Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 Favorite English TV Shows ~ Ten On Tuesday

Day 23 of "2013 Ultimate Blog Challenge" : Ten On Tuesday: 10 Favorite English TV Shows


As promised in the comments of my previous Ten-On-Tuesday post ("Ten On Tuesday: 10 Pick-Me-Ups"), I'm listing my top 10 favorite English TV shows that were aired in India in the 90s. Which of these were in your favorite list too?

1. The Wonder Years (1988–1993)
Kevin Arnold takes us on a journey through his growing up years in the 60s in a typical American suburb, with his two siblings, parents, best friend Paul and childhood-crush-turned-girlfriend Winnie. This was one of the first English TV shows I saw, and I loved the whole concept of an adult Kevin narrating his early years. I was also impressed by the acting of the young Kevin Arnold.

2. Small Wonder (1985–1989)
An American science-fiction TV serial, featuring the family of a robotics engineer, Ted Lawson, who creates a robot, nick-named Vicki, that looks like a real human girl, and then tries to pass her off as his own daughter. The highlights of the show: Vicki's monotonous voice, inability to display emotions, her "cabinet" in her "brother" Jamie's bedroom, and their nosy neighbor's daughter Harriet!

3. I Dream of Jeannie (1965–1970)
Another American TV show with the best fantasy concept one could ever dream of -- having their own personal Jeannie! Loved this show completely! Jeannie's impishness was so visible in her eyes, and yes the way she would blink her eyes to materialize anything, and how she kept getting her "master" Tony Nelson, in trouble, because of her over-eagerness to help! Hilarious!



4. Dennis the Menace (1959–1963)
This was the first TV show adaptation of Hank Ketcham's comic strip by the same name, featuring the adventures of the child menace, Dennis Mitchell, and his usual victim - their next-door neighbor Mr. Wilson. I didn't watch it as regularly as the first three, but whatever I did watch, I liked it... especially Mr. Wilson!

5. Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986)
The story of a widowed millionaire from Manhattan, who adopts the two orphaned black children of his late housekeeper. I used to really like this show back then, but couldn't watch too many episodes of it (don't remember why now). So the images are not as clear in my mind.

6. Full House (1987–1995)
Danny Tanner raises his three little girls - D.J., Stephanie and Michelle - with help from his brother-in-law Jesse and best friend Joey. This was by far our most favorite English TV show! ("Our" meaning my sister's and mine.) We followed it for the longest time I guess. The girls were too cute... so was Jesse actually! LOL! :P One of these days, I'm going to hunt down the torrents for all 8 seasons of it, and download it all!

7. Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989–1993)
The story of the 16-year old genius doctor, Doogie Howser, and his best friend Vinnie Delpino. If we have teenage guys in the show, we will obviously also have their girlfriends, right? So there are Wanda and Janine in the show. My favorite part of this show was actually Vinnie. And yes, Doogie's parents were perhaps the most sensible parents I have ever seen, even in fiction! I downloaded this entire series earlier this year, so I have watched it completely.



8. Who's the Boss? (1984–1992)
This is yet another serial that my sister and I were crazy about. The entire concept of having a male housekeeper (and such a good-looking one too, sighhhhh!) was so novel that we fell in love with it from the very first day we saw it. Tony and his daughter Samantha, Angela and her son Jonathan, and the icing on the cake - Angela's man-crazy mother Mona Robinson! Funny and cute. I finished downloading and watching all 8 seasons of this show just before I started with the blogging marathon here in April.

9. Remington Steele (1982–1987)
Ahhh! One of those fictional characters I had a serious crush on! And to think that he was originally a fictional character in the show as well... the fictitious "boss" of private detective Laura Holt, who one day, to the surprise of his creator, shows up in real! Couldn't watch this one for too long either, but it's on my to-download list... if only I can find an active torrent for it!

10. The Crystal Maze (1990–1995)
An amazing British game show that, for some reason, didn't become quite as popular here, but I used to love it! It was a game show for the common people... no celebrities, no brainiacs, no physically-skilled people. Just common men and women. The puzzles were creative and stimulating, and most found me on the edge of my seat too. Richard O'Brien was brilliant as a host, with his harmonica and his "mumsie", and the theme music was so catchy, I still remember it after all these years! I have searched for this series for so long, but could only find two episodes! :( If any of you know where I could get the whole series from, please do let me know.

Apart from these top 10 TV shows, there were a few more that I liked, but didn't follow as religiously as the above. Two of them were Blossom (1990 TV Series) and Bewitched (1964 TV Series). I wish they'd dedicate an entire channel just for showing the re-runs of these popular old sitcoms. Wouldn't that be just great?


Here's more in "Ten-On-Tuesday"!


This is my 23rd post for 2013 Ultimate Blog Challenge.
Link to the previous post: "Life Is Unfair"

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20 comments:

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Hey, nice list! Say, were these actually aired during the 80s-90s on Doordarshan or did you watch reruns on cable? Did you watch Small Wonder in English or the Hindi dubbed one?

OK may I share my list? Here's a quick one.

1. Streethawk
2. Cheers
3. Black Adder
4. Jeeves & Wooster
5. Seinfeld
6. Frasier
7. Happy Days
8. The Sopranos
9. The Practice
10. The X - Files

I left animated shows out. What cartoons did you watch? There weren't too many before cable was introduced in the early-mid 90s. Were you too grown up by then to watch cartoons?

