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September 23, 2019

Best Indian Series on Amazon India’s Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video India is investing heavily in original content for its streaming service.

Indian viewers are hungry for stories more than just Bollywood love stories and also want a diverse set of actors and fresh faces to keep things interesting.  

Combined with fierce competition from Netflix India, Alt Balaji and Zee Five, the content market is on fire with more money being dumped than you can count.  

My wife and I spend more time looking for what to watch than actually watching, so I put this list together to help you quickly figure out the best web series and shows to watch on Amazon Prime Video India. 

What are the best Indian shows on Amazon Prime India?  In no particular order:

  • Inside Edge
  • Breathe 
  • Mirzapur
  • Made in Heaven
  • The Family Man
  • Laakhon Mein Ek
  • Four More Shots
  • Pushpavalli
  • Shaitaan Haveli
  • Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare
  • Mind The Malhotras

Not all of these shows will be for everyone, but they each have their appeal.  

I’ll explain the ratings and reviews of each below so you can find what’s right to watch for you.

What to Watch on Amazon Prime India

India is unique in that Bollywood and Hindi shows usually get the numbers, but the content is diversifying and that will have both pros and cons.  

Just like nobody in the south is going to watch Gujarati cinema, you’ll see a lot of negative reviews on shows that are:

  • too English,
  • too “wannabe”, (WTF?)
  • too controversial,
  • too sexual or whatever else. 

Regardless, I’ve seen most of these and aside from Hear me, Love me (uff) everything has a place on this list and is worth watching as detailed below.

So quickly scroll through and make the choice that’s best for you. 

Best Amazon Prime Indian Series

Amazon is killing it with these Prime original shows that are pushing the boundaries of Indian storytelling. 

Here’s more detail on each show. 

1. Breathe 

IMDB: 8.5

R. Madhavan leads the cast with this flagship Amazon show that is highly rated, highly reviewed and as with all good Indian dramas…sheds light on our money-driven society that exploits medicine and law enforcement in times of need.  

If you’re new to Hindi shows on Amazon India and want something is generally family-friendly but not comedy then this is a great place to start. 

The show grips you to the end and we’re all waiting for season two. 

The Breathe web series is also starring: Amit Sadh, Sapna Pabbi, Shriswara and more. 

2. Inside Edge

IMDB: 8.1

Like a mix of HBO’s Entourage meets IPL meets the American Showtime Show Ballers, Inside Edge is a great first attempt and personally I think it hits a couple of sixes during various at-bats. 

Vivek Oberoi and Richa Chadha continue their career trajectories and Tanuj Virwani, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Angad Bedi all shine in this exciting high paced show.  

As usual haters on blogs and reviews will have a hard time reconciling the “wannabe show off” culture whether it’s IPL, drugs and sex and rock and roll, English scenes or all of the above but it’s a fun show to watch and has its place. 

Reminds of how the movie Any Given Sunday in America got a lot of flack for showing the downside of football life but let’s be honest…all of the stuff depicted in this show probably exists in India’s favorite pastime cricket. 

The motion graphics look a little tacky and outdated but other than that, it’s like a better execution for Four More Shots (on the masala front) and the B-roll stadium scenes really amp the production. 

3. Made in Heaven

IMDB 8.3

My brother is in the Indian wedding DJ and Lighting industry in America, I recently got married in Bangkok and this show hit all the right notes for me at just the right time.  

The series is about two Indian wedding planners in Delhi who have to deal with snobby upper-class Indians (and middle-class, lower class and society in general who all have their hopes and aspirations) and uses the vehicle of the wedding industry to show life for South Asian culture.

It’s just awesome.  Each episode is a different big fat Indian wedding which also has different subplots, while also continuing each character’s arc, including martial affairs and LGBTQ issues in this country which are as important now as ever.

Zoya Akthar continues to find a perfect blend of east meets west and is great at showing Indian middle-class culture in a non-condescending way, which trust me, as an English comedian in India is not easy to pull off without inviting trolls and haters. 

This is probably the only English Indian show on Amazon or anywhere that pulls off a majority of the English content in a non-cringe way.

I personally think that this show is going to launch a ton of careers, and as Kubbra Sait told me about Arjun Mathur, the guy has been at it forever and it’s so nice to see him get recognized the big time for his performance in this show.  

A great example of an “overnight” success taking years. 

