Hostages, the Hindi remake of the eponymous Israeli show drops on Hotstar today. A riveting home-invasion drama at it’s core, Hostages keeps you rooted to your seat with its twists and turns, but also leaves you a little baffled with the unreal lives of its characters.The show stays true to the original screenplay, so much so that entire episodes seem to have been recreated with maybe just a minor change to a line or two; they haven’t even changed the name of the family dog. Not that that’s a bad thing, if you haven’t already watched the Israeli version, because the script is very tight and every episode is unpredictable.The plot revolves around Dr Mira Anand (Tisca Chopra), a renowned surgeon who’s scheduled to perform surgery on the Chief Minister of the state. It isn’t the good doctor, though, who keeps skeletons in her closet; it’s the crazy family around her.There’s the husband Sanjay (Parveen Dabas) whose betting woes have landed him in debt with a lot of people, 18-year old daughter, Shaina who might be pregnant and son, Shovan, who’s a budding hacker and runs a little side business at school, leaking exam papers.Events begin unfolding the evening before the big surgery, and the family gets taken hostage by four masked kidnappers in their Gurgaon home. The ransom? Mira must dip her scalpel in an undetectable poison when she operates, triggering organ failure and ensuring the chief minister’s death.The show features Ronit Bose Roy playing a recently retired cop, Prithvi Singh and expectedly, he delivers the best performance on the show. Tisca is good as well, but the rest of the cast produce mostly passable performances. The star of Hostages is a screenplay that relies on keeping the drama high through a series of situations, rather than a detailed plot. If you’re someone who needs your stories to be realistic, stop reading here — this one’s not for you.The set-up in the first episode is great, and the next nine episodes take you through some very complicated plot twists, largely through the back stories of all the eight characters, kidnappers and hostages alike. There’s a lot happening, and if you’re walking into this one expecting an intense hostage drama where the tension is heightened by cabin fever, you couldn’t be more wrong.Sample this. The head kidnapper keeps popping out, and even attends a surprise party that’s been thrown for him. And it isn’t just him — the hostages seem to spend less time at home during a hostage situation than most regular people would on a Sunday. They always seem to have secret phones lying around whenever it’s convenient, and that’s just in addition to all the computers in the house, but nobody’s really trying to do anything useful to save themselves.A security guard, a couple of cops and a soldier, all turn up at the door at different points in the show, and yet nobody raises the alarm. The kidnappers are constantly fighting, leaving to do other stuff, making out with one another, and one of them even develops a crush on one of the hostages. The situations created throughout the show can border on the ridiculous at times, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the show is thoroughly entertaining.Israel has produced a brand of television in the last few years that is nothing short of brilliant. While shows like Fauda have crossed over successfully to international acclaim, it’s the writing prowess that has seen over a dozen remakes in the West and this is just in the last five years. Shows like Homeland, The Good Cop, Greenhouse Academy and In Treatment are all based on Israeli television dramas. Hostages too, was remade in the US five years back and aired on CBS, but was cancelled after a solitary season. It remains to be seen whether the show will find success in India, but it is a huge leap forward from the low-quality Indian television content we’re used to, and the slew of sleaze we see on the web.What Hostages achieves is good ‘masala’ fare, the kind that’s mostly eluded OTT platforms trying to create local content in India. The show scores high in the Indian context because we desis love our big, dramatic moments over highly intricate plots. This first season is taken to a resolution, while beautifully setting up the next one. Recommended to binge watch over a weekend. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.