Throwback Thursday: 7 iconic comedy TV shows from '90s

  • Jyoti Sharma Bawa, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 14, 2015 10:55 IST

Before Indian TV turned into amalgamated garbage (it has to be when even saas-bahu audience switches over to Pakistani soaps), there was a time when we would wait for the weekly soaps to find out what our favourite characters would be up to.

Believe it or faint but once upon a time, even comedy on Indian TV was laugh-out-loud funny. Wooing us with one smart one-liner at a time, these soaps of 90s can still give us a serious attack of nostalgia. Here are the 7 TV series which we wish, we pray, we hope will make a comeback. If you think India hasn't got anything on the likes of Friends, Big Bang Theory or Modern Family, we are taking you on a time machine to visit the iconic series of 90s.

Dekh Bhai Dekh

Loosely translated, it was a saas-bahu serial - the good, laugh-a-minute kind. This cult show was about the great Indian joint family - how it eats, plays and lives together. With superb performances from upcoming actors of that time like Shekhar Suman, Bhavna Balsavar, Amar Upadhyay, Sunny Singh and Urvashi Dholakia, it showed by example how TV series should be made. Don't miss veterans like Sushma Seth, Farida Jalal or Navin Nischol either.

There were dadiji, mausiji, chachaji and other assorted 'jis' which populate soaps based on great India parivaar in this show, without any of the melodrama, manipulation or hysterics.

Hum Paanch

These guys defined dysfunctional before India even knew the term, although it was so uproariously funny that we forgot it was about a man nagged by his wife and drove to despair by his five, bordering-on-crazy daughters.

Watch out for film-obsessed Sweety who made opening the door an award-worthy performance. And the anti-ageism 'aunty' whose favourite line was: 'Aunty mat kaho na'. And this is where Vidya Balan first made an impression as a nerdy sister.

Zabaan Sambhal Ke

Hindi take on Mind Your Language, this show had a financially-constrained Pankaj Kapoor teaching English to a group of people from all over the world. You think you hate your job? Well, you had nothing on Kapoor's character from the show.

Even though it was inspired by an English show, the characters and script brought so much Indian-ness that we liked, we liked.

Shrimaan Shrimati

The maxim of this show was: Thou shalt covet thy neighbour's wife. Stay-at-home husband Rakesh Bedi has a glam actress wife in Archana Puran Singh. Middle class Jatin Kanakia is married to housewife Reema Lagoo. Both the men want what they can't have and chaos ensue. Ever wondered how a show with such an adult theme was good enough to be watched by children? That's where its greatness lay.

Filmi Chakkar

India's obsession with everything Bollywood was the subject of this show. Here's a family which has filmi problems and finds filmi solutions to them. The fact that the talented duo Satish Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah played the parents had a lot to do with its success. Oh, and do you remember its opening jingle based on the 'shocking' superhit of that time: Choli ke peeche kya hai?

Tu Tu Main Main
A bickering mother-in-law and daughter-in-law and a hapless man caught in the middle - what could be more fun when you set this up in the Indian middle class milieu? This series ran for 11 years and was fun till the very end.

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