From Dekh Bhai Dekh to Raja Aur Rancho, the 90s was an era when television shows catered to the whole family – instead of segregating the saas-bahus and the bachchas from the mard log. And those lucky enough to grow up during that era would fondly remember these 24 TV shows. We know we do!
1. Dekh Bhai Dekh
Easily a classic now, ‘Dekh Bhai Dekh’ was a real hoot! Navin Nischol, Shekhar Suman, Farida Jalal and everyone else in the cast were memorable in their performance in this sitcom.
The title song of this fantasy series was so catchy; we bet if you start humming the first two lines you will probably continue till the end! From Kroor Singh to Roopmati, the Snake Queen – the characters were totally awe-inspiring.
3. Hum Paanch
A nagging wife, five dysfunctional daughters and a talking portrait of a dead wife – do you really need anything else to add to the comedy? Without a doubt, ‘Hum Paanch’ was one of the funniest sitcoms.
4. Just Mohabbat
The Americans had ‘The Wonder Years’ and we Indians had ‘Just Mohabbat’. The coming of age of a young boy Jai and his relationship with his friends, family and even his imaginary friend Gautam used to get us glued to the TV in the 90s.
5. Hip Hip Hurray
The show that gave us a peep into what life in senior secondary school will be like, ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ was one show that all teenagers related to.
6. School Days
Another serial for teenagers that used to come on Doordarshan was ‘School Days’, dealing with the lives of a group of high school kids. They just don’t make them like this anymore.
7. Malgudi Days
If you had not watched this, you must at least have read it? If not, you missed out on something really cool as a kid.
If anyone could get us to appreciate art and culture as kids, it had to be Renuka Shahane and Siddharth Kak in this show! In fact, it holds the distinction of being India’s longest-running cultural series and features in the Limca Book of Records for receiving the largest measured audience response ever in the history of Indian television.
Chitrahaar evenings were the most fun evenings ever. The way we used to hope that they play our favorite songs, you don’t see that kind of desperation nowadays.
It does not matter if it was a Sunday – one simply did not sleep late and miss out on even 5 seconds of ‘Rangoli’!
11. Flop Show
Before there was stand-up comedy, there was ‘Flop Show’ – and Jaspal Bhatti!
12. Office Office
Some TV series were so seriously epic that the only logical way ahead was to make a movie – and that’s what the awesomeness of Pankaj Kapoor starrer ‘Office Office’ was about.
13. Alif Laila
Based on the stories of ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, ‘Alif Laila’ used to whet our appetites for fantastic story-telling just the way Tim Burton would have.
14. Vikram Aur Betaal
Indian folklore and literature is so rich that we need not look to the West to entertain us in the 90s. For instance, this spooky but oh-so-captivating tale of King Vikram and Betaal the vampire!
15. Byomkesh Bakshi
Forget Sherlock Holmes! 90s kids grew up on a staple diet of tales of Byomkesh Bakshi’s detective skills.
And right next to Bakshi was none other than Sam D’Silva and his sidekick Gopichand! Those were the days…
Before Mandira Bedi went all cool with noodle strap while wowing cricket-lovers, she wowed us as Shanti with those long bindis!
Shaktimaan was seriously one of the coolest Indian superheroes for the 90s generation. There are probably a number of you who even bought his costume, didn’t you?
19. Captain Vyom
With all the hotties from the 90s starring in this sci-fi series, how could we have missed it on this list? Milind Soman, Nethra Raghuraman, Dino Morea, Madhu Sapre and Rahul Bose – all these and more acted in this one.
20. Raja Aur Rancho
You might be cool, but you will never be cool as this detective who had a monkey for his sidekick. I mean, seriously, that’s what television is all about!
21. Shriman Shrimati
A comedy of errors at best and a veiled suggestion at wife-swapping at worst, ‘Shriman Shrimati’ was another sitcom that had the entire family LOLing.
22. Boogie Woogie
With Javed Jaffrey, Ravi Behl and later Naved Jaffrey, ‘Boogie Woogie’ was the original dancereality show that kicked some serious butt.
There were a lot of religious series like ‘Om Namah Shivay’, ‘Jai Hanuman’, ‘Ramayan’ and others – but if we had to pick the best out of the 90s lot, we definitely would go for ‘Mahabharat’ with its elaborate cast and still memorable title song.
24. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa
We end the list with ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ which not only made our evenings melodious, but also gave us some amazing singers like Shreya Ghoshal.