Shows Like ‘Kohrra’ To Watch If You Are A Fan Of Crime Thriller Series

Within 24 hours of its release, Kohrra has become one of the most riveting murder mysteries in the OTT space. A Netflix original that takes the audience through rural Punjab, which is ravaged by drug menace, the constant divide between the rich and the poor, corruption, homophobia, and inherent patriarchy. All this forms a headless monster that becomes too difficult to fight. Kohrra touches upon all these topics in a manner that would disconcert the audience.

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Many shows in the past few years have forayed into the murder investigative genre because it gives a perspective on how real-life murder investigations are carried out and what factors influence them. Stories in this genre also let the audience understand society in general and how they perceive things around them. Below are some of the web series in the murder investigation genre that could draw parallels to what we’ve seen in Kohrra


Kerala Crime Files (2023)

Kerala Crime Files had only a few things in common with Kohrra. Both remained faithful to the genre, which is murder investigation drama. The local police in both cases quickly take over and spend no time procrastinating. Both shows demonstrate the dedication shown by the investigation team to arrest the culprit and find answers as to why the crime was committed. These two might be aesthetically different, but they accurately demonstrate the work culture of each police station in their respective states. Balbir and Garundi are true-blood Punjabi men trying to maneuver through pressure, while in Kerala Crime Files, police officers Manoj and Kurian are working within the limitations of the system to get hold of the culprit.

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The major difference between the murder investigations both teams handle in their respective shows is the financial disparity. Paul in Kohrra came from a family of affluence, and that is why his murder quickly escalated to become a high-profile case. Meanwhile, in Kerala Crime Files, Swapna, the victim was a sex worker, and the police nevertheless took up the case because no criminal should get away from the crime he or she committed. The direction of Kohrra and Kerala Crime Files remains seamless because the creators did not divert away from the actual plot. Only their methods to reach the final goal were different. Kohrra dealt with many subplots that were connected to the main narrative, while Kerala Crime Files had only one objective: to catch the killer, and the personal lives of policemen were not connected to the main storyline of the show. Nevertheless, both shows are a must-watch.


Shaitan (2023)

Shaitan and Kohrra do not have much in common when it comes to the storyline. The Disney+ Hotstar Special is narrated from the point of view of ex-Naxal Baali, who was murdered by the police. From the start until the end, this Telegu crime drama was about how Baali went from being a goon to a Naxal to a police informer. What makes this show like Kohrra is the dark narrative given to the protagonist. Even though both the leads of these respective shows come from economically varied backgrounds, their pain and hardship cannot be disregarded.

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While Paul was raised by an abusive father, Baali in Shaitan was subject to the brutality faced by his mother at the hands of the police, who always took advantage of her because of their economic status. The dark and emotional nature of both stories come up when the viewer realizes Paul can never come out as gay to his family and will have to marry a woman to keep the sanctity intact; meanwhile, Baali’s cycle of being downtrodden is a constant struggle to get something for himself and his family. The major difference would be how the police have been portrayed in both shows. Kohrra does not demonize or celebrate the police force. They are being treated like any other investigation team that is there to help the people and curb the crime numbers.

In Shaitan throughout the runtime of the entire show, the police are described as demons who are only targeting the powerless and protecting the powerful. It is only a minute percentage of the force that is willing to help the needy, and that forms the overall narrative of the show. Both shows have their pluses and minuses, but there is an engaging factor that sustains the show till the end, and that is why you should watch both web series.

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Delhi Crime (2019)

Delhi Crime has been Netflix India’s flagship show for two seasons straight. It is because Delhi Crime became a popular show in the murder investigation genre that it prepared a road map for other shoemakers to work in this genre, which is always complex and intricate. There are more similarities between the two Netflix India origins than differences. Delhi Crime and Kohrra are specifically set in the North Indian landscape, and they widely cover the cultural ethos of both places. While the former captures the essence of Delhi quite well, Kohrra takes the audience through a never-before-seen Punjab.

