TV reviews from 2023

I got you, baby girl.

Akhil Arora’s TV series reviews from 2023 covered the end of Succession and Ted Lasso. Fortunes varied.

Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 5, Akhil Arora's seventh favourite TV series of 2023

Best TV Series of 2023

“The golden age of TV is nearing its end. Mergers between Hollywood giants, layoffs across the board, downsizing budgets and obliviating content for tax write-off purposes, and months-long strikes for fair compensation—it’s clear that the streaming world will never be the same after 2023. It will result in fewer big swings and a lot more safer choices. […] For now, though, things are thankfully unchanged.”

Kay Kay Menon in The Railway Men

The Railway Men

“Though a wave of anger at the system flows across the new Netflix show, the problem is the depiction [as it’s] obsessed with trying to identify heroes in the conflict. That tone is nowhere as obvious as in the final minutes, where the series indulges in righteous sermons and unnecessary valorisation of its protagonists rather than leaving the audience to wallow in the multiple levels of failure that exacerbated the nightmare.”

Dulquer Salmaan as Arjun Varma in Guns & Gulaabs

Guns & Gulaabs

“That is essentially Guns & Gulaabs’ greatest fault. It’s a whole load of nothing. Even though there are three (or more) parallel stories running at any given time, the Netflix series—wholly directed by Raj & DK—completely fails to engage you. There just isn’t enough material before we get to the finale, with Guns & Gulaabs spinning its wheels for six episodes.”

Sobhita Dhulipala as Tara Khanna in Made in Heaven season 2

Made in Heaven: Season 2

“Too often, the dialogue feels inorganic and didactic. And a part of that is tied into its desire to address a thousand things every episode. It’s why the episodes run overlong. It also means you can’t do nuance because you don’t have the time for it. At worst, the lessons are ham-fisted and promptly forgotten. At best, it hits the mark. Usually, though, it’s somewhere in the middle: a little inelegant and on the nose.”

Suvinder Vicky as Balbir Singh in Kohrra


Kohrra’s focus is toxic masculinity—it’s about men who have failed as fathers, men who can’t leave behind their outdated beliefs, and the effect that has on those trapped in their universe. […] No matter how much we deny it, we are caught in the vortex of Indian men who boast about ’56-inch chests’ and men who worship those men. And there seems to be no escaping it.”

Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher season 3

The Witcher: Season 3

“[Takes] itself too seriously for the most part. […] The Witcher may desire to be the next Game of Thrones—as it has since its very beginning in late 2019—but the kind of character writing it wants to emulate was done a hundred times better by the real successor, House of the Dragon. The Witcher can’t even hold a candle. (Maybe that’s why [Henry] Cavill chose to leave.)”

Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso in Ted Lasso season 3

Ted Lasso: Season 3

“[Just] because you’ve a plan in mind, doesn’t mean the plan is great or the execution is rock solid. (Hello, Game of Thrones!) With overlong episodes, unbelievable plotlines, botched character arcs, and the lack of the ol’ Lasso magic, the third and final season of TV’s favourite heartwarming series crumbled under the pressure and scored a howler of an own goal.”

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in Succession season 4

Succession: Season 4

“If it furthered their goals, and if it suited them, the people of Succession were willing to throw everything under the bus. […] No spine, no ethics, no morals, no beliefs, no convictions—no boundaries that cannot be crossed. […] Succession has always been a tragedy, and its ending was a fitting reminder that when you play the game of thrones, you are left with nothing or end up an empty suit.”

Grogu and Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin in The Mandalorian season 3

The Mandalorian: Season 3

“While some of these action-driven sequences tied into who the Star Wars series wanted to highlight, they couldn’t ultimately hide the fact that The Mandalorian seemed to be running on fumes at times. At times, it looked like [Jon] Favreau didn’t know what to do with his primary characters. A season that seemed to be going nowhere (suddenly) put a nice bow on everything in the final episode.”

Jim Sarbh as Homi Bhabha in Rocket Boys 2

Rocket Boys 2

“[Gets] caught up with national-level politics, while ignoring the need to establish new characters who are central to its main thread: India’s first atom bomb test. […] Distracted and led astray—it seems to be working overtime in putting [Homi] Bhabha and [Vikram] Sarabhai in the inner circle of the country’s top leaders—Rocket Boys season 2 fizzles out and self-combusts before it can ever truly take off.”

Pedro Pascal as Joel in The Last of Us

The Last of Us

“[One] of the best TV shows of the year. […] Over the course of its nine-episode first season … The Last of Us delivered a masterful, thrilling, evocative, and largely faithful adaptation. [… Its world is] brutal and unforgiving. And for the survivors, it’s filled with loss. Both Joel and Ellie have been through hell. […] Life is ultimately cruel, but they have each other for now—and maybe that is enough.”

Aditya Roy Kapur as Shaan Sengupta in The Night Manager

The Night Manager

“[For] the first time in virtually forever, Disney+ Hotstar has delivered an original series that is—well—just fine. That might seem like faint praise but given the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff the Indian arm of Disney+ has put out since it coined the term ‘Hotstar Specials’, The Night Manager is the closest we’ve come to something acceptable. [… It] cannot ultimately live up to the original, but I’m glad it exists.”