Netflix – not just a source of entertainment

Indian English TV series aimed at international audience is carving a niche for itself in the world of TV shows. Filmed in different parts of the world, the aim of these TV shows is to entertain varied audience with good story telling techniques. Although critical about family members, especially women neglecting domestic chores and other responsibilities to view their favorite mega serials only to drown themselves in the pathos of the protagonists, my recent exposure to TV shows based on Indian families’ experiences both in Indian and abroad have changed my perspectives as I see educational values in it.

Netflix, popularly known for entertainment with an extensive list of movies, TV shows, documentaries, Stand-up talk shows etc. for subscribers to choose from is becoming an online database of teaching and learning resources with specific emphasis on diverse culture. A popular novel published in 1993 by Vikram Seth titled ‘A Suitable Boy’ tracing the fortunes of four large families in democratic India where political clashes, religious bigotry, riots and gender discrimination existed side by side was metamorphosed into a TV series by directors Mira Nair and Shimit Amin. To be honest, I am not sure if I enjoyed the book more of the TV series as the latter has succeeding in leaving a ever lasting impression on my ever inquisitive mind.        

Lang Fisher and Mindy Kaling’s ‘Never Have I Ever’, a semi-autobiographical TV series, with Season 1 comprising ten episodes and a forthcoming Season 2 is a hilarious and down-to-earth representation of Kaling’s own childhood experiences. The complicated life of an Indian American teenage girl presented in comedic genres has swayed me.

Another docuseries that has left an indelible mark on me is Bad Boy Billionaires: India. Even though the focus of the TV series is the downfall of Indian tycoons, their tragic flaws being greed, fraud and corruption, I found viewing this show extremely refreshing not only because its raw materials were real people and real experiences but because it had nothing to do with Indian slums. Tired of being at the brunt of ridicule due to foreigners’ tendency to associate Indians with the slum dwellers depicted in award winning documentaries , it was a feel good experience to envisage an international audience watching Indians roll in cash and lead the lifestyle of the elite that many dare to dream.

A shout out to the directors, the cast and crew of these masterpieces. 

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