Amazing performances all around by the cast of Arjun Mathur, Sobhita Dhulipala, Kalki Koechlin

Jim Sarbh (reminds me of Screech from Saved by The Bell), Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi. 

Reminds me a bit of the show Rishta.com which I’m sure they used as influence which had Kavi Shastri from YRF Television. 

I think that show was ahead of its time and probably succumbed to the same “masses hated but real writing fans loved it” types ala Sarabhai vs Sarabhai.  Notice how Ratna Pathak always ends up with some quality stories! 

4. The Family Man

IMDB 8.8

This show is close to me because my friend Suman Kumar has also been working hard to be a stand-up comedian for the last five years, and he’s spent the last two years on this and none of us knew what he was really doing. 

Considering how difficult it is to do comedy especially after 30 I’m glad to see his labor of love pay off to such high reviews.  

Well done to you and your team buddy, and check out his stand up comedy also!  (Also fun fact both of our wives are doctors). 

This is Amazon India’s newest Indian web series and going to be right up there at the top.  It’s a spy thriller but also does a bit of comedy and it’s hitting all the right notes.  

Similar in tone to the Netflix Bard of Blood espionage thriller, I think you’re going to see Amazon put a lot of muscle in promoting this show after the early reviews and viewer data come in.  

I didn’t even realize it was out until my friends were telling me to watch it, which is why I thought let me deep dive into it. 

This show is:

  • part Spy Versus Spy,
  • part Mission Impossible,
  • part Sacred Games,
  • part that new Sacha Baron Cohen thriller The Spy…
  • this is going to be a big one.  

Starring Manoj Bajpayee as Srikant, Sharib Hashmi as JK Talpade, Neeraj Madhav as Moosa, Priyamani as Suchitra, Vedant Sinha as Atharv, Mehak Thakur as Dhriti, Shahab Ali as Sajid, Pawan Chopra as Sharma, Shreya Dhanwanthary as Zoya and Sharad Kelkar as Arvind, Darshan Kumaar as Sameer and many more. 

5. Mirzapur

IMDB: 8.5

This Mafia crime thriller has just been renewed for a second season and Pankaj Tripathi and Ali Fazal steal the show as always in this North Indian mobster story full of violence and lawlessness.

It all starts with an inciting incident (film school or hero’s journey anyone?) at a wedding (not like Made in Heaven though) and takes off from there. 

My brother loves this show, fans of Netflix’s Sacred Games will love this show and while you may not want to binge on it with mummy and papa around, it’s a gripping show that will hold you until the end. 

Starring Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, Pankaj Tripathi, Divyendu Sharma, Shweta Tripathi, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Rasika Dugal, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Amit Sial, Sheeba Chaddha, Harshita Gaur and Anangsha Biswas.

The show just got renewed for a second season on Amazon and should be out in less than a year. 

6. Laakhon Mein Ek

IMDB: 8.3

Another comedy friend of mine Biswa Kalyan Rath wrote the two seasons of this show about middle-class India’s struggle to either get into engineering or medicine.  

I always say that in India, engineering and medicine is a blueprint to the middle class and this show sort of highlights this theme, from a comedian who quit life after IIT to do stand up comedy and now more dramatic storytelling.  

In India, you can do what you want after Engineering, right?

A good show for families and youngsters alike, it’s a good watch and motivating at the same time. 

A couple of episodes you’re unsure where things are going but it’s meant to keep the viewer thinking and I think if you’re not in a crime/action mood it’s a wonderful show to give a go. 

7. Four More Shots Please

IMDB: 5.2 (Let me explain)

Yes, I know the rating is low. 

But you know what, just like we saw with Dave Chappelle’s latest special Sticks and Stones on Netflix, sometimes the audiences and critics don’t get along.  

They do seem to agree on this though. 

However, knowing this show had low ratings I still watched it since I’ve met and worked with a few of the staff here once in a while and we run in similar circles. 

My wife and I wanted to hate it, we really did.  But we just kept watching. Until we finished it. 

Is there a lot of unnecessary sexual stuff going on? Of course.  But it’s done truthfully. We are a country that gives adult websites like 90% of their ad revenue thanks to Jio. 

So why are people hating on a show that talks about things already on the minds of most Indian people anyways?

Get off the high horse folks! 

People have affairs, the workplace isn’t exactly innocent and yes, women think about all the things you twisted guys think about in incognito mode. 

Although the script was a bit loose and the production quality could have gone up a bit, I thought it used the actors very effectively and gave each character something unique to do.   

