With some of the hottest HBO shows and top-shelf local productions, Hotstar’s TV series line-up is heating up.
If you like nothing more than kicking back and losing a good week of your life binge-watching long-form entertainment, Hotstar has got you covered and then some. Not only does this Indian streaming giant boast some of the best home-grown TV series ever created, it also has licensing in place to draw in the best Western shows from the likes of TV producing maestros HBO. Today, we’re going to give you an even split of the two that’ll keep you glued to your screen until your eyes square up nicely.
1. Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai (2009)
Welcome to the daily trials and tribulations of the Udaipur-based Rajasthani family. Theirs is the story of a young married couple, Kartik and Naira, desperately trying to find a workable balance between their family values, personal beliefs and often tumultuous circumstances. There’s always something afoot in Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, be it a dangerous love triangle, a marriage break-up or two (or six) or even a catastrophic accident that’ll divide these extended families into warring factions. With quality drama like this it’s easy to see why this is India’s longest-running TV series.
- Hina Khan as Akshara Naitik Singhania
- Karan Mehra as Naitik Singhania
- Shivangi Joshi as Naira Naitik Goenka
2. Game of Thrones (2011)
Seven mythical kingdoms to govern, only one ruler and an uncomfortable throne to sit on that’s made from swords. That’s not an enviable position for reigning monarch Robert Baratheon, especially when you factor in the rising external threats of an exiled would-be usurper and whisperings of an ancient supernatural army gathering in the icy north. Best forget any notions you may have going into this of The Lord of the Rings meets geopolitics. Game of Thrones is a fantastically dark, incredibly addictive drama where no character is quite what they first appear to be and nobody is safe from a well-orchestrated backstabbing.
- Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
- Kit Harington as Jon Snow
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
- Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
3. Kasautii Zindagii Kay (2018)
This reboot of the 2001 series Kasautii Zindagii Kay proves that great ideas can always come back around again if handled with care. This modern take explores the lives of two opposite persons Anurag Basu and Prerna Sharma who belong to two different worlds but fall in love with each other. However, fate has other plans for them which creates havoc in their lives. As far as soaps go this is expertly cast and lavished with high-production values. Furthermore it’ll catch the old guard off with new twists which make this epic love saga sheer addiction in no time.
- Erica Fernandes as Prerna Sharma
- Parth Samthaan as Anurag Basu
- Hina Khan as Komolika Chaubey
4. Westworld (2016)
Picture this: a futuristic theme park that’s hundreds of kilometres across and designed to fool and immerse its uber-rich visitors that they’ve returned to Wild West times. Upon exiting the steam train said tourists are tended to by hundreds of era-authentic, AI-driven android actors and there’s no restriction placed on “interactions”. As you’d expect from humans, the basest of instincts are the appetites that are sated first. Also what you’d expect from Michael Crichton, original author of Westworld and Jurassic Park: the exhibits break free from their bonds and give their guests an unforgettable vacation experience.
- Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy
- Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay
- Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe
- James Marsden as Theodore “Teddy” Flood
5. Nazar (2018)
This unorthodox supernatural thriller series centres on an evil 200-year-old Daayan, Mohana. Her favourite pastime is killing people in order to leech their life-force to maintain her stunning youthful looks. That said, she’s not above using her evil eye powers to make men fall in love with her in order to mother children before doing the black widow thing and doing in the dad. Nazar continues 18 years later when Mohana’s half-demon, rather cursed progeny are trying their best to get on with the day-to-day struggles of modern life.
- Antara Biswas as Mohana Rathod
- Niyati Fatnani as Piya Sharma
- Harsh Rajput as Ansh Rathod
6. The Wire (2002)
It’s hard to know where the good guys end and the bad guys begin on the crack-ridden streets of Baltimore. In an effort to get a slight edge in the war on drugs, a small task force is begrudgingly established by a police commissioner going through the motions to appease a nosy city judge. Staffed with the refuse from every other local command, this ragtag bunch of misfits somehow manage to secure themselves a wiretap and begin hearing of the near-mythical figure of Avon Barksdale, a ruthless drug kingpin who is so far off their radar he’s a ghost. Just as the cops start to wise up on how big a deal he truly is, Barksdale and his crew begin an impressive campaign of counter-intelligence.
- Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty
- Lance Reddick as Cedric Daniels
- Sonja Sohn as Kima Greggs
- Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale
7. Ishqbaaz (2016)
Come and meet the Oberoi brothers, three cashed-up siblings who are as dysfunctional as the day is long but they also share an unbreakable bond. The eldest is Shivaay, whose life’s loves are business and his two brothers. Omkara is the middle child and a struggling artist. Last but not least, the youngest is the ambition-less Rudra, who believes life to be all about having fun. Over the course of some 600-odd episodes they’re stalked by arch nemeses the Kapoor sisters (Svetlana, Tia and Saumya). They’re a scheming family unit who lost out big, thanks to an Oberoi Group industrial accident.
- Nakuul Mehta as Shivaay Singh Oberoi
- Surbhi Chandna as Anika
- Kunal Jaisingh as Omkara Singh Oberoi
8. The Americans (2013)
This thriller series about Russian spies infiltrating American life is some serious binge-watch material (and is oddly topical considering current events). It’s 1981 and the Reagan administration is lamenting the fact that the Soviet Union has an unknown number of sleeper agents lurking in plain sight around the country. Moles like Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, a seemingly red-blooded American couple who have a son and a daughter but are in fact cold, calculating Soviet KGB officers who are by chance living opposite Stan Beeman, an FBI Counterintelligence agent. Needless to say, the neighbourhood barbeque scenes are intense.
- Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings
- Matthew Rhys as Phillip Jennings
- Noah Emmerich as Stan Beeman
- Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings
9. Kullfi Kumarr Bajewala (2018)
Sweet cute and completely charming, seven-year-old Kullfi is a singing prodigy who is blessed with a nightingale’s voice. After tragedy strikes her small village she ventures out on a new journey to find her estranged father, Sikandar Singh Gill, a famous singer who chose his career over his family. Persevering through the many struggles life throws her way, our diminutive heroine must successfully navigate her way around jealous half-siblings and greedy extended family members who see her talent as a meal ticket. Expertly cast and filled with infectious musical numbers, the upbeat Kullfi Kumarr Bajewala is a breath of fresh air.
- Pallavi Rao as Nihalo Sattu Kumarr Bajewala
- Romanch Mehta as Sattu Kumarr Bajewala
- Vidya Sinha as Kullfi
- Rudra Kaushik as Mahinder Singh Gill
10. Veep (2012)
Welcome to the topsy-turvy life of second-in-command Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a former senator from Maryland who ran unsuccessfully for president in the 2012 election and instead became vice president (or “Veep“) to Stuart Hughes. Purposely shut out of the process of government by her running mate, Meyer and her unorthodox staff are forced to secretly go rogue in order to get bills passed and to secure the Veep‘s legacy. Honestly, half the fun is watching the sharp-tongued Meyer tear strips off this bureaucratic establishment, the other half is wondering if she’ll get away with her risky schemes.
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer
- Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer
- Tony Hale as Gary Walsh
- Matt Walsh as Mike McLintock