information and The ministry of it has no plans to broadcasting insists services. So, censor online streaming is on those platforms any censorship Amazon Prime, self-censorship. pre-launch, having been noncommittal An side of caution. has erred on the Grand Tour, of hour-long episode Gear facile post-Top Jeremy Clarkson’s Prime, in India runs offering on Amazon all hour. Why? Because for only half an were car made of meat references to a else is that low, what excised. If the bar And why? are they censoring?
Prime Video’s plans to produce 18 original TV serials for the Indian market indicate it’s on a similar path. “Good content doesn’t have any barriers due to language,” says Nitesh Kripalani, Prime Video’s India head.
That’s especially true on the sites’ home pages—where there’s often no division between local and foreign serials.
Sometimes it’s not even apparent that a serial is not in English until you begin watching it.
Netflix’s French-language Call My
Agent, for example, looks like a US programme—Madmen meets Entourage— at first glance. Nor does the blurb hint it’s set in Paris: “Tantrums. Treachery. Secret flings. When you work for stars this big, the juiciest dramas play out behind the scenes.” Similarly, neither 3 Per cent (Brazil), Cronos (Argentina) nor Trapped (Iceland), nor any other show is relegated to a non-English purgatory.
The boundary breaking is flowing into production, too. Netflix’s Narcos was nearly 50 per cent Spanish, and depicted Colombia with impressive realism. Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle likewise took its fictional New York Philharmonic Orchestra to Mexico City in Season Two for a two-episode stretch that depicted that country with unprecedented nuance.
Next up is a revolution in Indian TV serials.
Netflix is working on a serial adaptation of Vikram Chandra’s thriller, Sacred Games, while Amazon Prime Video is producing a sports drama with Farhan Akhtar and Vivek Oberoi, and a series about the founder of the Shaolin Temple in China. Once, TV built parochial communities, as every American watched All in the Family and every Indian tuned into Hum Log. Now, the community is global, and it’s forming on-demand.