Plus I remember seeing all the tweets on social media during the show. Some cringed, but everybody watched.  What does that say? If you don’t like something, change the channel. If you watch the whole thing in a time when most YouTube viewers quit a video within 8 seconds, you clearly were engaged. 

Starring Sayani Gupta, Bani J (who MTV made famous), Kirti Kulhari and Maanvi Gagroo who stars along with other web series star Sumit Vyas in TVF’s Tripling. 

8. Pushpavalli

IMDB: 7.4

My darling friend Sumukhi Suresh has created this show and it was one of the first I watched because well, we’ve also made several videos together including this one about a maid that about 10 million of you have watched (across YouTube and Facebook).  

One of the few shows after Made in Heaven that can really pull of English in India, I loved it because it’s Sumukhi’s true-life story and Sumukhi is just such a versatile actor, I actually almost cried at that closing monologue.  

Girls can be irrational stalkers also and this was one of the first Amazon web series to capture the nonmainstream market, so well done dear. 

Any millennial girl who grew up in a hostel will relate to the dialogues and humor as well. 

Season two is currently being scheduled for release. 

Starring Sumukhi Suresh, Naveen Richard (another comedian) Preetika Chawla (also in Made in Heaven) and Manish Anand.  

9. Shaitaan Haveli

IMDB 7.1

Varun Thakur is another name that’s been around the Indian stand up comedy and sketch scene for years.  He used to act in AIB videos on their YouTube channel and was a part of the now split SNG Comedy You Tube gang.  

He’s also always been a fan of Bollywood and acting and played a few roles in various Bollywood films. 

I’m glad to see he got his own show when Amazon first kicked things off in India and although not a very high budget Amazon production, the show is hilarious and fans of the B rated horror genre in India will totally find this show wonderful.  

The other irony is that this show about low budget Indian 80s horror flicks actually has a much higher budget and cinematography than the original subject material. 

A great comedy watch during or after dinner, and sad we didn’t see a Season two from Amazon Prime of Shaitaan Haveli. 

Starring Varun Thakur, Neha Chauhan and Bhupesh Singh. 

10. Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare

IMDB 8.0

Zakir Khan has skyrocketed to become the most popular stand-up comedian in India, with literally any video he touches guaranteed to get 2-3 million views. 

The show feels similar to Zakir’s themes of being a small-town boy trying to find his way in life and also faking it to make it. 

Very popular with his fans and public alike, do give it a watch and it’s a very family-friendly series for Amazon India, unlike many of the other items on this list. 

Starring: Zakir Khan as Ronny, Vyom Sharma as Anwar, Kumar Varun (another Indian comedian) as Kranti, Venus Singh as Avantika, Zakir Hussain as Rajesh, Alka Amin as Amrita and Abhimanyu Singh as Chachaji. 

11. Mind The Malhotras

IMDB 6.2

This show is an acquired taste, as those would end up clicking on it would also compare it to Modern Family.  

I don’t expect some small family in a small town in Gujarat to relate to this show or its sarcasm and first world problems, but I also think the family in Bandra that does get it would just prefer to watch Modern Family instead. 

Ahh, the beauty of trying to run entertainment in India.  I’m curious how the Indian version of the Office will do on HotStar as well. 

If you’ve watched all the other comedy shows on Amazon Prime and are looking for something a bit off the cuff, it’s still entertaining, cleaner than Four More Shots Please and a very commendable effort that I hope the Indian audiences adopt soon. 

Starring Mini Mathur, Cyrus Sahukar, Denzil Smith and Sushmita Mukherjee.

Conclusion

Read Next:

Best Indian Shows and Series on Netflix

Best Indian and Hindi Movies on Amazon Prime

There is a lot of quality programming coming out of India now that streaming platforms are putting quality writing, characters and storytelling away from Bollywood’s outdated nepotism culture.

Talented actors are getting their fair shake, the censor board is luckily not as powerful on streaming platforms as it should be in cinema halls and good cream is rising to the top.

I will continue to update this list and more and more content is created for Amazon India.

What are your favorite Indian shows on Amazon Prime India?

Sanjay Manaktala is one of the top stand up comedians in India who started building the comedy community in the country back in 2010. Since then his stand up comedy videos and podcasts have helped millions laugh or get motivated. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his YouTube channel here.

Let me know if this helped you or any comments?