, every time Vikas smiles in the frame, or Pradhan ji cracks a remark, or Sachiv ji exasperatedly gets on with his day.