Five Standout Patriotic Web Series

Manoj Bajpayee played the title role in both seasons of Amazon Prime Video’s The Family Man. Photo: Publicity Photo 

On Independence Day, it is the ‘done’ thing to talk about patriotic movies and songs. But 2023 is the year when Indian web series are now a powerful alternative means of entertainment that has redefined even the content of movies as spurs for cinema visits. In such a situation, web series can well be looked at as a ‘new media’.

And no less than a dozen or more stories on patriotism in its various hues have been seen in the nine years since India’s first-ever web series, Permanent Roommates, was aired on TVF. Here are my 5 best patriotic fares watched on the web so far.

A scene from Avrodh 2—The Siege Within. Photo: Publicity Photo

Avrodh 2—The Siege Within

(Sony LIV presents Juggernaut Productions’ & Applause Entertainment’s Avrodh 2: The Siege Within, Produced by: Samar Khan, Aditya Pittie, Sameer Nair & Deepak Segal Directed by: Raj Acharya / 2022)

While the first season, streamed un 2020, was a tepid and long dramatized version of the real-life URI attack, crisply filmed in the 2019 blockbuster URI—The Surgical Strike, the second show, based on a chapter from Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh’s India’s Most Fearless 2, was a humdinger.

The series dramatized the real saga of demonetization in 2016 against the buzz of counterfeit currency circulating in India. Besides heinous plans like 25 plane explosions in a single day, the enemy’s collaboration with India separatist groups and huge payouts to them was also shown.

Code M

(ALT Balaji & ZEE5 present Juggernaut Productions’ Code M Produced by: ALT Balaji, Jyoti Deshpande & Aditya Pittie Directed by: Akshay Chaubey / 2020)

An army lawyer (Jennifer Winget) is summoned to investigate a case wherein a mother accuses the armed forces of killing two men as innocent young people and not terrorists, as stated by them. The twists were terrific—this was not the standard patriotic fare. Oddly enough, Code M 2 was merely decent and lacked the fire of the first season.

Special Ops & Special Ops 1.5

(Disney+Hotstar presents Friday Storytellers’ Special Ops & Special Ops 1.5  Produced by: Shital Bhatia  Directed by: Neeraj Pandey & Shivam Nair / 2020 & 2021)

A crackerjack espionage series that was amazingly original, superbly written and enacted by the main protagonist Kay Kay Menon as Himmat Singh, now an iconic figure among our web characters. Parmeet Sethi, Kali Prasad Mukherjee and Vinay Pathak were also excellent and the series had the stamp of Neeraj’s masterly storytelling in the deshbhakti genre. The patriotism was beautifully shown and both seasons have a terrific binge-watch as well as repeat potential.

Kay Kay Menon’s Himmat Singh remains an iconic character in Indian Web series. Photo: Publicity Photo

The Family Man 1 & 2

(Amazon Prime Video presents D2R Films’ The Family Man 1 & 2 / Produced and directed by Raj Nidimoru & Krishna DK / 2019 & 2021)

The main protagonists, Manoj Bajpayee as Srikant, the espionage agent whose work is not known even to his wife, Priyamani, and Sharib Hashmi as Jayavant Kashinath Talpade, his aide, are conceived with great ingenuity, and the plot has a substantial role in also maintaining the ethos of these characters. Season 1 was showcased at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour held in Los Angeles in 2019, but, in fact, Season 2 was even better. The mix of patriotism and wry and dry humor was a winner.

The Forgotten Army—Azaadi Ke Liye

(Amazon Prime Video’s The Forgotten Army—Azaadi Ke Liye  Produced & Directed by: Kabir Khan / 2020)

The earliest series in the deshbhakti genre, The Forgotten Army—Azaadi Ke Liye was a documentary-like drama of 60,000 Indian soldiers, working for the British during World War II, who are convinced about joining Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in his fight for Indian Independence against the British. Sunny Kaushal and Sharvari Wagh played the leads in this gripping real-life saga which was research-based and restricted then to a mere 5 episodes.








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