Koombiyo, setting the bar for local dramas

Mar 22 2018. view 6345

Channel surfing in Sri Lanka during prime time will give you a montage of various women (both Sri Lankan and Indian), hysterically bawling, complaining about one problem or the other, or simply shooting daggers at the camera - shot from at least 5-6 angles. Per actress.

Standing out among the host of such mind numbing TV shows is Koombiyo - a breath of fresh air - which since October last year has been voted the top rated TV series by IMDb (internet movie database) users. Directed by Lakmal Dharmaratne and starring Thumindu Dodantenna, Yureni Noshika and Kalana Gunasekera in pivotal roles, Koombiyo chronicles the life of Jehan and Priyantha who attempt to maneuver their way through a dog-eat-dog world.

The biggest appeal for this show, maybe, its short runtime per episode - which at approximately 20 minutes, give or take, packs a punch in its offering while maintaining momentum. The actors embody their characters well and are convincing in their roles. The thematic undercurrents are relevant. Together, the elements make for entertaining viewing. Is it perfect? Of course not. No TV show is. Koombiyo, however, does a darn good job and is without a doubt a game changer. All that's missing now are English subtitles that will make the show accessible to a wider international audience. 


Life Online spoke to a few fans on the show on why they love the show and why they find it so appealing.



“I religiously watched Koombiyo from Russia and got my friends here to watch a few episodes whilst explaining the plot and even they were hooked. I’d like to wholeheartedly congratulate the creators of this drama series. It must be the best Sri Lankan tele-drama I have watched. The story line is different than the usual tragic love story dramas. In a way Koombiyo stimulates your intellect. It keeps you guessing about what is going to happen next.” 


“Koombiyo is the only Sinhala drama I watched from beginning to end. So why I think it’s great is because it’s different every episode. You think you know what’s going on but the plot twists in each episode. It kept me on the edge just trying to figure out what’s going on. And the sense of humor is beyond the lackluster usual Sinhala dramas.


“I would say Koombiyo is the best Sri Lankan tele-drama I watched after maybe Dandubasnamanaya and Doo Daruwo. Koombiyo has an exciting story line which is able to keep spectators engaged and entertained throughout. It has action, comedy, romance all in it and is balanced well. It was like the Game of Thrones in Sri Lanka. Every week fans couldn't wait for next week's episode and now we are all waiting for the next season because the last episode clearly indicated that there will be another season.”


“It is very different than other Sinhala TV series.”


“My father watches it. Into it so much that he downloads it and watches it like we watch TV series. So even 50+ year old men are into it I guess.”


“A realistic portrayal of society today. The use of weapons and the political game, switching sides for benefits, using people for their advantage is perfectly directed. Waiting for season 2!”


“Reality in a tele-drama unlike the other unreal stuff we watch. Several events in just 57 episodes.”


“So I watched a couple since it’s on YouTube. It's definitely different from all those dumb regular TV shows. Imdb rank is possibly just the Sri Lankan diaspora click-baiting it to reach a high rank. You know that “lankawe show ekak ne bung”. But it's definitely more engaging than a weeping housewife kitchen drama.”


Rihaab Mowlana

Foodie • Bona-fide expert on Harry Potter universe • proud Slytherin • Unapologetic know-it-all • Keyboard warrior • Occasionally sarcastic • Incessant retweeter • Self proclaimed funny girl • twitter.com/ReeMowlana


  1. Berbard Weerasinghe says:

    Actually I am not much of a Tele drama fan. I have tried to watch may be three or four but after one or two episodes I lost interest and didn't want to waste my time in watching the same crap until I watched the first episode of Koombiyo after I was told by a friend and compelled me to watch this Tele Drama. After I watched the first episode, I couldn't stop watching the rest of the episodes. I must say main two characters "Jehan" and "Priyantha" 's acting was super and also the rest of all other actors. Koombiyo has all the necessary ingredients what award winning movies possess.

  2. BSP says:

    Because of the publicity it got I too watched it later on ITN website. All though acting was superb and so much different from our regular cheap stuff, story is impractical

  3. srimathi says:

    Agree that it is not the usual run of the mill sinhala tele drama. very creative. Congratulations to the director and cast. Who needs cheap indian shows when we Sri Lankans can stand out among the rest.

    • Nana says:

      Yes. Its quite unrealistic story like many other dramas and Films. I also watched it just because of popularity it has gained. Infact Priyantha acts better than Jehan, But only Jehan is talked about. As usual people just love a change than a realistic story. That is why it became so popular. Another season will make it totally boring. Jehan getting to Killer point and his supporters are always backup and callup at the right minute is a totally surprising situation. Hiruni mentioning a Monk when she talks "Crush" is totally unsuitable dialogue.

  4. Ruchira says:

    Koombiyo is one of the best teledramas broadcasted inany TV channel in Sri Lanka. I would say it reflect the real pathetic society in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately majority of people Sri Lanka do not understand where we stand today in world. Most of the people are like frogs in a well. They do not understand how the world go forward, how should we change ourselves or how to respond to challenges of world. They are in a bubble of mythical world with religion or race or ethnicity. Only ghost is west. I am not a fan of west but should open eyes and look around. This is not level of education but simple mindset, how we were trained and brought up in a mad society without any thinking process. People with some intelligence appreciated this drama mostly but for others it is another fun drama. They talk about how people act, how people talk or how the game was done but not the real meaning of it. People should try to understand the pathetic society we live in and where our children will be living and what we are giving them. We could write pages but only for a hand full of people who love to read something useful. Any way Well done team!!!

  5. darshi abeysekera says:

    I too was not aware of koombiyo at first as I usually do not watch much teledramas available at present. . But my sister told me to watch this. So I down loaded the first episode and watched . Wow.. it was like an addiction and I had to download many as 20 episode to see the past and to go on on following it. So even my hubby who does not watch TV at all, too down loaded all and we watched all till the end. This was marvelous and the credit to all who involved in producing/directing/acting in it.

  6. Rohan says:

    Better than other teles BUT the last couple of 3 episodes were not that good. Because the were 'narrating' the story. They should have instead made the user realize it.

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