With the emergence of online streaming services including the likes of Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime, millenials witnessed a major shift in the entertainment business realm. Due to the affordability, convenience and sheer number of options in streaming services, more and more people are being drawn away from the traditional television.
First emerged in the late 1990s, the notion of web series took a few years to reach out to the mass, which became more prominent in the early 2000s.
In case of Bangladesh, 2017 as a year, however, can be marked as a momentous as it saw a significant rise both in the quality and quantity of web based contents, to be more specific, in web series'.
But, why are directors shifting to web based contents?
According to many prominent TV directors, who later went or are planning to explore the online world with their contents, including Safayet Mansoor Rana and Vicky Zahed, it is the openness of these services that attracts them the most. At a time when one's creative capacity is being curbed under the knife of censorship, the web likes to keep it open, comparatively.
Interestingly, this could also be the reason behind the uprise in the number of adult web dramas.
Standing at the outset of the New Year, Showtime's Nasir Rayhan provides a look at some of the most talked-about web series of 2017. The successes of the contents have been measured depending on their YouTube view counts and overall public reactions received.
Arguably the most hyped thriller web series of 2017, the suspenseful episodes of “Baghbondi” have grabbed audience’s attention and brought exposure to the whole team, more importantly the series’ director Vicky Zahed. Safa Kabir has also kept the audience at the edge of their seats along with “Baghbondi’s” two other leads, Jovan and Tawsif.
The web series is a Dhruba Entertainment production.
Directed by RB Pritam, the series consists of seven episodes. Popular TV artists, Tousif and Tamim Mridha, were also starred in the series. Aside from Naila, film actor Toma Mirza also played a role in “List.”
The engaging story has successfully made the audience anticipate for upcoming episodes and eventually turned out to be a crowd-cheering production.
“List” was released on YouTube on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.
Directed by Anwar Hossain, the web series revolves around the lives of a newly married couple, Neela and Sagor, who go through a down and out condition. Meanwhile, Neela encounters Ranjan, a pimp by profession, who actually targets her and tries to draw her into prostitution.
The moving story of the penniless couple successfully attracted and engaged audience of different generations.
“Illegal Affairs” features Jui Jannat, Kaberi, Mokbul, Shuvo, Kader, Noor and Ayan in different roles. The web series was released under CD Choice Music banner.
Featuring a bunch of popular web faces, including Mumtaheena Chowdhury Toya, Tamim Mridha, Marzuk Russell, Shamim Hasan Sarker, Max Rahman, Joynal Jack and Sarah Farhana, among others, “Palabi Kothay” was another successful web venture of the year. The series garnered much public attention, despite it being highly criticised, due to its explicit storyline and its depiction.
Written and directed by AK Porag and Vasker Dey Jony, “Palabi Kothay” was released under the label of CMV. Masud Ul Hasan was the executive producer of the series.
Another CMV venture on the list, the series features an almost similar cast including Mumtaheena Chowdhury Toya, Farhan Ahmed Jovan, Tamim Mridha, Zaki Ahmad Zarif Abdullah, Sultana Rina, Tutul Chowdhury, Azizur Rahman Azad, Mahmuda Akter Nisha, Pronab Ghosh Nafiz, Nazmul Anisur Rahman, and Razib Abu Hosen Fahim.
Scripted and directed by Topu Khan, “Admission Test” also managed to attract audience with its adult storyline and has been widely criticised for the same reason. However, the five-episode web series has received wide YouTube view.