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If You Love Dramas, Here Are 14 Indian Dramas You Need To Add To Your Watch List ASAP

From suspenseful romantic mysteries to nail-biting crime thrillers to everyone's fave "enemies-to-lovers" trope, there are some real gems here that'll become your next obsession.

Indian dramas have a reputation for being ridiculously overdramatic and sometimes implausible β€” to the point where it's actually hilarious and you start to wonder if the creators even intended for you to take the scene seriously.

ZeeTV

Case in point. The internet thinks this is perfect meme material, and the internet is right.

But if you're wondering if all Indian dramas are like this, the answer is no! These exaggerated dramas can overshadow the actual gems that are rich in terms of story, quality, and characters. Plus, they do not drag on for 10 years or make use of PowerPoint-like effects to get their point across.

Now, I've collected some great Indian dramas for you below, so let's get started:

1. Bepannah (Endless), 2018 β€” this romantic mystery is a MUST-WATCH if you want everything I named above in one drama, including a truly original premise I haven't yet seen anywhere else and AMAZING chemistry between the leads. The character growth and storytelling are so sophisticated that they are unlike anything I have seen in Indian dramas. I will forever stan this show and this couple.

Colors TV

This is a finite drama that ran for eight months. It broke my years-long gap of not watching any Indian dramas β€” even the actors themselves came on because of the unique concept, stating that "a show like Bepannah comes your way rarely" (!!!). It's a beautiful exploration of grief, loss, and betrayal, with a couple you'll love to root for.

Aditya and Zoya are very different individuals brought together in the most unusual way: Their spouses are found dead together in a road accident, inadvertently revealing their affair. Def not your run-of-the-mill romance. Reeling from the shock of their spouses' betrayal and their deaths, the two spiral into different forms of grief β€” Aditya through anger, taken out on Zoya, and Zoya through denial. Did their marriages mean nothing? Was it an accident, or was it murder?

Aditya and Zoya are the only ones who understand each other in this situation, and you get to watch how they push each others' growth β€” Zoya, who is extremely naΓ―ve, but through Aditya, is able to become her own person, while she calls Aditya out for lashing out at others, but through her, he is able to face his trauma. The series won a ton of awards, including Show of the Year! To top it off, the theme song and background score are EVERYTHING, and it is my most favorite theme to date.

2. Qubool Hai (I Accept), Season 2, 2014 β€” a PERFECT representation of everybody's fave, the enemies-to-lovers trope. If you're looking for a couple to melt over, look no further.

ZeeTV

If you are a fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope, this is a must-watch because it takes all of the beloved parts of the trope and presents it in an immensely satisfying way between two leads with breathtaking chemistry. I say Season 2 because that's when the leads, Sanam and Aahil, are introduced, and each season is pretty much stand-alone with its own love story, so you don't need to know what happened beforehand to start. Sanam and Aahil were so popular with fans that even critics took note! The second season was truly carried by the couple.

Strong-headed Sanam, the owner of a modest restaurant, butts heads with ill-tempered business tycoon Aahil, who doesn't know it yet, but has met his match. When Aahil's stepmother gets the two married for business purposes, needless to say, neither is happy with the arrangement. And the slow-burn begins as the two begin to learn more about each other, even though falling in love was never part of the plan. Oh, the butterflies! Plus, their theme is LIT and remains my top fave, coming in second after Bepannah lol.

3. Sacred Games, 2018 β€” this fast-paced crime thriller is critically acclaimed and famed for not only being the very first Netflix original series from India, but the only Indian series to appear on the New York Times' Best International TV Shows of the Decade list. Of the decade, people! Yeah, this show is not kidding around.

saif ali khan in a tense scene from the show
Netflix

It also stars a face Bollywood fans will be familiar with β€” Saif Ali Khan in his first venture into television!

Based on a novel of the same name, we follow a troubled cop, Sartaj, as he becomes embroiled in a dangerous cat-and-mouse chase around the city with a notorious crime lord, Ganesh, who has been missing for 16 years. Ganesh tells Sartaj in a phone call to try and save the city in 25 days, sending Sartaj on a harrowing journey into India's underworld with no idea what doomed fate awaits him and the city. With two seasons, each with eight episodes, you'll have a grand time with this one!

4. Ek Bhram...Sarvagun Sampanna (An Illusion...Accomplished in All Qualities), 2019 β€” a revenge drama that's sharp, compelling, and led by a mysterious anti-heroine and fleshed-out characters, this one knows how to keep you hooked. Yes, she's an anti-heroine, which makes the show that much more fun to watch!