Both shows, at their own pace, establish the narrative as a slow-burn noir, and it takes its own time to create a build-up to the climax, which works in favor of the plot. For the first time, the Delhi Police were humanized in Delhi Crime, as the viewers got a peek into their lives. It is as basic as it gets. The same could be said about Kohrra, though this show takes it a notch higher and talks about the mistakes made by the lead investigation officers as well and gives them a redemption arc as well. In Delhi Crime, both seasons have upped their game, and we can hope to see season two of Kohrra, which would again take us back to the world-building done by the makers.


Suzhal: The Vortex (2022)

This Tamil-language crime investigation drama is set in a town surrounded by Nilgiris amidst a major temple festival. Suzhal and Kohrra have a lot of factors in common, starting with the cold atmospheric weather that adds to the tension. Say what you will, any story set in the winter has an eeriness attached to it, and if the story is well made, the narrative will just suck you into that world. This could be said of both shows, as they begin with the news of a murder being splashed across the town, and the police are now on the lookout for the victim. The makers follow rather the same pattern of bringing in multiple suspects. There is an element of strangeness, yet the feeling of being close to catching the culprit persists. The final revelations in Kohrra and Suzhal were similar because they brought out the ugliness associated with them. The final reveal also stresses how families are unaware of what is happening around them, and it only made the overall storytelling sadder.


Tabbar (2021)

Tabbar is one of the breakthrough shows in the crime drama genre that could be compared to the greatness of the Malayalam film Drishyam and the Coen brothers classic Fargo. The two major similarities between Tabbar and Kohrra are the honest representation of Punjab and the presence of darker allies in this state. Both shows also have one other aspect in common, which is the murder of a rich kid. While the victim in Tabbar was an entitled brat, in Kohrra, the victim was a young man raised in patriarchy who can’t seem to run away from it. The overall essence of Punjab is a state surrounded by grim tales of drug menace and class divide. The unsettling narrative is another feature that connects the show. One could not stop thinking about the gritty world-building done in Tabbar while watching Kohrra, for the ambiance created is pretty much the same. If you enjoyed watching Tabbar, you will have to watch Kohrra.

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Dahaad (2023)

This Zoya Akhtar and Rima Kagti venture has plenty of aspects in common with Kohrra. The murder investigation drama is a familiar factor here. The only difference is that the story in Dahaad was about the police looking for a serial killer in the town, which is very different from the main plot of Kohrra. The class and caste divide are rampant in both stories set in two different states, and these elements help the audience understand why this menace needs to be tackled. The only tiny aspect absent from Kohrra would be the existence of a strong female lead. Nimrat, Balbir’s daughter, is only instrumental in bringing about a transition for her father. Since Dahaad is created and directed by women, a female police officer headlines the show and lets the audience get a hold of the story from her perspective. The treatment of the story and subplots in both is contrasting, but they are highly engaging shows.


Paatal Lok (2020)

The common link between Paatal Lok and Kohrra is the creators, Sudip Sharma and Gunjit Chopra, who have done a marvelous job of presenting both stories in the most compelling fashion. In both shows, there are only a few junctures where the narrative kind of slows down, but in its entirety, the story and the subplots keep surprising you. One could see the makers have derived a lot of the storytelling patterns of Kohrra from Paatal Lok. The dark, murky nature of the town, where everything seems fine on the outside, but many frightful incidents happen behind closed doors. The ugly face of the caste divide happening in Punjab was brilliantly executed in Paatal Lok, whereas Kohrra is like an extension version of that subplot coupled with the class divide, patriarchy, drug menace, and homophobia. These facets are added for the viewers perspective on these matters. Kohrra and Paatal Lok are brilliant watches because there is no spoon-feeding done by the makers, and it helps us make a fair decision about the characters in them. Both shows are filled with supporting and lead performances that are layered with gray shades. These two shows have to be on your must-watch list.

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The above-mentioned shows constitute my list of must-watch web series in the crime/murder investigation dramas that will leave you stunned. These are my opinions of how almost all of them have some similarity to Kohrra. Readers can let us know their favorite shows in this genre.


Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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