Hotstar has always been one of India’s top streaming services. Besides being famous for hosting big-ticket sporting events such as the Indian Premier League, it’s a hot repository of some of the best English TV series you can stream in India. With its takeover by Disney earlier this year, Hotstar was rebranded to Disney Plus Hotstar and became even more appealing with the addition of new Disney TV shows and movies.
Apart from hosting a massive collection of Disney content, Hotstar also houses the biggest, most popular TV shows from the likes of HBO, Showtime, ABC, and more. So in this curated list, we’ve compiled all the best TV shows you can watch on Hotstar right now.
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Best English TV shows on Hotstar:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best international TV shows on Hotstar regularly as new ones are released and old ones are removed.
1. The Plot Against America
This six-episode HBO miniseries on Hotstar presents an alternate American history, one in which the nation is turned towards fascism by Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh, who happens to become President instead of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The story is imagined through the eyes of a Jewish family living in New Jersey as they wade through a violent social and political change in the country. It’s created by David Simon and Ed Burns, co-creators of the popular crime drama The Wire. The cast of this TV series is also quite renowned with names like Winona Ryder, Anthony Boyle, Zoe Kazan, and Morgan Spector in the lead roles.
2. City On A Hill
This slow-burn crime drama TV shows on Hotstar is a Showtime original based on an idea by Ben Affleck and screenwriter Chuck MacLean. The series follows a joint investigation by an assistant district attorney (Aldis Hodge) and a corrupt FBI agent (Kevin Bacon) in an early 1990’s Boston – a city rife with crime. Together, they chase up on a series of violent armed car robberies, in the meantime exposing the criminal underbelly as well as rampant corruption in the city. There’s only one season of the series to stream right now, but it has been renewed for a second installment.
Billions is a long-running Showtime TV series on Hotstar that’s now well into its fifth season. As the name suggests, the show is centered around the age-old power struggle between socialism and capitalism. It depicts how the lines between the two opposing concepts are blurred as US Attorney (Paul Giamatti) goes after a hedge fund billionaire (Damian Lewis). They are two of New York’s most powerful and influential figures, and their lives are deeply intertwined. What happens when the titans clash? Watch Billions to find out.
4. The Outsider
This HBO original TV series might feel like a drag for some, but it’s definitely worth going through all the 10 episodes of crime drama. Adapted from a Stephen King novel, The Outsider follows the murder investigation of a young boy in Cherokee City, Georgia. All the evidence points to the boy’s little league coach (Jason Bateman) being the murderer, but he’s able to prove he was out of town when the incident took place. Meanwhile, a lookalike of the coach is spotted going around town. The mystery deepens when even the lead investigator on the case (Ben Mendelsohn) starts believing that something more sinister is at play.
Another HBO TV series on Hotstar, Chernobyl is perhaps the most important streaming show from 2019. It traces all the missteps that led to the disastrous 1986 nuclear power plant explosion at Chernobyl, Ukraine. It also tells the story of the huge and heroic clean-up effort that followed the tragic incident. The show boasts of a stellar star cast, including Jared Harris, Emily Watson, and Stellan Skarsgard. The TV series took home 19 Emmy nominations in 2019 and won for Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Directing, and Outstanding Writing. If you haven’t seen Chernobyl till now, we strongly recommend adding it to your watchlists.
6. The Affair
As the name of the show suggests, The Affair is a story about long-standing intimate relationships that suffer, break, rebuild, and evolve through a span of years, and in your case, five seasons. It all starts when a struggling writer, family man, and father of four (Dominic West) meets a small-town waitress (Ruth Wilson) in the resort town of Montauk, New York. Their lives are disrupted forever as the two begin an extramarital affair, leaving their individual spouses and other family members in a lurch. However, the show is about much more than just a sleazy love affair. It explores the deep trenches of human relationships and bonds by fleshing out the perspective of all the main characters as it progresses.
