I will personally argue with anyone who disagrees with me and tells me that the best era on Indian television wasn't the 1990s. It was before Ekta Kapoor arrived on the scene and ruined television for all of us with her saas-bahu sagas and a whole lot of Naagin. It was the time of sitcoms and romcoms that were relatable and showed everyday life, instead of the daily dose of drama we are fed today. So, as a throwback, here is a list of TV series from the 90s you need to get hooked on to.
One of my personal favourites, Dekh Bhai Dekh, was a show my whole family bonded over. A sitcom about three generations of the Diwan family, it was one of the funniest things to grace Indian television ever. With a stellar cast, watch it for the unlimited dose of oh-so-relatable humour.
It's really difficult to be surrounded by 6 women at all times and nothing captured the dad/husband's struggle better than Anand Mathur. All the daughters had extremely different personalities and they got into different kinds of trouble in every episode, leaving Anand to clean up the hilarious mess.
Based on the lives of college students, it was one of the original Indian coming-of-age dramas out there. Tracing the life of these students, it shows their love stories, campus fun and their general everyday lives. It also showed some of the characters getting jobs after college, chronicling their entry into adult life.
These three words immediately take me back to school. The story is based on a group of class 12 students at the DeNobili High School. It talked about things relevant to youngsters, like love, drugs, career, health and exams in the most sensitive, yet extremely relatable manner. Honestly, watching it now feels like reliving issues from my own school days!
If there is one saas-bahu TV series you should watch it's, hands down, this one. Starring Reema Lagoo and Supriya Pilgaonkar as the bossy mother-in-law and high spirited daughter-in-law, respectively, it showed the love-hate relationship between this duo in the funniest way ever. The simplicity of the show and the storyline is what made it so funny yet memorable.
The story of Jai, a young kid at boarding school in Dehradun is one of the most memorable series to ever have been made back in the day. Following the life of Jai, from his first crush to his first love to his first heartbreak, we all grew up with him.
Ain't Sherlock Holmes got nothing on our very own Byomkesh Bakshi. A detective par excellence, it was extremely enjoyable to go on a crime-solving, or rather 'truth-finding' spree with him. The satisfaction that we got when we guessed the perpetrator correctly, or when justice was finally delivered was one of a kind.
Is a woman's worth only dependent on the love her husband has for her? Saans, a show too progressive for the 90s, attempted to answer this question. When Priya's husband Gautam leaves her for another woman, it's up to Priya to decide what to do next. Don't we wish TV today telecast such serials?
One of the most disturbing but progressive shows of its time, it is the story of a 21-year old Amrita who was raped by her doctor while she was in a coma. The way the issues like rape are dealt with in the serial is much better than the mindless TV series these days. The series managed to be more socially relevant in 85 episodes than most manage to do in years.
Hate to say this, but it's possible that Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain!'s plot was inspired by Shriman Shrimati. A sitcom about two neighbouring couples where the men admire each other's wives, it was a truly entertaining affair to see these people indulge in silly antics. Watch this if you remotely even like its copy!
The original superhero, Shaktimaan was India's response to Superman. Pandit Gangadhar, was a naive and geeky photographer by day and superhero by night. This is a series close to all of us 90s kids' hearts. We can recite the theme song by heart till date and nothing shows loyalty like that.
Kids, a word of advice, go watch these, instead of Bigg Boss. They're equally addictive but a better quality of television, altogether!