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Many experts agree that the third wave of Covid-19 will hit us in early autumn. That will probably mean another round of strict pandemic measures, including lockdowns. And that will mean a lot of people bored out of their mind with nothing but time on their hands. We have binged all our TV shows, played new games, and did all home improvements we can handle. Perhaps it is time to see what other people are doing for fun in these trying times. And where else to begin if not in the largest movie and TV shows production in the world, Bollywood? Here are some TV shows and games that are dominating in India.

Sacred Games

Netflix’s production team has arrived in India in 2018. For their first project, they have chosen Vikram Chandra's novel Sacred Games. Starring Saif Ali Khan as police officer Sartaj Singh, a TV show with the same name was premiered in 2018. The show has two seasons and revolves around a disastrous event that threatens to destroy Mumbai unless officer Singh can do something about it. He was warned about the event in a phone call by a criminal named Ganesh Gaitonde, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Gaitonde threatens to blow up one of the largest cities in the world unless his demands are met. Singh must fight both him and the corrupt Indian police bureaucracy. The show also features Neeraj Kabi, Jatin Sarna, Radhika Apte, and Kubbra Sait. Pankaj Tripathi, Kalki Koechlin, and Ranvir Shorey.

Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming is one of the most popular pastime activities on the planet and India is no exception. It is easy to see why people love playing them. They are fun, convenient, and don’t require an expensive PC or game console. After all, we all have smartphones, why not use them for something entertaining, not just calls and messages? Titles like Crazy Time Casino Game have been occupying people’s attention even before the pandemic. Faced with lockdowns, games like this one have become even more popular and thousands of people are playing them every day. Not only are they having fun, but also have a chance of winning some cash, which is always a good motivator.

The Family Man

The Family Man is another espionage thriller set in Mumbai. Srikant, played by Manoj Bajpayee, is an agent working for the National Investigation Agency, India’s premier counter-terrorism outfit. His job entails protecting his country from terrorist threats, meaning it is an extremely high-pressure one. Unfortunately, it is also a low-paying job and he has to balance his professional duties with his responsibilities to his family. His secretive work unavoidable takes its toll on his family life and he struggles to perform both his duties. The show has a wide cast of Indian actors, including Priyamani, Neeraj Madhav, Sharib Hashmi, Pawan Chopra, Kishore Kumar, Gul Panag, and Sharad Kelkar.

Made In Heaven

Amazon Prime brings us Made In Heaven, a TV show about Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, two wedding planners who own a wedding agency in Delhi, called Made In Heaven. During their everyday endeavors to bring happy couples together, they encounter the dark underbelly of Indian society. Social divide, inequality, and sexism are just some of the things they experience on daily basis. The apparent liberalism of the upper classes in India all but disappears when practical matters like exchanging dowries, virginity tests, and arranged marriages are on the table. I an instant, parents revert to the behavior supposedly left behind in the 19th century. It is Zoya and Reema’s job to navigate this minefield and try to bring the whole affair to a happy end.

Paatal Lok

Another TV show produced by Amazon Prime, Paatal Lok tells a story of a local cop Hathiram Chowdhary, played by Jaideep Ahlawat. Years of experience have turned Chowdhary into a cynic and a pessimist. The show starts when a case of four criminals attempting to assassinate a journalist lands in his lap. As he digs deeper into the assassins’ past, he discovers some amazing and very disturbing things, leading hit to Paatal Lok (Underground in Hindu). The conspiracy behind the attempted assassination is bigger than he could ever imagine, questioning his ability to resolve it and bring conspirators to justice. The supporting cast consists of Gul Panag, Abhishek Banerjee, Swastika Mukherjee, Ishwak Singh, and Rajesh Sharma.

Four More Shots Please!

Four More Shots Please! Is a story of four women and their journey to still mostly traditional Indian society. They have to deal with jealousy, power struggles, love, romance, and broken hearts. On top of all that, they all have demanding jobs that they have to balance with their social lives. The show has been heavily criticized for the overuse of sex, nudity, and profane languages in an attempt to hide deficiencies in the script. The main characters are Damini Roy Rizvi (Sayani Gupta), Umang Singh (Bani J), Anjana Menon (Kirti Kulhari), and Sidhi Patel (Maanvi Gagroo).

Panchayat

Amazon’s comedy Panchayat depicts the life of a recently graduated engineer who gets his first job in a remote village as a panchayat secretary. As soon as he gets the feel of just how difficult life is in the remote part of Uttar Pradesh and meets the local population, Abhishek Tripathi (played by Jitendra Kumar) quickly decides that his only goal in life is getting as far as he can. To that end, he will stoop from nothing, even including studying for dreaded CAT tests.

 (guest article)

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