Love thrillers? Here are 6 ZEE5 Originals that viewers loved in 2020 and are sure to make it to your must-watch list, with twisted plots, characters that are dipped in shades of grey, backed by superb dialogues and a tight plot. Get ready for binge watching these series!
Abhay Season 2
Season 2 of this Zee5 Original, starring Kunal Kemmu in the lead role as a sharpshooting cop, is grittier and not afraid to take viewers over the edge with characters that reek of pure evil. The no-holds-barred thriller, directed by Ken Ghosh, features a superb ensemble cast of Ram Kapoor, Chunky Panday and Bidita Bag in never seen before villainous roles. As Abhay is led around in circles by a criminal mastermind to free kids who have been kidnapped, the plot remains unpredictable even as the action doesn’t stop for a second. The usually comic and genial Chunky Pandey gets into sinister mode in the episode titled Brain Soup, as the neighbourhood uncle who unravels into a murderous zone. Bag, meanwhile, in her role of a sex-worker, keeps audience on the edge of their seats. There’s enough to keep one hooked and maybe even come back for another watch.
A nuanced thriller, with strong storytelling and superb production values, Churails is a ZEE5 exclusive and Zindagi Original Pakistani drama web series. The must-watch series revolves around four women who set up a spying agency to help women gather ammunition against their philandering husbands. Of course, things don’t always go smoothly and that is where the trouble starts. Drawn from a different social class, they have a common struggle against breaking down the walls of patriarchy. While one is considered a “churail” or witch by society as she killed her husband to protect her daughter, another is viewed as a rebel for dreaming to become a boxer.
The high points are the razor sharp dialogues and dry humour as they take on rampant misogyny. Starring Sarwat Gilani, Mehar Bano, Nimra Bucha and Yasra Rizvi in lead roles, it has been written and directed by Asim Abbasi, produced by Asim Abbasi along with Mo Azmi and Shailja Kejriwal.
Among the best yearender series of 2020, Black Widows has a twisted plot that keeps you on the edge while cheering for the three women protagonists, who conspired to blow up their abusive husbands during a weekend getaway, with a bomb placed on their boat. The series, which is the eighth official international adaptation of the Finnish show by the same name, promises an emotional rollercoaster, with lots of comic punches thrown in even as it sticks to its theme of exposing inherent patriarchy. As the women try to get their alibis straight and get away with murder literally, with cops close on their heels, there’s enough in this farcical, nonsensical comic crime drama for it to stay on top of your list of favourites.
Directed by Birsa Dasgupta, it stars Mona Singh, Swastika Mukherjee and Shamita Shetty as the “Black Widows”, with Sharad Kelkar, Mohan Kapur and Vipul Roy as their toxic partners, besides Raima Sen, Aamir Ali and Parambrata Chatterjee in key roles.
Bichhoo Ka Khel
On the heels of his success in Mirzapur, Divyenndu aka Munna Bhaiya is back in Bichhoo Ka Khel, a ZEE5 Original, though in a more toned down version. As Akhil, whose father has been killed in police custody, it’s his mission to exact revenge from those behind the act. Set in Varanasi, the serene ghats offer the perfect foil for the violence that is about to be unleashed. Cuss words and bullets are par for the course, even as our protagonist tries to woo his lady love, the daughter of a powerful lawyer, while sharing screen time with his father, who has a thing for the ladies. The plot moves along quickly as two killings occur, followed by intrigue and several twists, with Akhil not knowing whom to trust.
Starring Divyenndu Sharma, Anshul Chauhan, Zeeshan Qadri, Satyajit Sharma, Mukul Chadha, Gagan Anand and Rajesh Sharma, Bichhoo Ka Khel has been directed by Ashish Shukla.
A ZEE5 Original Indian Hindi-language thriller drama film as well as series. The series, which explores the theme of anger management, revolves around a people whose festering anger has made them ticking time-bombs that can explode at any minute. Taish means “rage” and there is plenty of it packed in the series, which begins with an encounter in a London eatery that leaves one man paralysed. We learn about the connection between the attacker and the victim through flashbacks, even as we are introduced to two families, one which is wealthy and the other buried deep in criminal links. There is enough to keep one hooked, with vendetta, gang wars over their respective turfs, all spilling over in the backdrop of a wedding preparation. Taish woos the viewer with lots of style as well as substance, with the message of not licking old wounds and thinking before reacting.
Directed by Bejoy Nambiar, it stars Pulkit Samrat, Kriti Kharbanda, Jim Sarbh, Sanjeeda Shaikh and Harshvardhan Rane. It has been produced by Nishant Pitti, Shivanshu Pandey, Deepak Mukut and Bejoy Nambiar.
State of Siege: 26/11
A ZEE5 Original, State of Siege 26/11 is based on Sandeep Unnithan’s book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11 and documents the events that took place in 2008 when a group of 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists attacked prominent places in the city. It celebrates the security forces who saved several lives during the mission despite the many challenges. The series, comprising eight episodes, starts by introducing us to the budgetary challenges of the NSG for securing weapons.
As the momentum builds, we witness the background of the attacks, the Mumbai Police stepping in and finally, the critical role played by the NSG during the entire operation, which carried on for 60 hours. Created by Abhimanyu Singh, it stars Arjan Bajwa, Arjun Bijlani and Mukul Dev in main roles.