As a 90s kid hailing from a typical joint Indian family, I was exposed to watching TV a lot more than an average 5-year-old would be; Whether it was my grandparents’ favourite Ramayan on Star Plus in the morning or my mom and aunts’ attention magnet, Saans featuring the disgruntled tale of a love triangle.
The evening hour with a single TV in the hall room belonged to us, the odd bunch of 5-10 year olds. Since the 60 minutes were divided in a battle of sexes and naturally, preferences; we managed to squeeze in a little of everything from WWE (WWF back then) to Fox Kids.
The day ended with Ekta Kapoor special for dinner, with extra drama. Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki presenting #FamilyGoals aired at 10 pm and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi playing the #ChroniclesofTulsi aired at 10.30 pm.
In case you’re wondering what do these details have to do with the post at all? Well, this is just a backstory of a 20 something who has gone through enough shades of the television, more like ordeal mostly to finally embrace, cherish and take a moment to appreciate what I fondly call the WEBSERA (Web Series Era) takeover.
Although we don’t quite know how far do web series date back in history, our Digibrain Google suggests, The Spot in 1995 was the first web series to be released. While the inception date of web series may not be our primary concern, there are no two ways about the fact that the WEBSERA takeover is a phenomenon seen in India only in the last one year, 13 months to be precise.
I found myself drawn to this side of the entertaining and engaging platform starting with ScoopWhoop’s Baked, followed by TVF’s Pitchers going to TVF’s Permanent Roommates, after which there was no going back to the childhood favourite (more like only) medium of Indian motion entertainment.
Speaking as a sample of the WEBSERA takeover phase, I’m over the moon with this wind of change. If you don’t agree with me, here are 5 simple reasons why WEBSERA is a win-win situation for the viewers:
1. Mini Series: As the internet audience, our attention span isn’t a magazine reader’s; in which case an episode spanning between 8-21 minutes is on-point.
2. Accessibility: Most web series are either on YouTube or channel specific apps, what is the price you pay for it? The internet/data charge you would pay to your service provider is all you really pay because the series are available for FREE of cost to watch!
3. Relatability: The characters speak as normally as any Metropolitan city resident would. There are moments you’re aback for the magnitude of realism.
4. Portability: Given that web series are easily accessible on a platform like YouTube; they literally become portable because you can simply watch them on your phone while you’re at work or traveling. (Provided, your 3G/4G network is as speedy as the Airtel girl flaunts of her network connection)
5. Unabashed and unapologetic: This one’s quite an obvious reason, the internet is an uncensored space, so there’s no shying away from let’s say anything that may not qualify Sanskari in the books of an Indian soap opera, Saasu Ma.
Television today is attempting to move away from kitchen politics, you’re left with non-fiction shows at your disposal; which eventually most often raise the obvious question; how real are these so called reality shows? Fiction on TV presents characters that are too uncanny to believe, while webseries pick a leaf from our real lives and has the ball rolling. For all those who think WEBSERA takeover is a thing of Genext, I would say it is the thing of Genow.