Gangstars, Amazon Prime Video's maiden Telugu web series, will boost regional content on streaming platforms

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Jun,13 2018 09:23:03 IST

Streaming giant Amazon Prime Video India has just released its maiden Telugu web series Gangstars which, despite earning mixed response from viewers, has paved way for a healthy debate whether Telugu audiences are finally ready for web content. However, it is worth mentioning that even before the release of Gangstars, as an alternate medium of entertainment, web series had won over the hearts of Telugu audiences for quite some time now, with shows such as Pilla, Social, Mana Mugguri Love Story and Hey Krishna among others. These shows have not only earned a new set of audiences but have also revolutionised digital content.

A poster of Gangstars. Amazon Prime Video India

A poster of Gangstars. Amazon Prime Video India

According to Pavan Sadineni, director of Pilla, which released last year, web series, as a medium, allows to deal with any kind of content without inhibitions. Talking to Firstpost, he said, “I don’t know if I could have dealt with the subject of Pilla on the silver screen. My show was about pre-marital pregnancy and I doubt I could have made it into a film for mainstream audiences. On digital platform, we’re dealing with a different set of audiences and you could innovate with your subject and still get away because audiences are on the lookout for different content.”

Writer-filmmaker BV Nandini Reddy, who scripted Gangstars, believes web series allow one’s work to be presented on an international level. “When you’re making a film, you have certain limitations and you’re forced to work within them. We can expect more web series to be made because this is a great opportunity to present our content on an international platform. Your work is not measured by box office numbers and is genuinely judged by audiences. Also, if you’re a writer, this medium doesn’t restrict your creative juices and there’s no limit to experiment.”

Nandini believes the medium has a long way to go. “This is just the beginning. We have a long way to go. In Hollywood, shows are being made on a lavish budget and also feature some of their bigger stars. We still haven’t explored the full potential of this medium and once we realise its reach, we will truly understand what we can do with it.”

Pellichoopulu director Tharun Bhascker, who is currently producing a web series, believes writing for digital space is as challenging as writing for cinema. “In a web series, you need to give audiences a high in every episode. You need cliffhangers to sustain the interest of audiences.”

With popular actors like Rana Daggubati, Jagapathi Babu and Navdeep jumping on the digital bandwagon, it is safe to argue that the medium has earned more prominence. Last year, Rana made his digital debut via the show Social.

On being signed for the show, Rana had said in a statement, “As content, what we’re offering through Social is exciting and relevant. I’m glad to be experimenting with a different genre and platform. I’ve always urged to do something different and being part of Social has made that dream possible once again.”

He had told this writer he had no qualms about acting in a different medium. “It’s important to remember that each medium has its set of audiences and as an actor I only worry about whether I’m doing my part wholeheartedly. If cinema has one kind of reach, web series have different kind of reach altogether. There’s no need to compare both,” Rana said.

Jagapathi Babu, on accepting the offer to star in Gangstars, said that he gets bored if he does not experiment. He said that working in Gangstars felt like crossing the boundaries, breaking rules and breaking his own limits.

Updated Date: Jun 13, 2018 09:23 AM