Television is an amazing medium. It has been around in India since decades, and is accessible by millions of people around the country. This medium has had few of legendary shows as well. Crizic presents to you 10 of the greatest series on Indian television.
10. Filmy Chakkar
The show we all grew up with, Filmy Chakkar is one of the most underrated show in Indian television history. It was extraordinarily funny and diligently written and acted.
9. Flop Show
Although only 10 episodes of the show were ever produced, the show has had a long and powerful legacy. Flop Show is one of the greatest comedy serials of India. It was a brilliantly directed satire and highlighted the level of corruption at that point in time. The late Jaspal Bhatti played the lead role and was flawless in presenting comedy on screen. The other cast included his wife Savita Bhatti, Vivek Shauq and many others.
8. Hum Log
Hum Log was Indian television’s first soap opera. It began telecast on Doordarshan, India’s national network on July 7, 1984, then the only television channel of India. When the show began telecasting, audiences immediately identified with the family. Film actor Ashok Kumar’s sage, homespun advice at the end of every episode put everything in perspective for viewers. But Hum Log had been made to address social issues like family planning, alcoholism and women’s education, which it succeeded in doing. When the show ended with dadi’s death, a defining chapter in the history of India’s popular culture came to an end.
7. Hum Paanch
Kajal Bhai, Sweety rushing to open the door, Anand’s conversation with his dead wife, Meenakshi’s feminism, and LOADS of craziness. Yeah, that was Hum Paanch, paaaa-paaaa-paaaa-paanch!
We don’t really need much explanation here, do we? During its original broadcast, Ramayan was enormously popular, drawing over 100 million viewers. Although rising slowly at first, its popularity reached a point where the entire nation of India came to a virtual stop as nearly everyone who could gain access to a television stopped what they were doing to watch the televised adventures of Rama. In a phenomenon that the newsmagazine India Today dubbed Ramayan fever, religious services(Hindu and non-Hindu) were rescheduled to accommodate the show’s broadcast; trains, buses, and inner-city trucks stopped running when the show was on; and, in villages, hundreds of people would gather around a single television set to watch the show.
5. Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai stands tall with tongue in cheek humor, crisp dialogues and extraordinary performances. Even the supporting cast is outstanding. In an era of the nonsensical Saas -Bahu crass, Sarabhai brought a fresh breeze of air. Sarcasm, situational humour and black comedy rolled all in one, with a power packed cast including Satish Shah, Ratna Pathak, Sumit Raghvan and Rupali Ganguly. The middle class and upper class conflict, daily clashes of ego and many other realistic problems were treated with great hilarity.
4. Dekh Bhai Dekh
Dekh Bhai Dekh’s cast was so good, that it did not even need the brilliant scripting it already had. A show that REALLY requires a comeback, Crizic puts DBD on number four.
1986? INDIA? MAN! REALLY? It is really hard to believe this show was made at that time. This genius comedy show finds its place on number three.
2. Byomkesh Bakshi
Move aside Sherlock! Bakshi wasn’t any special detective they show on today’s television: Ruthless, egoistic, gadget using, anti-social; nope. He was just an ordinary man, and an extraordinary observer. Byomkesh Bakshi is an example of how a good TV show can be made with a shoestring budget. It did not have special effects, high drama, but what it did have was perfect storylines and great acting prowess shown by its actors.
1. Malgudi Days
By far, no Indian show has ever paralleled the legendary Malgudi Days. This show wasn’t your gaudy looking soap opera, nor it had those extreme emotions and heavy background music. Its greatness lied in its simplicity. Nothing better than Malgudi Days has ever happened to Indian TV. Anything which came close to it was Byomkesh Bakshi. In both of the cases, stories were profound and well appreciated and artists, who chose to work on them for TV avatar, took the project with a great degree of earnestness. You want to visit Malgudi after watching any story and want to become part of those interesting conversations. You want to hear a lot more of those gossips and rumors. You want to sit with villagers near wells and talk about everyday life. You want to witness that most uproarious but yet most linguistically and existentially significant conversation between Muni and USA tourist. You want to be amongst those villagers when that cat inside a vessel is jumping from place to place inside the store and they are scared that a ghost is making those noises.
And yes, now you want to hit kickass.to and download Malgudi Days.