There might just be a little time to reflect and admit that some great TV shows helped us sleep a lot better (or not at all) in 2023. The year had witnessed some extremely anticipated web series releases across OTT platforms. Here is our studiously crafted list of the top 10 shows of the year.
THE LAST OF US
Created by Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin, The Last of Us streaming on HBO , tops the list having delivered some of its finest television hours with its compelling storytelling in the post-apocalyptic world and revisiting the conceptions around survival and humankind. The uncanny blend of nightmare and hope, Last of Us is adapted from Duckmann’s video game but is more ambitious with its intricate exploration of the nature of humanity and the rawness of being human. The Last of Us viewership soared to 8.2 million, by 75% throughout Season 1 and is still the most searched TV series on the Internet.
Streaming on HBO, “Succession,” rated 8.9/10 on IMDb, is undoubtedly one of the best shows and the primary reason to watch the series is Kendall Roy, who holds an Internet presence as significant as BoJack Horseman. The tragic TV character in “Succession,” is a nuanced, multi-faceted man that lends the show a multilayered flavour of irony, comedy and drama. The Emmy-winning HBO series created by Jesse Armstrong ended gloriously with its final season released this year in March and is not just a standard drama but a must-watch to understand the psychological intricacies of characterization.
Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror, returned with its sixth season on Netflix after four years on 15 June 2023 and soon everyone was obsessed with the sci-fi satire. The season opener “Joan is Awful,” both haunted and hooked us with its storyline of a woman named Joan, played by Salma Hayek. Starring Aaron Paul in the new season, the show is credited with an IMDb rating of 8.7/10 and a viewing time of 1.36 billion minutes in the US on its first week of release (June 12-18), Black Mirror lived up to its standards of impacting its viewers with mind-bending despair and unsettling notions on existence.
One of the best series on Netflix, “Sex Education,” released its farewell season this year in September and with the year ending, it ranks second in position in “the most searched romance on streaming today.” Rated 8.3/10 on IMBd, the series has been consistent with its portrayal of serious themes around sex, teenhood and mother-son relationships. The sex comedy is a must-watch when it comes to confronting the much-ignored notions around sexuality and understanding life during the formative years of knowing and unlearning.
ASUR : WELCOME TO YOUR DARK SIDE
It all started with the release of “Asur,” that Indians began to expect more from the experience on OTT platforms. Directed by Oni Sen, “Asur,” was first released in March 2020 and left the audience high and dry by the end of its eighth episode. After a two-year hiatus, it returned with more awe-inspiring thrill, suspense and patiently crafted storyline. The whodunit is deeply rooted in mythology, psychological and technological war, and the restoration of the balance between good and evil. Starring Arshad Warsi, Barun Sobti, Nidhi Dogra, and Anupriya Goenka, “Asur,” should always be on the list of the top ten shows of the year.
GUNS AND GULAABS
Creators like Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru upped the game for streaming services in India. “Guns and Gulaabs,” was released in August and is one of the top 4 most searched Bollywood shows. The show is a perfect blend of visually appealing cinematography, a delicious soundtrack, and sharp screenwriting. Streaming on Netflix, this show is a refreshing masterpiece in the evolution of Indian streaming experiences.
THE RAILWAY MEN : THE UNTOLD STORY OF BHOPAL 1984
The Yashraj Fims’ debut series released in November, presented to us the ‘untold story,’ of those individuals who went above and beyond to save the lives of multitudes of those who met with the fatality of their destinies during the Bhopal Gas tragedy on December 2, 1984. The performative excellence of actors like R Madhavan, Kay Kay Menon, Mandira Bedi, Babil Khan, Divyendu and Raghubir Yadav, coupled with the detailed, multiple-stranded narrative of facts and fiction, yields to the series its character and makes it one of the best series of the year and on Netflix.
The much anticipated, obsessive story of our favourite stalker slash killer, the infamous Joe Goldberg, returned with Season 4 of “You,” on Netflix and stayed in the top 20 for two months after its release in two parts in the consecutive months of February and March. The psychological thriller streaming on Netflix ended with the speculation of a Season 5, that might actually wrap up the story of our character played by Penn Badgley.
Underrated, yet not so much anymore, “Reservation Dogs,” co-created by showrunner Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, made a worldwide impact in the landscape of TV shows, through its distinctive engagement with the lives of four Native American teenagers being bizarrely unfolded through the commitment. Streaming on Hulu, the coming-of-age dramedy series secured an IMDb rating of 8.2/10. According to the statistics of Parrot Analytics, the audience demand is 18.9 times higher than the average TV series in the US.
Based on the best-selling novel by Thomas Mallon, “Fellow Travellers,” was made into a TV series by Ron Nyswaner. The show explores a tragic love affair beyond the niche queer content throughout eight episodes during McCarthyism. The series patiently delves into the notions of the public and the private through engaging storytelling that has rolled on for three decades. Streaming on Amazon Prime, the series is a recommended watch for its poignant plot and impeccable performances by Jonathan Bailey and Matt Bomer.
The juxtaposition of Natasha Lyonne’s screen presence and the direction of Rian Johnson, can only give birth to the delightfully retro aesthetic TV series and is a modern flashback of weekly murder mysteries telecasted during the 1970s and 80s. Charlie Cale, played by Lyonne, gives in to her annoying impulse of probing skills and lands into the maze of solving crime with an inevitable poker face. Streaming on Peacock TV, Poker TV deserves to be in the list of top 10 TV series, with an IMDb rating of 7.9/10.