It was the 90s when television gave us some classic and golden content cut across genres. There were takeaways for all age groups. Some shows were so entertaining that the entire family used to turn up the TV volume and sit together to watch those shows while sharing a meal and a hearty laugh. Other shows had so much substance and touched upon some pertinent and important issues, making them ahead of their time. Let’s remember those times when Indian television was at its best. It’s time we relive the nostalgia with these iconic 90s Indian shows!

1. Hip Hip Hurray

An amazing attempt at portraying the life of senior secondary school kids, this one resonated with all teenagers and was an aspirational show for all kids like me who wanted to land up in a school like De Nobili and have the same set of friends as Mona, Raghav, Prishita, Kiran, John, Mazar…the list is long. The show successfully showcased the trials and tribulations, triumphs and successes, hopes, and dreams of the group of students at De Nobili High. Every episode touched upon various flavours of their friendship and gave the audience a peek into their lives. The relationship between the students and teachers in the show was also beautifully captured and touched over lives. Most of the cast is well settled today and a known face in the industry and looking back at their debut performance in Hip Hip Hurray surely makes us nostalgic.

Similar 90s Indian shows in the same genre: Just Mohabbat.

2. Tu Tu Main Main

A hearty comedy show depicting the relationship of a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, much unlike the typical saas-bahu saga these days. It was fun to watch this dominant mother-in-law and a wilful daughter-in-law go hammer and tongs at pettifoggery. Reema Lagoo and Supriya Pilgaonkar won our hearts in this show by adding so much emotion and a touch of warmth through their characters.

Similar 90s Indian shows in the same genre: Shrimaan Shrimati.

3. Tara

A forward show putting forth the life of contemporary and unapologetic urban women. A celebrated show which was probably ahead of its time. The struggles and afflictions as well as the joys and bliss around Tara who was the female protagonist of the show laid the foundation of this opera. The show was extraordinary and path-breaking. It brought to the forefront, ambitious and independent women who wanted to speak their minds and live life on their own terms.

Similar 90s Indian shows in the same genre: Shanti, Saans.

Similar shows in the same genre: SHANTI, Saans

4. Dekh Bhai Dekh

An amazing cast, a catchy title track, and an entertaining storyline—Dekh Bhai Dekh would be a front runner for the best Indian sitcoms ever made. The lives of three generations of the Diwan family living under a roof was so beautifully and hilariously captured that it was the perfect show the entire family would watch in the 90s. The show touched upon their relationship troubles, business problems, sibling rivalry but even through all this never had a dull moment! The comic backdrop of the show was amazing and it resonated with Indian families as the Diwans were one big happy joint family who enjoyed and appreciated the spirit of being together.

Similar 90s Indian shows in the same genre: Family No. 1, Hum Paanch

5. Chandrakanta

This fantasy Indian series would be remembered by all millennials. The story of a beautiful princess Chandrakanta against the rivalry between the kingdoms of Naugarh and Vijaygarh is still etched in our minds to an extent. The gorgeous Chandrakanta was loved by all. The characters were iconic and the storyline was entertaining and plausible. The show was magical and a must Sunday watch.

Similar 90s Indian shows in the same genre: Alif Laila, Vikram Aur Betaal

Special mentions worth remembering: Shaktimaan, Captain Vyom, Movers & Shakers, Raja aur Rancho, Zee Horror Show.

I consider myself so lucky to have grown up in those times when television shows were much more than the saas-bahu sagas, scheming mothers-in-law, cheating husbands, and tacky plots. Some shows were a real hoot while others had so much substance and gave a strong message. Some shows were the pinnacle of comedy plots and made for a perfect family show while others were dramatic and oh-so-captivating! I bet you’d agree and I hope this list made you go back the memory lane. Let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourite 90s Indian shows!

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