The 10 Best Indian TV Serials Of The 1990s

Hum Paanch | © Balaji Telefilms
Hum Paanch | © Balaji Telefilms
Photo of Vidushi Trivedi
10 February 2017

Let us take you on a ride to the 1990s, when Indian television was at its best. For readers in Indian, get ready to claim your slice of nostalgia! For everyone else – how did TV in your country stack up against the shows listed here?

Indian TV in the 1990s had so much to offer to every age group. It was a time when shows with a crisp narration and believable yet intriguing plots kept us glued to our sets.

Before the scheming mother-in-laws and cheating spouses took over the idiot box, the ’90s were a time when the entire family could sit together over a meal and laugh away the day’s exhaustion in the innocent humor of these shows.

To those of us who grew in those days: weren’t we lucky?


Tara was the first Indian soap opera to run on Zee TV. It focused on the lives, struggles, and aspirations of three urban women. It was the first touch of feminism in Indian television. This was also the first show to popularize the concept of the “hook point” that makes the audience eagerly wait for the next episode.

Tara tv series | © Raman Kumar

Dekh Bhai Dekh

A family with all sorts of idiosyncrasies! With the best possible cast and amazing comic timing, this show won everyone’s heart. Clashes between three generations living in one big bungalow and their simple daily life troubles made for perfect humorous viewing.

‘Dekh Bhai Dekh’ | © AB Corp.


Didn’t you just begin to hum the title song? Featuring one the catchiest title tracks, Indian TV’s most memorable fantasy series Chandrakanta also had the most awe-inspiring characters: from Kroor Singh to Rupmati and Shani, the list is endless. It gave us the best of love stories and the most dramatic villains tied up together in a highly twisted plot! We all loved it.

Chandrakanta | ©Nirja Guleri

Hum Paanch

This show had a perfect recipe for comedy. Hum Paanch featured a nagging wife, five dysfunctional daughters with their own unique ways of seeing life, a talking portrait of the dead first wife, and amid all of them the husband finding it really hard to survive in the female-dominated house!

Hum Paanch | ©Balaji Telefilms

Zee Horror Show

The nightmarish Zee Horror Show was adored by we children, despite the efforts of our parents to keep us away from it. It is what your elder cousins would bully you with by humming the title tune. Never mind the patchy make-up and overacting, the show caught our attention every time, even though it cost us many nights’ sleep. We all attempted to watch it – with our eyes half-closed!

Zee Horror Show | ©Shyam Ramsay & Tulsi Ramsay


‘Sorry Shaktimaan’ – how many times have you said this line? We thank this serial for gifting us our favorite superhero. It had a huge impact on kids in the 1990s, and many of us even bought the costume to shine among our group of friends!

Shaktimaan | ©Dinkar Jani and Yatindra rawat (Bablu)

Captain Vyom

This show took science fiction to a new level altogether, casting the best-looking stars of that time. Milind Soman, Nethra Raghuraman, Dino Morea, Madhu Sapre, and Rahul Bose – all these and more acted in this one. Undoubtedly, this was the favorite of many youngsters.

Captain Vyom | ©Ketan Mehta and Maya Entertainment Ltd

Banegi Apni Baat

Showcasing an urban college romance, heartbreaks and ragging – this show was a slice of youthful life. It was a big hit among teens and young adults, and even though schoolkids were advised to stay away from it, they managed to take many a sneak peek!

Banegi Apni Baat | © Tony Singh and Deeya Singh

Filmi Chakkar

A film-obsessed family – a husband, wife, two kids, and a Dadi. With Bollywood at its heart, the filmy family issues and the perfect filmy solutions to their problems added up to a much-loved and believable show.

Filmi Chakkar | ©Unknown

Tu Tu Main Main

As a dominant mother-in-law and, to match her, an equally boisterous daughter-in-law, Reema Lagoo and Supriya Pilgaonkar won the hearts of viewers with this comedy show. Depicting the characters’ daily life issues between with a touch of emotion and love, it was so unlike the latest saas-bahu sagas we see today.

‘Tu Tu Main Main’ | © Nirja Guleri

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