If you compare today’s television shows with the 90s’, you can guess how much worse these days the TV shows have become. There was a time when Doordarshan, being the dominated channel, aired mythological shows like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Kid show like Mowgli, family shows like Hum Log, and many more.
I still vividly remember how every Sunday morning, I used to sit in front of the TV and enjoy watching my all-time favorite show ‘Mowgli.’
With time the trend of the television shows was changing. During the late 80s’ and early 90s’, the pattern takes a shift where most of the television shows dealt with the issues of family, daily life struggles, patriotism, family values, and culture.
Then came another significant change in the television world, and that is the arrival of private channels. Many regional, international, sports, and cartoon channels became available on the television, leaving ‘Doordarshan’ far behind.
Although modern television has provided us with many new concepts of shows still those who are from the late 80s’ and early 90s’ period, some epic television shows of that time will never be forgettable for them.
Here, I would like to share a list of best Indian TV shows of the 90s’ that makes me nostalgic. I am sure you will, too, relate to your childhood days while following the list.
Dekh Bhai Dekh
So, ‘FRIENDS’ isn’t the only popular sitcom; we have ‘Dekh Bhai Dekh,’ a popular Hindi sitcom of the 90s’ which shows the three generations of the Diwan family, who live in the suburbs of Mumbai.
‘Dekh Bhai Dekh’ is one of the longest-running shows of the 90s’- which is a blend of emotions, humor, drama, witty dialogues, and a great cast. The show has an important message to give us, and that is ‘to stay together in happiness and sorrow.’
Every character gave their best performances and made us remember them always. It is a show that is meant for family. Even today, if you watch the episodes on YouTube, your memory will get rewind to those years of your life.
Another Indian sitcom that got aired in 1995 and I used to love watching this show about a family of five daughters ‘The Mathur’s.’ Each sisters having different personalities and the talking portrait of Mr. Mathur’s first dead wife was hilarious.
Each episode shows stories about their middle-class life where the five sisters often fight, squabble with each other like all siblings do still had each other’s support, and held hands together when any one of them landed in trouble.
Tell me how many of you still miss Shaktiman?
I have a vivid memory of my childhood with ‘Shaktiman.’ It was those years when Shaktiman was hugely popular among the kids, and during Durga Puja, I begged my parents to buy me a ‘Shaktiman Dress.’ I was a kid, and wearing a Shaktiman dress was a deep respite and excitement.
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Here is another memory that I want to share, in my school I had a gang where we used to play ‘Shaktiman Shaktiman’ and swing just like ‘Shaktiman used to do in the show.’
Ahh..memories. Anyways, I am sure, like me, you too have caught up in memories. If you could remember the special effects that had been used in the show, used to fascinate the kids, but now it’s undoubtedly laughable.
So, yes, Shaktiman is one of the best Indian TV shows of the 90s’ that brings back memories.
Zee Horror Show
The spooky opening theme song was enough to give me goosebumps when I was a kid, and I am sure you must have experienced the same creepiness. Ramsey Brother’s ‘Zee Horror Show’ was as the name suggests a horror television show that displays episodes of scary stories.
Like Zee Horror Show, Aahat is yet another popular horror show of that time. It used to be quite scary. As a kid, I couldn’t sleep the night when I used to watch Aahat on Sony Entertainment Television.
As a kid reading to R.K.Narayan’s stories was fun and entertaining. Malgudi Days is an iconic Indian television show of the 90s’, set in British India, there is a fictional town named ‘Malgudi,’ and the stories focus on a boy named ‘Swami.’
R.K Narayan’s stories are always pleasing as they talk about stories of ordinary people and their lives in a simple language.
Do you remember the theme song of Malgudi Days?
Even today, you will find the theme song on YouTube. The tales of Swami and his friends are full of humor, and the simplicity of the stories held the attention of the audiences for years. Malgudi Days has always been loved by adults as well as kids.
We, the kids of the 90s’ are especially a die-hard fan of Malgudi Days through which we can rejuvenate the memories of our school days.
So, ‘Malgudi Days’ is definitely the best Indian TV shows of the 90s’.
Filmy Chakkar was a laugh riot where Satish Shah and Ratna Pathak played the married couple, who had two kids, and there was a dadi. It was an entertaining show of the 90s’ that displays a family comic drama.
Tu Tu Main Main
Indian comedy sitcom ‘Tu Tu Main Main’ displays the daily life stories of a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law, where they share a love and hate adorable relationship. They care for each other; they squabble and crib each other yet can’t live for long without each other.
Supriya Pilgaonkar and late Reema Lagoo performed so well and won the hearts of millions through their performance.
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I, along with my mother, used to watch ‘Tu Tu Main Main’ on Sundays while having lunch. I used to watch the repeated telecast of the entire week. The memory of my mother and me laughing out loud is so vivid that I wish I could go back to those days.
A popular sitcom of the 90s with Archana Puran Singh, Late Reema Lagoo, Late Jatin Kanakia, and Rakesh Bedi, which has uplifted the comedy and brought smiles on our faces with their silly jokes, chemistry, and performances.
It is a story about two married neighbors. Married Keshav Kulkarni gets attracted to actress Prema Shalini who lives with her husband Dilruba. Dilruba also finds Kokila’s company lovely, who is the wife of Keshav. They never crossed a line but amuses us with their comic flirts and witty dialogues, especially the Keshav-Kokila duo that Late Reema Lagoo and Late Jatin Kanakia played was superb.
If you still want to see the episodes, you will find them on YouTube.
