IMDb is an online database that ranks TV shows based on the ratings that each show receives from voters. If one were to look up the top-rated TV shows of all time on IMDb, nestled between the 2012 animated show, Gravity Falls and the 1976 show based on Roman history, I Claudius is a surprising entry; TVF Pitchers.
At #49 on IMDb’s Top 250 list, TVF Pitchers was a rage in 2015, the year it was released. On the face of it, it’s just four guys quitting their mundane jobs to start their own company, keeping up with the trend of the startup culture in India during the time. But that’s just on the surface. The story explores the challenges that young entrepreneurs face in India — from building software and raising funds to parental pressure and copyright infringement.
But TVF Pitchers wasn’t the only Indian sitcom to be showered with love and praise, both inside and outside the country. Considered by many to be one of the best TV shows to come out of India is Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai. The show revolves around an affluent family in South Mumbai and their bumbling, middle-class daughter-in-law who is unable to keep up with her mother-in-law’s high standards and expectations. There is no list of Indian TV classics that does not include Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai. The show achieved an almost iconic status in the first season in 2004.
Last, but not least, let’s not forget the iconic horror TV show, Aahat. The horror show ruled TV screens post 10 pm in the ’90s. Each episode of Aahat looked at different horror stories and featured a stellar cast including the likes of Om Puri, Tom Alter, and Mandira Bedi. Here’s what was unique about the show. The show usually started with crime-related episodes, but gradually delved into the supernatural, with the second season featuring zombies, witches, wizards, and ghosts. The show premiered in 1995 and ran for 20 years intermittently, with the last and sixth season ending in 2015. More interestingly, the show wasn’t just a big part of the lives of adults but had a special place down memory lane in the hearts of minds of children born in the ’90s too.
Other notable Indian TV sitcoms include the much loved Dekh Bhai Dekh, which revolved around three generations of the Diwan family, who lived with their extended family in an ancestral bungalow in Mumbai; and Office Office, the story of a common man named ‘Mussadilal’ being treated harshly by corrupt officials in government offices.
A Mouthful of Sky was the first Indian sitcom where English was the primary language.