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Throwback: The Best Of 90s TV



Throwback: The Best Of 90s TV

As Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is set to return as a web series, we look at some of the other 90s shows that deserve a comeback

Certainly the most-wanted leap from 90s Indian television is here. Sarabhai vs Sarabhai fast forwards seven years into its light-hearted storyline and finally is set to return as a web series. After much speculation since last year, it has been confirmed by the show’s creator, JD Majethia, who tweeted earlier this month: “Work in progress. Sarabhai series to kick off by month end. Will be on Hotstar.”

Well, we cannot wait to watch the Cuffe Parade family (starring Ratna Pathak Shah, Satish Shah, Sumeet Raghavan and Rupali Ganguly) back with their incessant banter. But we want more, and more of the ’90s show to return. Here are our hot favourites that we feel should totally come back on TV:

Malgudi Days

Perhaps, this was our earliest finite sitcom. Translating RK Narayan’s classic slice-of-life tales to the screen, 54-episode-long Malgudi Days has been a permanent memory for every 90s kid. Doordarshan and the simple humour of Malgudi Days is an irreplaceable combination. “It was rich in content and marvelled us with its simple storytelling. Malgudi Days taught us values of life and to be human. Personally, I am almost emotionally attached to the show. It should be restored and archived, and shown to the newer generations of sitcom lovers,” says Dibyojyoti Baksi, journalist. We really hope to see Swami and his friends back in action soon!


I was just a five-year-old, and I would return home from school to find my mom glued to this show. I used to admire Neena Gupta and her trademark “bindi”, and certainly, had a crush on the tall and handsome Kanwaljeet Singh. I wouldn’t understand the show well, but as years rolled by and I grew older, I realised Saans was one of the most progressive relationship dramas on Indian television back then and perhaps till now. The show deserves a return.

Saans showed normal people like us, dressed like humans, doing things that any of us would do. So I guess it’s easy to connect to such a show. The script encapsulated everything: married couple leading a normal life to extramarital affairs; trials of a divorce and what kids emotionally have to go through post their parents’ separation etc. I of course didn’t understand the depth back then, but definitely we need some realistic shows on Indian television now,” says Purnima Gureja, 30, PR professional.

Hum Paanch

Before Naseeruddin Shah’s dead character spoke to Ratna Pathak Shah from within a photo frame in Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na, Anand Mathur in Hum Paanch was chatting away with his late wife through her portrait, leaving the audience in splits. Mathur’s five daughters and their quirks were so effortless yet stood out exceptionally. Teenagers and kids had also aped Sweety’s character and started singing before opening doors when the bells rang. It’s been a while a show as funny and relatable as Hum Paanch hit our screens.

Dekh Bhai Dekh

When you remember the title track of the show by heart even after decades, it’s a clear sign that the show has stood the test of time. The three generations of Diwan family with its eccentricities made its way into our lives in 1993, and has stayed on ever since. Stellar performances by Shekhar Suman, Navin Nischol, Deven Bhojani and Farida Jalal require no introduction or explanation. “It was hilarious, period. The show makes one nostalgic, and takes you back to simpler times, devoid of excessive dramebaazi, but loaded with meaningful writing,” says Devang Bhandari, 25, photographer.

Shriman Shrimati

Zero vamps, zero saas-bahu drama, no over-the-top makeup and as natural as daily banter among neighbours hitting on each others’ wives. Shriman Shrimati was packed with more laughter than one could imagine, and it was something everybody could relate to. “I used to love how Archana Puran Singh used to treat Rakesh Bedi. And I guess it was one of the first shows which showed a dude trying to hit on his neighbour in a comic vein,” says Rohan Jain, 27, a solution designer at Tech Mahindra Business Services.

Tu Tu Main Main

The premise of this old show continues to be the most popular subject for every current show on Indian television: saas-bahu melodrama. Only difference: Tu Tu Main Main was a classic laughter riot with no real villains, while everything else we see today has hardly any gags. Tu Tu Main Main was certainly the quintessential Indian sitcom, almost on the lines of Everybody Loves Raymond. You could watch any episode on any day and you would not need to worry about the continuity, but be assured of laughter galore.

These are some of the shows we really hope come back. What were your favourite 90s shows? Tell us in the Comments Section below.

Image Credits: (1), (2), (3)




Arundhati Chatterjee is a part-time writer, full-time dreamer. Hoards fountain pens, listens to The Beatles, eats multiple meals and yawns too often. Follow her @TheBongBox

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