Though I had the subscription of a prominent ‘streaming video service’ for quite some time, I had never watched any Web-series till one of my younger colleagues asked me to watch ‘पंचायत’. “You would like it for sure” he said. He also claimed that once I start watching it, I won’t stop until I’m finished with all its episodes and accordingly advised me to download all the ten episodes and watch them during the weekend.

Web-series have gained rapid popularity over the past few years especially with today’s generation due to their convenience, cost-effectiveness and above all their ‘uncensored contents’ and this is perhaps why I never inclined to watch one.  In case of ‘पंचायत’ however, my colleague was right. It was really very light-hearted and enjoyable series to watch – except at one point, of which my colleague had forewarned me, where an abusive expression was used.  It took me and my wife hardly three days to finish the episodes. The experience prompted me to watch another popular web-series “पाताल लोक”.  It was an excellent crime thriller, but the problem was – it was full of foul expressions, which made it almost impossible for me to watch the series with my wife sitting next to me. 

Since our experience with ‘पंचायत’ was quite pleasant, we eagerly waited for its next season. Soon Season-2 was streaming and we started to watch it. To our utter disappointment however the series, unlike it’s first season, resorted to excessive use of abusive language for the reasons best known to its makers. It was a big put off. One could understand if the abusive contents were the ‘demand of the scene’, but they weren’t. The story could have simply done without them, like it did in its first season, and the result was excellent.

So, what’s the reason that these web-series resort to such contents even when they could have done without them. It may not make much sense, but the only plausible reason that came to my mind is – they do not in fact want you to watch these web-series together with your family. There is a commercial aspect behind this. I explain, suppose you have a subscription of a video streaming service which you could share with 3-5 people on their devices. Now, since you cannot watch a web-series with your family members sitting in your TV room, the subscription is to be shared individually with the family members, thus exhausting the number of devices the subscription could have been shared with. Had it not been the case, you could have shared the subscription with your friends and neighbours, causing substantial business loss to the video streaming services. 

In other case, a particular member of the family may not want to let other members know about the sort of web-series they are watching and he or she may like have to take separate subscriptions. Whatever be the reason, it feels bad when the beauty of a good story is sacrificed at the altar of such commercial aspects.