Five years after Netflix started releasing Indian originals, the streaming landscape in the country has diversified like never before. This applies to not just global giants like Netflix and Prime Video but also homegrown platforms. Just take the case of JioCinema for instance, which offered the #1 TV show of 2023, Asur: Welcome to Your Dark Side.
Sony LIV and Hotstar also pulled through with two titles in the list to compete with Netflix which boasts 4 out of the top 10 titles. Here’s this year in review in terms of the TV shows that got Indians talking.
How did we rank the most popular TV shows of 2023?
This year-ender is based on the JustWatch India popularity score amassed by each movie this year. The score relies heavily on insights on JustWatch Daily Streaming Charts and user activity such as clicking on a streaming offer, adding a title to a watchlist, and marking a title as 'seen'. What’s interesting is that despite non-Indian titles like Wednesday and You, no Marvel show could make it to the list. But then again, a recent release like Loki season 2 is unlikely to make it on the list because it was available to stream for a short time in 2023.
Asur season 2 and Farzi take the top spots
The second season of the psychological thriller Asur lived up to the anticipation, premiering on Jio Cinema even though it was initially a Voot original. A close contender that ultimately came second was Prime Video’s heist thriller Farzi. Already building hype for marking the Hindi TV debuts of Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi, Farzi struck a chord with OTT viewers with its amusing premise on counterfeiting currency notes in India.
Mirzapur still retains its popularity
It's been over three years since Mirzapur season 2 premiered on Prime Video. While a new season is expected in 2024, the blood-soaked Hindi crime drama continues to trend among Indian audiences. Despite a polarising response by critics, Mirzapur dominates mainstream pop culture, thanks to its reinterpretation of classic Indian gangster tropes, quotable dialogues, and even numerous meme templates.
The Last of Us dominates as HBO finds new home in India
A major change in the Indian streaming space in 2023 was marked by HBO originals moving from Hotstar to Jio Cinema. This would explain how Jio Cinema amassed gargantuan numbers for presenting The Last of Us, the universally acclaimed post-apocalyptic TV adaptation of the video game of the same name.
Naruto and One Piece: Anime influence continues
It’s no myth that India harbours an ever-rising population of anime fans aka “weebs”. This would explain how Naruto: Shippuden continued to trend; the Naruto spin-off being available on Crunchyroll and Netflix. Talking about Netflix, the streaming service’s big-budget live-action adaptation of the long-running anime One Piece turned out to be a beloved hit among Indian watchers.
Wednesday and You: Netflix’s big guns
Anchored by a star-making performance by Jenna Ortega and spawning a viral dance trend on social media, Wednesday was one of Netflix’s biggest global successes last year. The supernatural horror comedy retains its popularity in 2023 too as it joins the list at number 3. Another English-language Netflix original that continued trending in India was the psychological thriller You with its fourth season premiering in two parts in early 2023.