While the film fraternity has ruled over the hearts and minds of the audience for ages and continues to do so, it would not be wrong to say that Hindi television shows enjoy immense popularity as well. If you’ve grown up in an Indian household, chances are that you know at least one person who watches a TV serial every day or night. In fact, daily soaps cater to a wide range audience and definitely shape societal mindsets.
It’s great to witness the monumental change in TV shows with strong women characters and well-etched storylines when earlier, they were purely dominated by ‘saas-bahu’ dramas focusing on domestic conflict. The television industry has proved that it is capable of being a platform for immense creativity, at par with Bollywood films. While some shows have the audience wanting more, others fail to make a lasting impact.
Here’s a list of the best Indian television shows of 2018:
This supernatural saga by Ekta Kapoor is a roaring success and continues to reign week after week on the TRP ratings. Revolving around the storyline of shape shifting serpents, the makers have managed to intrigue the audience by the graphical representation of age-old myths. The dichotomy of love and revenge, the chemistry between Bela (Surbhi Jyoti) and Mahir (Pearl V Puri) and the plotting of Vish (Anita Hassanandani), definitely makes the show worth a watch. The first two seasons of the show with Mouni Roy and Arjun Bijlani in the lead, was also much-loved by the audience.
Again, an Ekta Kapoor show which is broadcasted weeknights on Zee TV. It is loosely based on the novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Starring Sriti Jha as Pragya and Shabbir Ahluwalia as Abhishek Mehra, Kumkum Bhagya revolves around their relationship woes and how they manage to strike a balance amidst all the drama. Despite being woman-centric, it reinforces archaic beliefs about a woman’s place in the household. We wonder how the audience still loves the show after so many years!
After the immense popularity of Kumkum Bhagya, Kundali Bhagya, a spin-off of the former show was launched, to meet the audience’s demands. The show, which began with the story of two sisters Preeta (Shraddha Arya) and Srishti (Anjum Fakih) attempting to reunite with their mother Sarla (Supriya Shukla), currently revolves around the Luthra family. Also starring Dheeraj Dhoopar (Karan) and Manit Joura, Kundali Bhagya always tops the TRP ratings with its unique concept of love and family ties. Not to forget the constant plotting, suspense and chemistry between Karan and Preeta, which keeps the audience hooked.
Kullfi Kumar Bajewala
Mohit Malik and Aakriti Sharma as Sikander Singh Gill and Kullfi Singh Gill, have succeeded in securing a big place for themselves in the audience’s hearts with their great bonding and emotionally charged scenes; coupled with perfect comic moments. This endearing story of a father and daughter is a pleasant break from the usual daily soap dramas and is definitely worth a watch.
Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai
This show that premiered in 2009, is one of the longest running television shows in India. It currently features Naira (Shivangi Joshi) and Kartik (Mohsin Khan) in the lead. It has managed to remain among the top shows on the TRP charts and focuses on the life of a Rajasthani family. Despite being high in emotional content and drama, the viewership of the show is ever increasing and everyone just loves the on and off-screen camaraderie of the lead pair!
Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
This unbelievably popular show, first premiered in the year 2008 and is perhaps India’s longest running sitcom. The audience just loves Jethalal Gada and his family, apart from the comical representation of family life. The other families of Gokuldham Society, with their unique characters, also definitely add to the charm of the show. Be it the Sodhis, Tarak and Anjali Mehta, the Hathis, the Iyers, the Bhides, Popatlal, Natu Kaka and Bagha, Abdul and Tapu Sena, the cast is well chosen and well loved. It’s a delight to watch the way they live, celebrate and face problems together.
Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2
The show is a reboot of Ekta Kapoor’s popular TV series Kasautii Zindagii Kay and stars Parth Samthaan and Erica Fernandes in the lead. It revolves around Anurag and Prerna, following how they fall in love. However, as expected, fate has different plans and a series of unwanted incidents create havoc in their lives. Much to our dismay, the KZK 2 takes the same old route of a good person undergoing suffering at the hands of someone evil. Hina Khan is seen as the vamp, Komolika, although her character has yet to unfold in its entirety.
Ishq Subhan Allah
The show is based in Lucknow and follows the story of Zara (Eisha Singh) and Kabeer (Adnan Khan). While the former is an open-minded Muslim woman who fights for people’s rights, Kabeer is an orthodox Muslim who interprets his religion differently. Ishq Subhan Allah also touches upon the topic of triple talaq and hence, has been appreciated for depicting the issue with the utmost sensitivity for the first time in mainstream entertainment. Moreover, the lead pair has been appreciated for their gripping act in the show, which is high on emotional content and drama.
Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki
Colors’ serial Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki is one of the most popular shows on Indian television for depicting a bold concept with a eunuch (played by Rubina Dilaik) as the show’s primary character. The story revolves around Soumya’s fight for her identity and how Harman (Vivian Dsena) loves her immensely, despite knowing the truth about her. In fact, their separation created an uproar amongst fans and the makers had to bring them back together! The show is certainly high on drama with an aim to provide justice to their virtuous, long-suffering female lead.
Guddan Tumse Na Ho Payega
The show follows the journey of Guddan, played by Kanika Mann, and how she becomes one of the youngest mothers-in-law, when she marries a 43 year-old widower, Akshat Jindal due to unforeseen circumstances. What follows is a series of some light-hearted moments, some fights and of course, a lot of family drama where the bahus try to overpower the saas. Isn’t that something new for all of us?
Ishqbaaaz began with a story about three brothers, Shivaay, Omkara and Rudra Singh Oberoi (played by Nakuul Mehta, Kunal Jaisingh and Leenesh Mattoo respectively), but later shifted focus to Shivaay and Anika’s (Surbhi Chandna) love story. Their dysfunctional family and domestic tribulations with a tinge of humour and fun makes this show worth watching. Although it does not hold a top rank in the TRP ratings, the show is hugely popular on social media. In fact, it’s a spin-off on Dil Boley Oberoi, which was also launched to cater to fans who love the show.
Well, amidst the growth in digital consumption of media, with actors moving to web shows, we wonder if daily soaps will be able to still sustain and rule the TRP charts.