7. The Mandalorian
One of the most anticipated Disney Plus series — The Mandalorian — released to much fanfare last year. This Star Wars story created by Jon Favreau doesn’t just appeal to Star Wars fans but also ropes in those who aren’t invested in the popular franchise. Thanks to Disney Plus’ takeover of Hotstar, the TV series is now available to watch in India. It’s a space western that follows the trails of the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. One of the biggest pulls of the show is Baby Yoda, the 2019 meme sensations and now a Funko Pop toy. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out on great entertainment. The show is in its second season now so go give it a watch.
8. Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks dates back three decades but is possibly the most popular TV series of all time. Although the show got canceled after its second season in 1991, it returned to TV screens after a long hiatus in 2017. A one-of-a-kind testament to its times, this horror thriller opens with the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in the fictional town of Twin Peaks. The case is headed by FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and local Sheriff Harry Truman (Michael Ontkean), who soon realize that supernatural forces are linked to the murder.
A superhero adventure based on the DC comic book series by the same name, Watchmen is an HBO original TV series that you can watch on Hotstar. It’s one of the few superhero shows that’s not in your face with the usual over-the-top lore. However, we promise that the show will amp you up with some great action, an invigorating script, and one of the best background scores you’ve ever heard on a TV series. The story follows racial attacks by a white supremacist organization called the Seventh Kavalry in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To conceal their identities from the group and ensure their safety, the Tulsa police have to wear masks that hide their faces. Where are the DC superheroes in this mix? Well, you’ll have to watch the series and find out.
10. Big Little Lies
Based on a novel by the same name, Big Little Lies is centered around one crime that involves a group of mothers whose kids go to the same school. The biggest appeal of this HBO original TV series on Hotstar is its star cast, which includes Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, and other top actors. The story is equally gripping and will have you on the edge of your seat throughout the two seasons.
11. True Detective
It seems we have sort of a crime thriller theme going in this article, but trust us, it’s not intentional. Then again, True Detective is just that: a three-season-long crime-solving detective story. Each season represents a different case, a different story, and a different lead detective. So far, we’ve seen Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, and Mahershala Ali don the detective hat in the three different stories. The first season is the best of them all, while the second was a total dud. The third one, though, reclaimed the original’s glory. You can watch all three seasons of the show on Hotstar, although we would recommend skipping the second one entirely.
Need a break from the grim (but thrilling) crime tales you’ve been reading about so far? Here’s something different for you. If you want inroads into the lives and family dynamics of the uber-rich, Succession is the TV series to watch. It’s obviously fictional, but we imagine the power struggle portrayed in the series is very real. The plot is centered around the succession plan of a media mogul who has two sons and a daughter, all vying for the hot seat after he retires. Wealth oozes out of these individuals, and watching the show could definitely make you a little insecure about your bank balance. However, this family is highly dysfunctional and its members fall to the deepest depths, all for the sake of the throne.
This Cinemax original TV series stands on the merit of a good story and a great actress. Jett is thrilling, sexy, and full of excitement, all thanks to Carla Gugino’s solid portrayal of a master thief named Daisy “Jett” Kowalski. In the show, she is pulled out of retirement and forced to return to a life of thievery. As she fends off crime lords and the police, things spiral out of control and she must do whatever it takes to save herself and her daughter.
14. Modern Family
Looking for some light-hearted content? Modern Family has got you covered. One of the most-watched English TV series on Hotstar, Modern Family tells the tale of a large and diverse American family that sticks together no matter what comes their way. Their uniquely comic ways will keep you entertained for 11 long seasons. Once you get hooked to this TV show, there’s no looking back. Also, it just finished its 11-year-long run so now would be a perfect time to catch up on all the episodes.
15. Sharp Objects
This HBO psychological thriller details a dysfunctional relationship between a mother and her two daughters. The TV series stars Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, and Chris Messina in lead roles. Adams plays Camille Preaker, an emotionally disturbed reporter who returns to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on the murders of two young girls. However, she ends up discovering some dark secrets about herself and her family.
16. The Wire
The Wire is a TV series on Hotstar that will pull you in immediately and become a part of your daily routine. It’s one of the most highly acclaimed shows of all time and takes you through the crime-infested streets of Baltimore, seen from the eyes of real-life police reporter David Simon. From drugs to politics, to the city’s school system, and media reporting, the TV series takes a hard look at what went on in Maryland city at one point in time. Most of its central characters are inspired by real Baltimore figures and performances by the likes of Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Idris Elba, Michael Williams, and many more are a treat for the eyes to watch.