Quite a few of these old telly favourites found a new home on Comedy Central. Is Comedy Central still around? I heard the Govt. knocked it off air after some izzatdar log complained :P

Bhavya said...

Oh I used to lurrvvv Full House and Who's the Boss :D :D

Shilpa Garg said...

I remember Small Wonder, Dennis the Menace. And Streethawk from Abhiroop's list!

the little princess said...

I dream of jeannie, dennis the menace, full house, definitely my favs too..apart from that, 'how i met ur mother' , 'friends' and 'the big bang theory' are my absolute favs...

Ava Suri said...

These were all my top faves as well. Oh how good Crystal Maze was.

msbhawna said...

Besides the one you listed Bewitched, Flintstones, The Nanny were my favourite

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

And some of my favourite boyhood cartoon shows:-

1. Gayab
2. The Wizard of Oz (in 10 min weekly installments)
3. The Jungle Book a.k.a. Mowgli
4. Tales Spin
5. Duck Tales
6. The Flintstones
7. The Jetsons
8. The Simpsons
9. The Centurions
10. The Swat Kats
11. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
12. G.I. Joe
13. The Mask
14. Johnny Bravo
15. The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
16. Count Duckula
17. Dangermouse
18. Pingu!
19. He-Man & the Masters of the Universe
20. Top Cat
21. Aladdin
22. The Addams Family
23. MiB: The Series
24. The Adventures of Tintin
25. Batman: the Animated Series

Thank you Kaddu for the generous space on your blog. Sure hope you don't start charging me rent, since I'm pretty much a permanent squatter now. What to do, I'm from Delhi ;)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

OB, I don't remember having watched any of them on Doordarshan. This is all from cable TV days. Small Wonder used to be in English that time, but I did watch a few episodes later from the Hindi dubbed version too... hated it! :D

Your list is all about grown up shows... didn't watch any of them. I remember coming across The Sopranos and The X-files, but their names are all I remember. Were all of these aired in the 90s?

Animation will need another post. And I have no idea about Comedy Central. Not a TV person, dude!

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@Bhavya - Ahhh! Jesse and Tony... mmmmmm! :D :P

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@Shilpa - Strange I can't remember Streethawk even by name! :(
What other shows were you hooked to back then, Shilpa?

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

@ the little princess - I did see friends a few times, but didn't develop a liking for it back then. Never came across the other 2 that you've mentioned. What were they about?

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

I know, Ava... they just don't make game shows like that anymore! I mean look at Big Boss!

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Oh yes... Flinstones! How come I missed that? That was also too funny! And I have seen The Nanny also a few times.

They used to come one after the other, didn't they? I dream of jeannie, diff'rent strokes, dennis the menace, bewitched, flinstones... Three Stooges also I think...

I was only able to watch the first 2-3 regularly... time crunch. But I'll download them all now if I can find their torrents.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Such a loooooong list of animation, OB? :D
I have only seen these 2 from your list...
- The Flintstones
- He-Man & the Masters of the Universe

The Addams Family - I didn't see as animation. There were real people acting in it. Saw only a few episodes. But I liked it.

And how come you missed Spiderman on Doordarshan? It was sponsored by Rasna, remember?

Yeah charging rent sounds like a good idea. Let me think about it! :D

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Yes, Spiderman. How could I miss it? We're talking about the late 90s version though, right?

Zyada lamba ho gaya list? Yeh to kuchh bhi nei hai. I haven't named the silly filler cartoons they used to air between two shows :D

Loved your write-ups for each show. Most people would've written some banal one liner and chepo'd it here.

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Seinfeld is recommended, DJ. No sappy romantic angles, no forced humour, no ridiculously handsome people pretending to be people next door, and above all - excellently written, backed by solid, true-to-character acting by the 4 main leads and a supporting cast handpicked from the theatre scene of the late 80s. It aired from '89 thru '98 and should be right up your alley, I think :)

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

I guess so, OB. It used to come on DD at 4:30 pm if I remember correctly. And it was sponsored by Rasna.

Noooooo... dude, don't even start on your "filler" cartoons please... whatever they might be!

Do you have Seinfeld downloaded?

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

You sound like you watched it just because it was sponsored by Rasna :)

Whatever happened to Rasna though? Been years since I've had. I think they introduced it in powder form some years ago a la Tang. I liked the Orange flavour best and remember wanting a glass exactly like the one the kids in the TV ad drink it from.

Will bring Seinfeld over next time you, ahem, *allow* me to enter your house. Will also attach DVD to my waist by looping a cord in thru the hole in the middle as safeguard against being tossed out of balcony :P

Hey, did you follow the News as a kid? Do you remember newsreaders? Did/do you have any favorites?

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Yes, the shows I mentioned are all from the 90s. Some, like Happy Days (70s) and Cheers (80s) are even older. But yeah, they were all aired during the 90s and even if they were what you call grown-up shows I didn't watch them as one, so they aren't grown-up for me :)

These days I have practically stopped watching TV, although there are some pretty decent series around apparently. I do catch a stray episode from these old shows on YouTube, every now then.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Hahahahah! Ob, Rasna is still around I guess. Though I haven't had it in ages! Never tried Tang, but Yuvraj loved it. He loved all orange colored drinks back then.

Yeah, bring along that DVD (or DVDs)... whenever that happens! :D

And you're asking me about news? Are u alright? Did they take out part of your brain too along with one of your kidneys? :P

Grown-up, as in with grown-up characters, unlike the ones full of kids that I usually watched. Still do, as a matter of fact.

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