Star Plus

The show aired for five months. It keeps you hooked with the mystery of our anti-heroine's past and motives. The trailers especially were so good β€” this one got over 10 million views! β€” and the show lives up to them! If that doesn't convince you, this one ALSO has a well-done and justified enemies-to-lovers trope, and yes, I'm biased because I can never get enough of those.

Janhvi is the epitome of the perfect daughter-in-law to the prominent Mittal family, devoted and caring and loved by all. On the surface, that is. In reality, Janhvi is a mysterious woman with twisted intentions who has come with a vendetta against the Mittal family and a score to settle β€” something which the Mittals are blissfully unaware of. She may be able to deceive the family, but when the family's younger son, army officer Kabir, returns home, he begins to break through her carefully made facade, igniting an internal battle between the two.

5. Bahu Hamari Rajni Kant (Our Daughter-in-Law is Rajni Kant), 2016 β€” what do you get when you put a guy and his dysfunctional family together with a robot that everyone thinks is human? If you're looking for real laughs, this show does it right!

rajni and shaan at their wedding
Life OK

This is a sitcom that ran for about a year. I actually never watch Indian sitcoms, but this one was an exception due to its fun premise and genuinely funny comedy.

Shaan, a scientist, creates "Rajni," a super humanoid robot, to help humankind, but when his family pressures him to get married, Shaan, not wanting marriage to get in the way of his goals, decides to introduce Rajni as a human girl to his family and marry her to shut them up πŸ˜‚. Thus begins a comedy of errors, as Rajni, who does not understand human behavior, unintentionally gets the family into hilarious situations, leaving Shaan scrambling to set things right before the truth comes out.

6. Beyhadh (Limitless), 2016 β€” dark, riveting, and fun, this one deals with unhealthy obsession dressed as "love," mental illness, and sacrifice, and how it affects both the one who is obsessed and the object of their obsession β€” definitely not your run-of-the-mill family drama.

Sony

Starring Jennifer Winget from Bepannah as the antagonistic main character, this series aired for a year and was so successful that a sequel, Beyhadh 2, aired in 2019, with Winget returning as the main character.

Maya, while highly successful in her professional life, lives a lonely personal one, coming from a troubled childhood. She falls in love with Arjun, a cheerful and kind photographer, and the two get married. Arjun realizes Maya's toxic obsession with him too late, after she's already isolated him from the world and his loved ones, and has murdered multiple people who interfere β€” including her own father. To Maya, her love is truly limitless, and she will go to any length to prove it.

7. Ghoul, 2018 β€” a Netflix miniseries from the makers of Insidious and Get Out , this chilling show is what happens when horror is done right.

poster of Ghoul with Nida
Netflix

At only three episodes, it def won't take up much of your time. Set in a dystopian fascist India, it follows Nida, a military officer, and her interrogation of a dreaded terrorist, Saeed, at a secret military base. However, when Saeed instead exposes the darkest, most shameful secrets of his investigators, rattling them, Nida realizes he is possessed, and a supernatural horror descends upon the camp, one that nobody stuck in that deserted, faraway base can escape.

8. Main Naa Bhoolungi (I Won't Forget), 2013 β€” a psychological thriller that's not only well acted but keeps the suspense cranked up high so you'll be rooted to the screen, wondering what's going to happen next.

Shikha watching a confused Aditya
Sony

This is a finite series that ran for a year. It has a strong start and end, with a tight hold on the story. There are no annoying and illogical side plots or villains β€” the story remains focused on the main characters, who are all fleshed out. Plus, the theme song is justπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ. Why don't they make dramas like this anymore?

Naive and bookish Shikha falls in love with and marries wealthy businessman Sameer. At first, their married life is blissful. However, Sameer's true colors are revealed: His real name is Aditya and his love was staged, and he has other plans for Shikha. Shikha survives Aditya's murder attempt and betrayal, and she embarks on a quest for revenge, changing her identity to someone completely different from the old Shikha. But her re-entry into Aditya's life has its own consequences.

9. Ishq Mein Marjawan (I Will Die in Love), 2017 β€” a sexy romantic thriller, this one's amazing because of the fact that all of the main characters are shades of grey. None of them are the typical true, good heroes you'd expect to root for in a drama. They all have their own motives, and you'll be left changing your allegiance over and over.

Colors TV

That's what intrigued me to this series in the first place! Like damn, who do I root for? LOL. The show's countless twists and turns really keep you on the edge of your seat. Its theme song is also super catchy and really adds to the show's suspenseful atmosphere. The series spawned a spiritual sequel, Ishq Mein Marjawan 2, which follows the original show's themes of passion, revenge, and jealousy.

