The Desi Binge

Netflix has placed great emphasis on creating original Indian content for its audience and has invested Rs 3K cr.

The company has placed great emphasis on creating original Indian content for its audiences in the country and has invested Rs 3000 crore towards that in 2019-2020, said Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings on Friday.

Hastings said the streamer is committed to ramping up its original Indian content, something that will be visible to the audiences in the coming months.

“We launched in 2016 and we have continued to invest. So we have a lot of content from the United States, the UK and Spain. We are developing our Indian content here.

“This year and next year, we spend about Rs 3000 crore developing content and you will start to see a lot of stuff hit the screens. We got about 100 employees in Mumbai and a couple thousand working on different productions. So we are trying to become more Indian in content offering,” Hastings said at an event in New Delhi.

He said the top performing Netflix shows from India include Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer “Sacred Games”, “Little Things” and “Delhi Crime”.

Hastings said not just Netflix, all the streaming services are betting big on Indian content in terms of investment, which will herald the golden age of television in the country.

“The next 5-10 years will be the golden age of television. You are seeing unbelievable and unrivalled levels of investment. Partially from the global companies like Apple, Amazon, Disney and Viacom. There are all investing here in India as well as in the UK and the US. We are seeing more content made than ever before. It’s a great export. Hastings cited the example of animated series “Mighty Little Bheem”.

Top performing Indian shows

Sacred Games
Sartaj Singh is a troubled Mumbai Police inspector who seeks validation from a police force he nevertheless loathes for its corruption. He receives an anonymous phone call from Gane sh Gaitonde, a notorious crime lord who has been missing for 16 years. He tells Singh to save the city in 25 days, which initiates a chain of events that burrows deep into India’s dark underworld. In the journey, Singh is helped by Research and Analysis Wing officer Anjali Mathur while flashbacks detail Gaitonde’s origins and how he rose to power as crime lord of Mumbai. The first season follows Singh trying to uncover clues about Gaitonde’s past while also learning of a connection between Gaitonde and his father. In Season two, Gaitonde’s story continues in flashbacks which again affects things in the present for Sartaj. Sartaj eventually uncovers the existence of an ashram his father once was part of and learns of their apocalyptic plans to create a new world devoid of peace and conflict. In flashback, Gaitonde’s meeting with Guruji is depicted, along with how he became part of the ashram and his activities with them. Also explored is how Gaitonde was at the same time deployed by RAW officer Yadav who tries to keep Gaitonde’s rival and archenemy Suleiman Isa alive – much to the latter’s dismay – so she can eventually capture and kill the dangerous extremist Shahid Khan.

Little Things
The story revolves around Kavya Kulkarni (Palkar) and Dhruv Vats (Sehgal), a couple in a live-in relationship in Mumbai. The series progresses with everyday life explored through conversation between the couple. The language used is English, with a few sentences in Hindi (used mostly in slang). The series explores multiple themes, related to everyday life and the problems and challenges faced in it. Season 1 explored themes like a fear of missing out (FOMO) caused by social media and late-night cravings for food. Season 2 explored more serious themes like personal and professional crises. Dhruv is seen reconnecting with an old friend and realising that they have grown apart. He is later seen quitting his job due to a loss of interest. Dhruv is then seen as being “aimless” while Kavya has received a promotion and a pay hike, which leads to fights as they realise the differences between them. Other themes explored in the second season include Kavya getting attracted to a biker on an office trip, homophobia and the possibility of considering one’s parents as friends. Season 3 further explores Dhruv and Kavya’s relationship (which had hit a rough patch at the end of Season 2) with them venturing into a long-distance relationship.

Delhi Crime
Delhi Crime is based on the 2012 Delhi gang rape case that took place in the neighbourhood of Munirka, in South Delhi. The series follows the story in the aftermath of the gang rape, where Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Vartika Chaturvedi is tasked to find the culprits, responsible for the assaults and death of the female victim.

More Indian shows
– Bard of Blood
– Mirzapur
– Lust Stories
– Leila
– Stories by Rabindranath Tagore
– Mighty Little Bheem
– Chopsticks
– Selection Day
– Ghoul
– Typewriter

All time favourite
– The Haunting of Hill House
– Alias Grace
– Peaky Blinders n Narcos n Stranger Things n Breaking Bad
– 13 Reasons why n Unbelievablen The Walking Dead
– Fauda

“The internet has the possibility to really transform the Indian content market to be export-driven. So far, we have had some amazing successes. ‘Sacred Games’ travelled around the world. We are really excited about those stories”. -Reed Hastings, Netflix founder and CEO

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