10 South Asian shows and movies to watch

The Sharmas would totally agree.

If you get chills seeing all the South Asian representation in Season 2 of Bridgerton like I did, so do I have a list for you! Here are some of my favorite movies and shows that have South Asian representation front and center. ✨

1.

Man like Mobeen

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BBC Three

Literally one of Netflix’s funniest shows. This three-season BBC show follows British Pakistani Mobeen as he tries to raise his baby sister while getting into neighborhood shenanigans. Mobeen, as a character, is a constant reminder that becoming a good person isn’t as easy as it seems. Guz Khan manages to tackle both family, faith, criminal past lives and nosy uncles all while making you cry with laughter. You’ll be hooked by the opening scene of Episode 1, guaranteed.

2.

Queen

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Viacom Studios18

I recommend this movie to anyone new to Bollywood. It’s so heartwarming and really a good time. In Queen, Rani, 24, has waited her whole life to get married, and when her fiancé cancels her big day, she is devastated. She decides to get up and take their planned honeymoon across Europe alone. As she travels, she discovers friendship, an aversion to European cuisine and, most importantly, her own worth. Queen is the ultimate coming-of-age story and worth every 137 minutes (if you’re new to Bollywood, it’s basically a short film).

3.

Four more shots please!

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Amazon Video

Have you ever wondered, “What if sex and the city was Desi? Well, now you don’t have to! Four more shots please follows four women living in modern Mumbai as they grapple with relationships, careers and a deep love of tequila. This show, while extremely funny and outrageous, tackles very real issues for women – not just in India, but around the world.

4.

Kapoor & Sons

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Dharma Productions

If you don’t feel like crying, maybe skip this one. Kapoor & Sons is a comedic, brutally honest film about family dynamics and how they aren’t the easiest to understand. Brothers Rahul and Arjun return home when their grandfather has a heart attack. Tensions rise when the Kapoors are all under one roof again and deal with issues of the past while hiding issues of the present. With a stellar cast, moments of hysterical laughter and hysterical crying, Kapoor & Son is a real gem.

5.

Meet the Patels

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Alchemy

After a devastating breakup, American Indian Ravi Patel decides to follow in his parents’ footsteps and seek an arranged marriage. Her sister documents the entire process, from rallying all the aunts and uncles to the painful third wheel on first dates. Outrageously funny but with vivid moments of real emotion, Meet the Patels is a documentary like no other and reminds us that sometimes life has its own plan.

6.

Starstruck

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BBC One

If you want Flea bag Where InsecureYou will like Starstruck. New Zealander Jessie is living in London when she meets Tom Kapoor at a New Years Eve party and spends the night with him only to realize that he is a famous actor. The show documents their sometimes random, sometimes not, encounters over the seasons. Rose Matafeo as Jessie and Nikesh Patel as Tom are the rom-com duo we never knew we needed. This show is packed with all the goofy yet charming energy you could ask for.

seven.

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga

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Fox Star Studios

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is a story of relationships, family and theatrical arts and how none of them are ever what you predict them to be. It follows Sweety as she struggles with her sexuality and comes out to her family. It is considered one of the first mainstream Bollywood films to feature a lesbian lead character. This movie reminds us that love takes many different forms, and it gets bonus points for having an amazing title track.

8.

Lion

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Broadcast Movies

Lion tells the story of Saroo, who was adopted by an Australian couple after being separated from his mother on a train as a child in India. Now an adult, he sets out to find out where he comes from and who his family was. Lion is yet another emotional masterpiece starring Dev Patel, tackling the search for identity and how it is different for everyone. It’s a movie that will stick with you for years to come.

9.

The Tiger Hunter

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Sneaky Sneaky Movies

The son of a legendary tiger hunter, Sami left India to settle in America to pursue a career in engineering. But in 1970s Chicago, landing his dream job isn’t as easy as he thought. When the girl he loves plans a trip to America, he asks his hodgepodge group of friends to help her succeed. It’s witty, charming, and generally just a good time!

ten.

And finally, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…

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Yash Raj Movies

If you’ve only seen one Bollywood movie, chances are it’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (and for good reason). The star-studded cast includes legends like Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol (#SRKajol4Life), Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, and more. This film follows the adopted and deeply loved first son of a wealthy businessman. When he meets the love of his life dancing in the streets, he is disowned by his family for not marrying the person his father chose. An ode to love and pain between family members, the name says it all: “sometimes happiness, sometimes sadness”. You’ll be hooked by the first thunder sound effect, I promise. I’ve never seen a 2000s subplot either, if that’s your cup of chai.

Have you watched any of these shows or movies? Or do you have any other South Asian recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!

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