Panchayat Season 3 web series review: Phulera threatens to turn into Mirzapur!

The ending, for me, is a major departure from the previous two seasons. It did not make me keenly look forward to the fourth season.

ByArkadev Ghoshal

Published:May 31, 2024

Panchayat Season 3 is streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Panchayat Season 3 web series (Hindi)

28-05-2024, Comedy Drama, 8 Episodes 16+
  • Main Cast:Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Raghubir Yadav, Faisal Malik, Chandan Roy, and Sanvikaa
  • Director:Deepak Kumar Mishra
  • Producer:Arunabh Kumar
  • Music Director:Anurag Saikia
  • Cinematography:Amitabha Singh



Please note that a spoiler alert is now in effect, especially if you have not watched either Panchayat or Mirzapur.

The first season of the Amazon Prime original show Panchayat was a breath of fresh air when it arrived barely weeks into the COVID-19 lockdown.

That was especially after shows high on intrigue, deceit, and thrill, like both seasons of Netflix’s Sacred Games and the first of Amazon Prime’s Mirzapur.

Amidst all that cloak-and-dagger stuff, the characters from the Phulera panchayat seemed like a salve on the brain, with no clear antagonist, and people with various shades of grey who, however, were relatable enough to the viewer.

They all seemed like we either directly identified with them, knew someone like them, or would react to situations exactly like they did.

Things changed a little during the second season of Panchayat, where romance blossomed and tangible antagonists, albeit one of them is somewhat comical, emerged.

Now that Season 3 is out, Panchayat seems to be turning towards Mirzapur-like intrigue and violence.

The ending, for me, is a major departure from the previous two seasons. It did not make me keenly look forward to the fourth season.

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What’s Season 3 is about

The cast of Panchayat Season 3

The cast of ‘Panchayat’ Season 3. (Supplied)

Season 2 of Panchayat ended with panchayat secretary Abhishek Tripathi (Jitendra Kumar in one of his everyman turns) being transferred out of Phulera because of his and the village’s stand against the local MLA, even as deputy chief Prahladchand Pandey aka Prahlad (a very restrained Faisal Malik) mourns his son—an army martyr—along with the entire village.

Season 3 focuses on several major and minor developments. The major ones include how Abhishek returns to the post, how Prahlad overcomes his deep sorrow, and how local MLA Chandra Kishor Singh (Pankaj Jha as a quintessential headstrong leader from the hinterlands) tussles with a village and its residents hell-bent on tarnishing his image.

One significant chunk of the MLA’s machinations includes his tie-up with Bhushan aka Banrakas (Durgesh Kumar as the love-to-hate-you power-hungry trouble-maker), his wife Kranti Devi (Sunita Rajwar), and their two hilariously incompetent yes-men minions.

Minor plot points include recurring characters returning—either for some more shenanigans or for a wholesome turn—and a closer look at the lives of a couple of more villagers.

Suffice it to say that after the villagers manage to outwit the MLA and buy his beloved horse, the last episode quickly takes a dark turn as the de-facto pradhan ji (the ever-reliable Raghubir Yadav) is shot and the police take away the MLA and his men as well as Abhishek and other villagers after a physical altercation.

With Deepak Kumar Mishra returning as the director and Chandan Kumar as the writer, the heart of Panchayat—one that began by showing characters as just everyday, regular beings with common-man problems and travails—is not entirely gone.

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Delivers only in parts

Jitendra Kumar and Sanvikaa play the lead in the web series

Jitendra Kumar and Sanvikaa play the lead in the web series. (X)

However, by Season 3, a large portion of it seems to have given way to a race for one-upmanship that one would have thought these characters were incapable of.

Acting-wise, quite a lot of the talent seems under-utilised.

Abhishek fails to make a lasting impression this time, which has been his hallmark whenever Jitendra Kumar is in an OTT series.

Several other actors also don’t have much to do, but that’s not their fault. They don’t seem to have the situations that helped Season 1 shine, where there were fewer characters on screen.

And possibly the most galling feature this season is the weird sound that plays whenever Bhushan appears on screen. It gives the series a touch of staleness left over from 1960s-80s Bollywood.

Panchayat Season 3 was one of the most eagerly-awaited offerings from Amazon Prime. It does deliver, but only in parts.

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Final take

Take your time to pass through Phulera once again. But do not expect the warmth and calm that once resided there.

For, it has been replaced with a level of skullduggery—with more to come—that takes it close to the run-of-the-mill political dramas that abound in the less-diverse OTT platforms in the country.

(Views expressed here are personal.)