Going for the kill: crime shows weave big success on OTT!

A mysterious crime scene and an enticing back story can be the perfect cocktail for a gripping show. And that’s exactly what Indian creative minds have hit upon considering the number of web shows — especially inspired by real life crime/scams — that have, of late, hit the screens.

Be it Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, Delhi Crime, Abhay, Jamtara, Rangbaaz or Aashram, all of them — either directly or indirectly — take cues from real life cases. Even other hit shows like The Family Man, Sacred Games, Paatal Lok, Mirzapur, Asur and The Raikar Case among others have crime angle which are al rooted in reality.

“With crime based shows, one can immediately attract people’s attention. And if a show is inspired by a true story, then the interest levels go up multiple times because people want to know the behind-the-scene story too,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

For makers too, what crime based shows does is “grab people’s attention without too much hard-work.” “What also helps is that audiences have heard about such crimes or criminals, so that’s a great advantage vis-a-vis raising curiosity levels. Also, OTT space gives a kind of freedom to play with such stories but since you can’t go overboard, there has to be a balance,” says filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia, whose next web show is reportedly based on author Vikas Swarup’s novel, Six Suspects.

Plus, while filmmaker Hansal Mehta is working on a web series on real life gangster, Vikas Dubey, the second season of Delhi Crime is also in the works. Actors, on their part, don’t want to get into the morality of crime based shows/characters. “As an actor, I don’t yearn to have an absolutely clean and good boy image. What Gaitonde does is his personality. At the end, the artiste in me should only be concerned about fulfilling the demand of the character, and that could be a violent streak, colourful language, or any other idiosyncrasy,” says actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who played Ganesh Gaitonde in Sacred Games series.

But with so many crime based shows around, isn’t it like killing the golden goose? “I don’t believe in the fact that there could be a saturation point vis-a-vis a particular genre, provided the content is of certain quality. It goes without saying that in today’s times, a sub-standard won’t work. So, the quality — with regards to storytelling and production values — have to be very high,” says Adarsh.

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