Gritty crime thrillers have become synonymous with Indian web series with every other streaming network releasing a new desi crime saga every month. However, only a few of these too-many-to-count gritty desi thrillers have been really impactful and even fewer have been able to develop a dedicated fanbase. Amazon Prime Video’s Mirzapur, starring Pankaj Tripathi in lead, has probably been one of those few shows that were impactful and at the same time were able to create a fanbase. The impact of the show has been such that many criminal acts along the lines of incidents shown in the series have come to light since the show first aired with the accused admitted being inspired by the series. However, the sole credit of this superhit genre doesn’t really belong to Mirzapur alone. It was Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer Netflix original Sacred Games that first bought these mafia violence-laden stories into the spotlight.
Anyhow, since the third season of Mirzapur is going to take a while, we bring to you some other thrilling Indian web series that we are sure you will enjoy binge-watching if Mirzapur is your favourite.
What happens when a disillusioned cop Haathiram Chowdhary (played by Jaideep Ahlawat) is given a lifetime of a case that draws him to the dark narrow streets of the underwood? Paatal Lok is the story of the underworld where Chowdhary lands during his quest to solve the case of an assassination attempt on a journalist. Four suspects, their shocking back story and a wry cop are what piece together the screenplay of Paatal Lok. The series has a great cast which includes actors such as Gul Panag, Neeraj Kabi, and Ishwak Singh among various others. The show is already renewed for a second season.
Where to stream – Pataal Lok is currently streaming on Amazon Prime
Rangbazz is an Indian thriller web series set in the rustic Gorakhpur of the 90s era. It is loosely based on Shri Prakash Shukla the infamous gangster and most wanted criminal from Gorakhpur back in the day. Starring Saqib Saleem, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Ranvir Shorey in pivotal roles, Rangbazz season one received exceptional critical appreciation and the series soon got renewed for two more seasons that are also out now for streaming.
Where to watch – Rangbaaz season 1, season 2, and season 3 are streaming on Zee5
The Family Man
The Family Man is one of Prime Video’s most popular original shows and has a dedicated fanbase across desi internet. Two seasons have already been out and both were exceptionally well-received both critically and commercially. In the lead is Manoj Bajpayee as a senior intelligence officer Shrikant Tiwari who is trying his best to balance a rather unsteady family life with a wife and two children along with his difficult profession as an intelligence officer. Season 2 came out last year and also has Samantha Ruth Prabhu in a never seen antagonist role. The Family Man season 3 is in the making and should be out by next year.
Where to stream – The Family Man Season 1 and Season 2 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video
Directed by Sandeep Modi, this crime thriller has Sushmita Sen in the title role. Aarya is a story of an independent woman whose narrative takes a different turn when her husband is mysteriously killed. Aarya was initially promoted as Sushmita Sen’s foray into the world of web series but soon the show garnered appreciation for the storyline, performances and captivating screenplay. The show also stars Chandrachur Singh, Namit Das, Ankur Bhatia and Vikas Kumar in titular roles.
Where to watch – Aarya season 1 and season 2 are currently streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar
Since we are talking about shows that the audience will love if they love Mirzapur, how can we miss another class act by the main man- Pankaj Tripathi. Tripathi is on the roll when it comes to web shows in India. Criminal Justice is his feat with a story that revolves around the justice system of the country. For those who still have doubts, the show is directed by ace Tigmanshu Dhulia. Criminal Justice also has Vikrant Massey, Jackie Shroff and Anupriya Goenka in pivotal roles. The show already has three seasons out with a total of 26 episodes giving you enough content for a week-long binge session.
Where to watch – Criminal Justice season 1, season 2, and season 3 are currently streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar
The first Netflix original show in India, Sacred Games as mentioned before is often credited for bringing this genre of crime thrillers into the spotlight of the Indian web series world. With two seasons and some great actors in the star cast, the show has given life to OTT. For those few who haven’t watched it yet, it’s time to put everything aside and tune in to this first.
Where to watch – All seasons of Sacred Games are streaming on Netflix.
Hostages, a Sudhir Mishra directorial, is about a renowned surgeon who has been instructed by keeping her family at gunpoint to assassinate the chief minister during surgery. A similar pattern of kidnapping storyline is also followed in season 2 of the show where a retired cop can be seen kidnapping a chief minister. The show stars Tisca Chopra, Ronit Roy and Parvin Dabas among other artists in important roles.
Where to watch – Hostages season 1 and season 2 are currently streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar
Set in Varanasi, Asur’s story revolves around a forensic expert-turned-teacher who rejoins the CBI to solve the case of a ruthless serial killer. The show casts Arshad Warsi, Sharib Hashmi, Barun Sobti, and Ridhi Dogra in the main roles.
Where to watch – Asur is currently streaming on Voot.
Breathe Into The Shadows has Madhavan in season 1 and Abhishek Bachchan with Amit Sadh, in season 2 in the main roles. The stories in both seasons revolve around a desperate fathers and the violent lengths they go to save their children.
Where to watch – Breathe is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Special Ops is directed by the famed Neeraj Pandey and stars the very talented Kay Kay Menon in the lead role. These two facts in itself should be enough for a movie buff to tune into the series that currently have two seasons for a total of eight episodes out. Menon can be seen in the series as Himmat Singh, a member of the Research and Analysis Wing. The storyline can seem cliche from afar which resolves around Himmat Singh and his team of five agents hunting the man responsible for terror attacks in the country. However, Special Ops have received a positive response from critics and audiences alike. Also in important roles are actor Karan Tacker, Saiyami Kher and Vinay Pathak among various other popular faces.
Where to watch – Special Ops season 1 and season 2 are currently streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar