While the world slowly inches back towards some semblance of normality, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over, even as lockdown measures are being relaxed all over the globe. At the same time, there are many places where quarantine and lockdown restrictions are still in place, and some where they have had to be reimposed following a spurt in cases after the rules were relaxed. Thus, there are many people who are still staying indoors, either due to the rules or as a matter of choice to keep themselves and their family members safe, and there has been a rising need for entertainment options during this time. Online streaming has become immensely popular as a result, with the plethora of viewing options that each service provides, along with the ease of access, making it simple for people to pass the time. One of the growing services in India, ZEE5, has taken advantage of this lockdown to push out a lot of quality content, and this has seen it become even more popular amongst people in the country. Thus, we take a look at the top ten shows on ZEE5 for people to watch at this time –
1) The Casino
‘The Casino’ was one of the most widely-discussed shows online before its release, due to the excellent trailer which managed to get the attention of some Bollywood stars as well on social media. It is a crime thriller, with the plot revolving around a multi-million rupee casino, and the struggle to gain control over it between the owner’s son and mistress. While this show will appeal to everyone, it is going to be a favourite of gambling fans, as it does a brilliant job of showing the dark side of gambling, behind all the glitz and glamour, and it is also a revolutionary show in India, as there have not been too many shows based on casino games for real money in India before, or any casino-based storylines at all. The show ends on a cliffhanger as well, setting viewers up for the next season, which will be hotly demanded by fans now.
2) The Final Call
This is a show revolving around destiny and fate, with all of the characters fighting to change what is predetermined for them. It is a thriller, with a lot of drama, intrigue and mystery, along with some supernatural elements as well in the attempt to show destiny and fate as being unchangeable, no matter what people may do to make things happen differently in their lives.
3) 377 Ab Normal
The title of the show refers to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized homosexuality in India. It was struck down by the Indian Supreme Court in 2018, which finally made being gay in India not a crime. This movie is a look into the battle for that decision, and the struggle that numerous people across the country had to take to finally make this section of the Penal Code obsolete, and make people of all sexual orientations feel free in the country.
This is a historical dramatization of one of the most important moments in India’s freedom struggle against the British Empire. The movie depicts Mahatma Gandhi’s famous Salt March from his ashram in Sabarmati to the salt flats on the coast at Dandi, in Gujarat, in defiance of the salt tax that had been imposed by the British, and thus beginning the Civil Disobedience Movement. This movie shows some of the lesser-known facts and events behind this momentous historical event, which was pivotal in the build-up to India’s independence.
5) Code M
Code M is a crime thriller, depicting three cops hot on the heels of two suspects, with the investigating officer’s private life threatening to put a spanner in the works. While it is not the most captivating watch, the cinematography is excellent, as are some of the shooting locations, and it is definitely a decent option for a binge-watch over a weekend.
This show has a decent cast of former Bollywood actors, with the likes of Riya Sen and Arbaaz Khan leading the cast. The story follows a released convict, who then embarks on a campaign of revenge against the people who put him in prison. It is set in Goa, and so there are a number of picturesque shots and locations, in contrast with the dark theme of the show, which has had one 11-episode season thus far.
‘Abhay’ is a ZEE5 original production, with the service releasing two episodes every month. The show is based on the 2006 Nithari case, which shook India, where two men were arrested for necrophilia and cannibalism.
This show is based on short stories by one of India’s most beloved authors, Ruskin Bond. While he is known for his children’s stories, Bond is an acclaimed thriller writer as well, and these episodes are based on those stories of his. Prepare for some bone-chilling horror and tension if you watch this show, and do not do so alone.
9) High Priestess
A Telugu thriller, this show is nevertheless dubbed in Hindi and other languages, so you can still enjoy it without knowing the language. It is based on the story of a card-reader and clairvoyant, and her extraordinary powers and abilities.
10) Kark Rogue
This medical thriller deals with life-threatening illnesses and diseases, which are attempted to be healed through religious and otherwise-supernatural ways and means, leading to some unforeseen and unwanted results.