Has the reincarnation of epic TV series into web series worked?

11 . Aug . 2017
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nostalgia is one of the most intense emotions. Mainstream has been milking this emotion since a while now. Several blockbuster franchies in Hollywood are hinging on the fact that their characters, storylines and everything was part of pop culture once upon a time. However, this is not safe ground.  Fans want series that are harkback to stories and characters that they are passionate enough. However, this crowd is too hard to please. One slip and then it all goes southward instantly.

And this is a global phenomena. Quite simply, the only mainstream franchise that’s revered in India is ‘Don’. For India, streaming is the next big thing. Some wildly popular TV series from the 90s are seeing themselves becoming web series. Some of these are blatant while others are quite under the radar. For example, Sarabhai V Sarabhai had a blatant spin-off, Sarabhai V Sarabhai Take 2. That came out on Hotstar. Then,  the 90s also saw a very successful Hip Hip Hurray! Both these series stood out among the clutter of TV series.

The launch of Sarabhai V Sarabhai Take 2 was a mini celebration. Hotstar did a good promotion around it. Everyone covered it. The mainstream media did it, the new media did it. It wouldn’t be a surprise if DD News covered it on their entertainment beat.

The initial episode even had some good reviews. Since then, though, media outlets have largely ignored it. You know what that means in most cases – there’s no audience for it.  Even we, the website that exclusively covers web series and short films don’t actually know what the status of the series is.

Then, consider ALTBalaji’s Class of 2017. This is one of the many ALTBalaji series that are ‘not here yesterday, here today’. The series suddenly hit the streaming screens two weeks back and once again, there’s a lull about any information about it.

There’s a defeaning silence about these two series. There’s no promotions going on, there’s no news about the characters. This is a far cry from the reception that the originals of these programs got. Sarabhai V Sarabhai had a cult following – hidden, but big. Hip Hip Hooray was undoubtedly one of the major talking points among school and college kids back in the day.

What’s also interesting is that Hotstar and ALTBalaji, the platforms streaming these series aren’t overly bothered about showing the viewership of these series. Both the platforms famously don’t show their views. So, there’s no point in trying to find out whether these series worked for the new generation.