17. The Night Of
This eight-part crime drama television miniseries is a quick and thrilling watch. It tells the story of how a Pakistani-American student in the US gets trapped in a murder case after stealing his father’s cab one night and driving a disturbed woman home. He happens to strike up a conversation with her during the cab ride and she invites him upstairs for a drink. One thing leads to another and he ends up getting pretty drunk. When he wakes up from his state on inebriation, he finds her murdered in the house. All evidence point to him being the killer and even the audience is left guessing right up till the end. Did he really do it? Watch the show and find out.
18. Five Days
This is a British TV drama series produced by HBO. It follows five non-consecutive days of a police investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a young mother of two in a quiet British suburb. Just like its plot, the miniseries has just five episodes that you can binge-watch in one go. If a quick dose of suspense is what you’re after, Five Days is the perfect watch for you.
19. Game Of Thrones
GoT definitely needs no introduction. One of the biggest, baddest shows of all time, Game Of Thrones is a must-watch for all streaming fans. This highly acclaimed series will introduce you to the world of kings and queens, of dragons and zombie armies, of power and humility, of magic and superstition, all at the same time. GoT finally ended its eight-season-long run in 2019 and if you still haven’t seen it, you should definitely cross it off your list. All seasons of this cult TV series are available to watch on Hotstar so you best get to it now before it’s removed.
20. The Newsroom
Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a news channel? Who are the people who actually get you the news and how do they function in a high-stress environment day after day? The Newsroom in that TV series on Hotstar which lifts the curtains on the most competitive industry in the world – news media. This Hotstar TV show consists of 25 episodes over three seasons and stars incredible actors like Jeff Daniels, Dev Patel, Emily Mortimer, and others.
21. I May Destroy You
This HBO drama on Disney Plus Hotstar is as fresh as they come. Michaela Coel dons the role of Arabella, a free-spirited London-based writer who is also a party girl and an occasional drug user. A night out with a group of friends she trusts goes horribly wrong and when she recovers from what she thinks was a bad hangover, she realizes she’s been sexually assaulted. The twelve-part series is inspired by Coel’s own sexual assault experience and is something every woman who has ever let her guard down on a night out should watch. That said, the show is not just a warning, but also an important commentary on consent.
22. I Know This Much Is True
I Know This Much Is True is an HBO drama miniseries on Hotstar starring Mark Ruffalo in a double role. It’s based on a book by the same name and tells the story of two identical twin brothers Dominic and Thomas. Thomas is a paranoid schizophrenic and the six-hour-long miniseries revolves around Dominic’s struggles to get Thomas released from a maximum-security asylum. The show travels back and forth in time detailing the sad childhood of the twins, their abusive father, and emotionally weak mother. This isn’t a cheery watch by any means and could leave you feeling depressed. However, Ruffalo’s portrayal of the twins is terrific and is worth the feeling of despair.
23. Lovecraft Country
This is HBO’s latest sci-fi horror TV series now available to watch on Disney Plus Hotstar. The show follows the quest of a young black man named Atticus “Tic” Freeman who, along with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George, embarks on a mission to find his missing father last heard of in an area of Massachusetts known as Lovecraft Country. The town is where famous author HP Lovecraft supposedly based his horror tales. When Tic reaches the town, he starts learning of its dark secrets and struggles to survive both monsters and racial terrors. The series has ten parts and you can watch all of it now on Disney Plus Hotstar.
24. The Undoing
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant are a couple who have it all — family, health, and money. Then one day, an unexplained murder of an acquaintance upends their lives and marriage and throws them into legal trouble of the worst kind. This HBO miniseries will hook you in from the get-go with its hour-long episodes that don’t feel draggy at all. The six-part TV show is currently half-way through, so you can stream the first three episodes on Disney Plus Hotstar right now.
So those were our picks of the best TV shows you can watch on Disney Plus Hotstar. For more content on the streaming service, check out the links below.