Dramas have a special place in my heart. And like every other Indian, I live for it. Whether it is the formalized controlled chaos of a family feud on the television soap operas or a simple case of road rage, I just keep my packet of popcorn close. So, when you add historical subtext to drama, it only becomes more interesting. “Taj: Divided by Blood” is a fictional interpretation of what went on within the Mughal family when Akbar refused to hand over his crown to his eldest son Salim on the basis of him being older than his two other sons, Murad and Daniyal. He wanted his sons to prove their worth. “Taj: Divided by Blood” is a testimonial to the fact that in a rat race for the throne, only one race emerges victorious. “Taj: Divided by Blood” is streaming on Zee5.
Now, if you have already watched it and you are a fan of gore, myths, history, or family dramas about tyrannical fathers who turn their children’s lives into hell, here is a list of seven series that you can also watch.
Game Of Thrones (2011-2019)
Based on the War of the Roses fought on English soil in the 15th century between the House of York and the House of Lancaster, fantasy novelist George R.R. Martin penned his saga “The Song of Fire and Ice,” which was adapted by HBO as “Game of Thrones.” Westeros, a fictional kingdom symptomatic of Great Britain, sees a lot of difficulties brewing. There are nine major houses in Westeros, but the struggle for the Iron Throne erupts between the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, and Targaryens. The Iron Throne becomes very lucrative for all these houses because whoever sits on the throne becomes the undisputed ruler of Westeros. Amidst all this, there is a force of walking dead rising in the north that wants to annihilate the entire race of human beings. This epic saga of war, bloodshed, friendship, fraternity, love, infidelity, incest, and lust for power has eight episodes that ran for eight long years (2011-2019), giving most characters in the ensemble a full-fledged arch of growth. “Game of Thrones” is addictive, and you only emerge as a fan from this larger-than-life experience. All eight seasons are now streaming on Disney+.
House Of The Dragon (2022-)
“House of Dragons” is a prelude to “Game of Thrones.” It takes us back nearly 200 years before the final game of thrones was played to the Targaryen era in Westeros. This was the period when the skies were dominated by dragons. The Targaryen kings, princes, and princesses rode on these dragons and rained terror with the dragon fire. “House of Dragons” is adapted from George R.R. Martin’s “Fire and Blood.” This HBO Max series began airing in August 2022 and marks the tussle between two siblings, Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother Aemond Targaryen primarily. They fight to discern who has the strongest claim to the Iron Throne after their father, Viserys’s death. The opulence of the courtroom in King’s Landing is shadowed by the dark banners of the Targaryens. Shot in beautiful locations, just like “Game of Thrones,” “House of Dragons” has the same potential of becoming a new fan favorite. A new season is already in the works and is expected to return to HBO Max in 2024.
The Empire (2021-)
The Indian drama series “The Empire” has been adapted from a novel series called “Empire of the Moghul” by Alex Rutherford. Produced by Nikhil Advani, “The Empire” is a commendable effort to showcase the humble beginnings of the Mughal Empire in India. The grandeur around this television drama series surely attracts eyeballs, but the only negative about this show is its weak writing, which cannot be hidden under the hollow opulence. Having said that, “The Empire” is a great supplement to gain knowledge about the biographies of the first two Mughal Emperors of India, Babur, and Humayun. This show is available on Disney+.
As an aftermath of the Fronde (a set of civil wars in France), the French aristocracy has begun to defy the norms put forth by the monarchy. In order to prove that the French Monarch was the supreme ruler of the French people, the young King Louis XIV decided to transfer his court to the village of Versailles. Earlier, during his father’s reign, the French court used to be held in Paris while the villa at Versailles was just a hunting resort. Louis XIV was a Catholic King who was considered to be God’s representative on earth. Louis decided to build an opulent palace that would be a slice of paradise on French soil. Underneath this architectural dream, the French historical drama “Versailles,” produced by Canal+, presents a story of malice, violence, brotherhood, love, sex, and tragedy. The series has three thoroughly enjoyable seasons available on Netflix. The silver lining of the narrative, however, is King Louis XIV’s relationship with his brother Philip.
The Tudors were hands-down the most interesting rulers of England. It was Henry VII who united the English Houses of York and Lancaster, and the Tudor dynasty was established. Even though Elizabeth I was the most successful ruler of the Tudor dynasty, Henry VIII is perhaps more famous for his personal life and the public and political positions that he took to satisfy his personal desires. He had six wives. Since the Catholic Church in Rome denied Henry’s request to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, he decided to switch to the Christian order of Protestantism, which in turn made the King and not the Pope the head of the Church of England, approving his divorce with his first wife. It is in this context that Michael Hirst created the show “Tudors” in 2007. The show ran for four seasons and starred names like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Natalie Dormer (famous for playing the role of Margery Tyrell on “Game of Thrones”), and Henry Cavill. “Tudors” is available on Amazon Prime Video.
“Succession,” created by Jesse Armstrong for HBO, is a modern American drama series with hints of black comedy. It is the story of two power-hungry brothers preparing themselves to become prominent figures within their media conglomerate company, Waystar RoyCo, after the death of their father. The fourth and final session of ‘Succession” is supposed to be premiered on HBO on March 26, 2023. “Succession” has been critically acclaimed and received two Primetime Emmy Awards for being the best television series in 2020 and 2022. “Succession” is available on Disney+.
The American TV show “Dynasty” is an eponymous remake of a prime-time television opera from the 1980s. It follows the feud between two branches of the same family that try to gain control over the business of energy resources and power plants around Atlanta, Georgia. “Dynasty” is unapologetically a soap opera with dragged-out and convoluted plotlines. The show will let you learn the names of the latest designers. This aspirational television show should be on your list of guilty pleasures. The show was developed in 2017 for the CW Network by Stephanie Savage, Sallie Patrick, and Josh Schwartz. This show has five seasons and can be binge-watched on Netflix.