Anuraadha Tewari: To become a hit, web series requires authenticity and not a 'face'

Writer-director Anuraadha Tewari, who has written the web series Raisinghani vs Raisinghani and Dil Dosti Dilemma, as well as films like Fashion and Heroine, says that writing for the web is very different from writing for TV. Anuraadha, who has also written TV shows such as Humsafars and Qubool Hai, says that on the web, only a good story survives.

“OTT platforms have given writers more freedom and created value for us. You see, the web, with its 8-10 episode narrative, is heavily dependent on story structure. Unlike films or Indian TV shows, a web show won’t be picked up unless it’s structurally sound, especially since it’s meant for binge-watching. Hence, writing is the hero on the web. We’ve seen that a web series doesn’t require a ‘face’ to become a hit; it requires authenticity. False notes and meandering stories don’t work on the web, as viewers will fast-forward through them. So, writing is the mainstay of the web, and this has given us a huge boost. The fact that a show bible is now required highlights the importance of story and character development, world-building, and arcs in Indian storytelling. As a result, more time and thought are being invested in writing, show creators are receiving respect, and our work is valued more. This has made the process less stressful for us,” she says.

She adds, “Having said that, the nature of a web series is such that it gets consumed over just two weekends. It gets forgotten by the third! Unlike a film, it has no real value for posterity, and unlike a TV show, it has no long-term emotional engagement. Hence, the entire business is still figuring out the way forward, and I do believe that our show, ‘Raisinghani Vs Raisinghani’, despite its obvious challenges, seems to have paved the way for a new format that may engage Indian viewers in a form they are more accustomed to.”

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