Off late, I have been thinking about some TV shows that I have loved watching over the years. These are shows I can watch again and again, whenever they are telecast on TV.
1. Yes Minister (and it's later Indian version "Ji Mantri Ji")- Classic British humor. For all you fans of "Friends" and other American sitcoms, I believe nothing comes anywhere close to the instantaneous bureaucracy bashing wit of this legendary British show. I loved the Indian version as well, but was disappointed that it turned out to be an exact copy of the original, whereas introduction of a few nuances of Indian politics into the script would have made it many times more relevant and interesting. Alas, the Indian version had too few episodes.
2. B.R. Chopra's Mahabharat - It was this epic TV series that kick-started my fascination with the story of Mahabharat. The production values and manner of story telling in this serial were far superior than the other mythological epic telecast on Doordarshan in the 1980's, Ramanant Sagar's Ramayan (Particularly infuriating were the repetative scenes where opponents used to hurl arrows at each other in war, and the arrows took almost the entire length of the episode to hit each other.). My fondness for the show also stems from the inherent beauty of the multi-leyered story line of this epic. Ekta Kapoor's recent Kahani Hamarey Mahabharat Ki is just a gaudy remake of the original.
3. Flop Show - This is unquestionably the best satirical comedy telecast on Indian television. No show before or after this, has been able to expose the idiosyncrasies of Indian society and the inefficiencies of Indian bureaucracy in the same laugh-out-laud way as this show. Office-Office is the only other show that comes close, but is not in the same league. Even Jaspal Bhatti has not been able to re-create the same magic in any other show since. The amount of humor packed into each episode o the show was truly incredible. Each episode which dealt with a different problem in the life of a common man, consisted of a small joke in the beginning, the main storyline in the middle, and a parody song in the end. Sheer genius!!