‘Just Mohabbat’ was one of the most popular television shows among children and youth. The storyline of the series was focused on school life, teenage troubles, family issues, friends, and relationships. It was a hearty show to watch, and kids of the 90s’ could really relate themselves with the characters.
Hip Hip Hurray
For the youth of the 90s’ ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ was the best ever TV show of that time. A bunch of young boys and girls who are in high school deal with friendship, relationship, and amidst everything, how they enjoy their high school life. The show made us remind us of our high school friends and all the adventures and enjoyment that we did.
Wagle Ki Duniya
Wagle Ki Duniya (1988) was an incredible television show that displays the middle-class India, where we see a simple office clerk, a housing society, a grounded family, and their cultural ethics. The show was written by RK Laxman, and he created the characters in an ordinary middle-class India. ‘Wagle Ki Duniya’ speaks the language of every middle-class person in India.
The now superstar Shah Rukh Khan has also been featured in an episode where he plays the character who hits his car into Wagle, and despite his efforts, he is being dragged into the police station.
Who knows then that he will become the superstar of Bollywood industry?
Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne
Raghubir Yadav’s memorable character Mungerilal, who is a simple clerk from the 80s’ got drifted from Bihar to Delhi, is the punching bag of his office and his boss. At home, his wife mocks him for his wretched life.
‘Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne’ presents a combined slapstick and humor on social status and power. Mungerilal, who can’t do anything about his miserable situation but finds a way to escape from his mundane life through his fantasy world.
It was a great show at that time, but no one mostly talks about now. But I guess the name ‘Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne’ definitely brings to you some valuable memories that you must have experienced.
Shakalaka Boom Boom
A magic pencil and a paper that brings back anything alive that Sanju draws. The series continued for four years showing adventures of Sanju. So, if you want to rewind your childhood memories of watching the series, you can stream it on Hotstar now.
Boogie Woogie was one of the most popular dance shows, which was launched in 1996 by Javed Jaffrey, his brother Naved and actor Ravi Behl on Sony Entertainment Television. It was a pure dance show with no drama; unlike today, the drama is the key in dance reality shows like Nach Baliye.
It was a great show, it has given several dancers the first platform to perform and participate in the competition of dance.
Shanti- Ek Aurat Ki Kahani is an Indian TV show that aired on Doordarshan in 1994, which features Mandira Bedi as Shanti, the lead character. The series was top-rated among households audience. It tells the story of Shanti, who is a journalist and her fight to the truth. Mandira Bedi received appreciation for her intense portrayal of a woman.
I do remember faintly that my mother used to watch this show very often, not regularly.
1989 television series ‘Circus’ was aired on Doordarshan. Shah Rukh Khan played the role of Shekaran, a Malayali in ‘Circus’ who is the son of the owner of the Circus. Glimpses of the episodes of Circus can be seen on YouTube.
When the west has their Sherlock Holmes, we have our Byomkesh Bakshi, the detective show that the 90s kids grew watching. The series was based on the multiple stories of Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. Bakshi is a detective who is known for his logical, reasoning thinking and observation to solve any case.
It was a treat to watch, especially for the Bengali audience.
Celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s cookery show ‘Khana Khazana’ was my and my mother’s favorite TV program. As a kid, I loved eating different sorts of food, and in the pursuit of scrumptious food, she started watching ‘Khana Khazana’ and used to note down the recipes in her diary. I used to dictate her the recipe so that she can note down every step of the method.
The mother-daughter bonding that I cherish deeply. Even now, sometimes, I ask for help from her while cooking. This is something that I shared a lovely memory from my childhood. ‘Khana Khazana’ has added several moments like this in my life.
I am sure several mothers must have watched this cookery show looking for recipes that she can cook for her kid and family.
Antakshari was a popular musical game show that aired on Zee TV every Friday hosted by Annu Kapoor and Pallavi Joshi from 1994 to 2005.
It was a great show that added to our life a beautiful musical rhythm. After Antakshari, I never found any musical show like Indian Idol or SA RE GA MA PA so enticing and unique.
Tenali Rama, an Indian historical comedy-drama used to air in Doordarshan. It portrays the life of an Indian poet and scholar Tenali Ramakrishna, and his adventures. The 90s’ kid can’t forget this show. It was made for the children, but the adults even enjoyed watching Tenali Rama and his adventures.
Now, different versions of Tenali Rama are out and air on Star plus and other channels too. But nothing is as good as the original.
Vikram Aur Betal
From the many stories of Indian folklore, Vikram Aur Betal is a tale of King Vikram and Betaal the Vampire.
Based on the fantasy novel Chandrakanta, a television series was made of the same name, which got telecast on Doordarshan. A tale of a prince and a princess.
The Jungle Book
The anime adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s famous book ‘The Jungle Book’ which tells the story of Mowgli and his existence in the animal kingdom. The Jungle Book holds a special place in every child’s life.
If you ask me why ‘The Jungle Book’ is so dear to me because I used to love Mowgli so much that as a kid, my dad used to call me ‘Mowgli.’ I had a few toys whom I named ‘Bagheera’ and ‘Bhaloo.’
Indeed, this Indian TV shows of the 90s’ bring back memories.
Yet another Indian popular sitcom television show, which was a laugh riot. It is inspired by the British sitcom ‘Mind Your Language.’
Mohan Bharti is forced to teach Hindi at a language school where his students are present from all corners of the country speaking different languages and cultures.
You can still watch the sitcom on streaming platform Amazon Prime Videos.
With the changing time and television shows, we still miss these iconic TV shows of the 90s’. Even today, if we get time, we sometimes stream them, which are available and refresh our memories.