Aarohi, a kind woman, falls in love with Deep, a rich and intelligent man. He seems like the perfect dream guy β€” but loving Deep turns Aarohi's normal life into a living hell when it's revealed that Deep is already married to Tara, her doppelgΓ€nger and a serial killer, and the two have planned to frame Aarohi for the murders. Things get messy, however, when Deep starts wondering if he truly has fallen for Aarohi, incurring Tara's wrath and unraveling a series of twists and secrets that make you doubt every character's true motive.

10. Koi Laut Ke Aaya Hai (Someone Has Returned), 2017 β€” an engaging supernatural psychological mystery, this one's well plotted with a very gripping storyline and twists that keep you watching to figure out the answers.

a shot from the show, with geetanjali looking rattled
Star Plus

This is a finite series with 33 episodes. Starring Surbhi Jyoti (Sanam from Qubool Hai) as the lead, it follows a royal Rajput woman, Geetanjali, who marries an army officer, Abhimanyu. He dies soon after in a car crash, and his body is never found.

Six years later, Geetanjali is still searching for him. She meets a 6-year-old boy who claims to be Abhimanyu's reincarnation, and then the man himself appears to return from the dead. But is he an illusion? As Geetanjali tries to get to the bottom of the mystery, it unravels dark family secrets, some of which involve murder within the palace's walls.

11. Dil Se Di Dua...Saubhagyavati Bhava? (I Give You a Blessing From My Heart...May You Always Be a Married Woman?), 2011 β€” a social drama based on domestic abuse, this show is a major cult fave in the world of Indian dramas, mostly due to the lead couple. They're so believable in their roles that it really gets you!

Life OK

The show's title refers to a common blessing given to newly married women in India, wishing their husbands a long life so that they don't become a widow early. Starring Karanvir Bohra (Aahil from Qubool Hai), we follow Viraj, a wealthy and charming businessman who falls in love with Jhanvi, a simple middle-class girl. When he proposes marriage, her family is all too happy with the alliance, and so is Jhanvi β€” until she learns that she has just trapped herself in a marriage with a man who is obsessive, dangerously possessive, and abusive.

Viraj's behavior is unpredictable, being sweet and loving one moment, then lashing out and torturing her the next, before soothing the wounds he gave her himself. A traumatized Jhanvi realizes that she must save herself, but escaping Viraj is no easy task.

12. The Family Man, 2019 β€” blending wry humor with edgy action, this engrossing espionage drama tells a unique story about a common man and his not-so-common life. Don't take my word for it though. This became the most-viewed web series on Amazon Prime Video, so you know it's vetted by audiences! It received critical acclaim for cast performances and execution, so in terms of quality, you're in good hands!

Amazon Prime Video

Inspired by real newspaper articles, this show will for sure keep you rooted to the screen! It has 2 seasons and a total of 20 episodes, and it won a ton of awards, including Best Series!

Srikant Tiwari is an ordinary middle-class man who's married with two kids. Well, not really. He's also a world-class spy, working as a senior analyst as part of the National Investigation Agency of India β€” which his ordinary family knows nothing about. Yikes? We follow Srikant as he humorously tries to balance his normal family life with the demands of his not-so-normal high-pressure secret job, trying to protect the nation from terrorists.

13. Kuch Toh Log Kahenge (People Will Always Talk), 2011 β€” with a couple that's starkly different from all the other couples you see in Indian dramas, this one's refreshing and interesting.

Nidhi and Ashutosh
Sony

We follow the love story of a couple with an 18-year age gap between them. You get to see both the internal and the external struggles of being in a relationship with someone who is so far in age from you. I mean, if I brought home someone almost 20 years older than me, my parents wouldn't be so thrilled either, but as we see in the show, love is blind!

Dr. Nidhi, a young intern, starts working at a hospital under Dr. Ashutosh. The two are complete opposites: Ashutosh, 18 years older than Nidhi, is somber, serious, a workaholic, and doesn't know how to have fun. Nidhi is super bubbly, cheerful, childlike, and fun-loving, which annoys Ashutosh at first, but of course, they fall in love. Facing opposition from family and society due to their age gap, the rest of the show follows their struggle to be together and understand each other.

14. Taj Mahal 1989, 2020 β€” simple and wistful, this seven-ep Netflix series has a lighter tone and blends comedy, romance, and drama with poetic storytelling. It's set, of course, in 1989!

a couple from the show looking at the taj mahal
Netflix

We follow a cast of different characters whose lives intersect β€” from college professors to students β€” and their different takes on love and how it changes over the series, especially in a pre-internet era, when finding and sustaining love looked a lot different.

If you have more recs, drop them in the comments below for the rest of us to enjoy! Happy watching!

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