Today is a time when more content is available then you can watch in a single lifetime. But how many of you remember a time when the content available was not rich in quantity but quality? Yes, I'm talking about the 90s. 90s is still considered the golden era of Indian television and for good reason that is. It catered to all age groups equally. The TV was not an idiot box back then but a propagator of progressive thoughts and values. So let's take a ride back in time and take a look at some iconic 90s TV shows that were ahead of their time.
The show that launched the career of Mandira Bedi is still fresh in the memories of those who were old enough to watch it and understand its thick plot. The show chronicled the life of Shanti, an aspiring journalist, who hopes to write the biographies of Kamesh and Raj, owners of the biggest production house in the country. As the plot furthers, many dark secrets are spilled that change the course of Shanti’s as well as Kamesh and Raj’s lives.
Another show with a plot that is as thick as it is progressive. The show is written and directed by star Neena Gupta. The show revolves around the lives of Priya, Gautam, and Manisha. Priya and Gautam are a happily married couple until Manisha comes knocking at the door of their lives. Gautam falls for Manisha and they start an affair, now it is up to Priya to straighten out her husband’s lives.
Kora Kagaz is the story of a young girl Pooja who, on the first night of her wedding is left by her husband, Mahesh, due to his ongoing affair. Pooja finds a friend and companion in her brother-in-law Ravi who supports her every step of the way. Somewhere along the way Pooja and Ravi start developing feelings for each other. What happens when Mahesh shows back in her life? Who will Pooja choose? The plot might seem like a cliche by today’s standards but back in the 90s it dealt with a lot of sensitive topics.
Hasratein dealt with issues surrounding extramarital affairs and societal pressure that is put upon marriages in the Indian culture. The show tells the story of Savi, a married woman who walks out of her marriage to continue her affair with another married man. Both of their spouses are aware about their relationship. The 90s was truly the time of thick and juicy plots that can be considered progressive even today.
Just Mohabbat was the coming-of-age story of a young boy Jai and his friends. The show explores the relationships that these people share among each other and with their families. The show also explores the first crush, love and heartbreak of our protagonist Jai. All in all, Just Mohabbat is a cute story that is meant for the audiences of all ages.
Hip Hip Hurray is the story of a group of students who are in the final year of their school. The show explores their interpersonal relationships and the joys and sorrows that surround them. It also focused on issues that teenagers struggle with while growing up like exams, drugs, career, dating, and finding their place in the world.
Banegi Baat Apni focused on the lives of a group of friends who are about to graduate from college and step into their professional lives. The show explores the fun lives of these students, who step into the real world. It shows the struggles involved with filling the shoes they are expected to.
Although Captain Vyom was just a sci-fi show like any other, what makes it unique enough to be featured on this list is the fact that it dared to dabble with the concepts of sci-fi and did it so spectacularly in a time when it was uncertain if it would even be received positively. Though Captain Vyom was one of the most popular sci-fi shows of the 90s but it wasn’t the only one. The show stars Milind Soman in the lead and follows his adventures across the galaxy.
Malgudi Days was based on various short stories and novels by author R.K Narayan. The show has gained the status of a cult classic and was even revived for a season in 2006. The shows tried to propagate lessons of humanity and goodwill through cleverly woven stories.
Aarohan had progressivism weaved into its core. The show was about a bunch of women cadets who join the Indian Navy in a time when only men could join the Navy. The show chronicled their training days and ends with a scenario where all their training could not have prepared them for what’s about to happen. Unlike some other shows on this list, Aarohan was a mini-series.