I think we're all familiar with how whack Indian shows' plotlines can get. But then there are some shows that are decent and actually, good to watch.
And if you're wondering which TV soaps will keep your brain cells from obliterating, then here's how we've ranked shows from best to worst storylines.
1. Punyashlok Ahilyabai
Punyashlok Ahilyabai is a good watch because by telling the story of Ahilyabai, the show has shed light on the importance of entrusting women with leadership positions, especially when they deserve it!
Anupamaa has depicted divorce in an elevated way. It has shown how divorces are often the healthier option in marriages that simply aren't working out, especially in situations where women are in an unfair dynamic.
3. Kaatelal & Sons
Kaatelal & Sons is also a good show to watch because not only has it depicted its female leads in an unconventional way (without putting women in stereotypical gender roles), it has also depicted them fighting for their ambition against patriarchal norms.
4. Wagle Ki Dunia - Nayi Peedhi Naye Kissey
This show probably has one of the healthiest storylines on Indian television. No toxicity, no unnecessary drama. Wagle Ki Dunia has depicted a family wherein the parents are striving to raise their children in the healthiest way possible - without stifling them under tyrant rules yet also keeping them accountable.
5. Barrister Babu
Another really good show if you're looking for something that portrays women in a better light. Barrister Babu shows the story of a young girl who has to marry an older man due to unfortunate circumstances, but her husband turns out to be a good person. He decides to get her an education and treats her like an equal.
6. Tenali Rama
I think a lot of us have fond memories of watching Tenali Rama. It is enjoyable to watch Tenali beat all odds with his wits and always come up with an intelligent solution to the hurdles he faces.
7. Maddam Sir
The best part about the show is how it balances humour with a decent amount of gender equality. Maddam Sir, is a lighthearted show that is perfect to watch with your family.
8. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
How many of us have fond memories of watching Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah with our parents? The show isn't perfect, if you were to look closer then you'd easily be able to spot some problematic elements in it. But it has a cohesive storyline, and there is no out of line drama in it that'll leave you with a headache.
9. Tera Yaar Hoon Main
Tera Yaar Hoon Main is decent to watch because of how little it dwells on drama. This in no way means it lacks drama, it just doesn't do ten thousand zoom-in shots of shocking revelations or crying. Also, the family dynamics shown in it are kind of cute to watch.
10. Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin
Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin doesn't have a hopeless storyline, it just portrays a super toxic family dynamic where one person is bashed all the time and is constantly made the scapegoat - which can put someone off. But also, at the same time, it doesn't over-do the drama, so watch according to your threshold.
11. Baal Veer Returns
The problem is, Baal Veer Returns hasn't got the best graphics and VFX to support its child hero narrative. We understand that the show is trying to give little kids an aspirational character to look up to, it just isn't portraying it with the best logic and graphics.
12. Hero – Gayab Mode On
Not only does Hero – Gayab Mode On have questionable graphics, but the storyline is weak. The show has depicted a superhero who is half-alien and half-human, because his father is an alien. Unfortunately, they've ended up creating a character who is a cross between Mr India and Superman but doesn't have the benevolence and seriousness of either.
Naagin is probably one of the most painful shows to watch. It could be used as a torture device if needed. The plot is stale. They've shown multiple generations of naagin women who start off by being sworn enemies with men who they ultimately end up falling for. It's repetitive and chaotic all at once. And let's not forget the terrible graphics they use to show these plots play out!
14. Pinjara Khubsurati Ka
Not only did this show depict pretty privilege in the worst way possible, But it was also a prime example of how someone can successfully ignore the red flags in a potential partner.
15. Jija Ji Chhat Par Hai
The most unsettling thing about Jija Ji Chhat Par Hai was how controlling they showed Elaichi's father Murari to be. On one hand, he wanted to marry his daughter off, much against her liking, and on the other hand, he couldn't take her flirting like the adult she was. It was bizarre.
16. Kundali Bhagya
This show rebukes the idea of free will and tries to convince its audience that matters of marriage are only in God's hands. Also, the plot is just a lot of drama about people having to marry people they don't love. Nobody needs this level of stress in life TBH.
17. Kasautii Zindagii Kay
Kasautii Zindagii Kay is a hyper-dramatic show that no one can actually relate to. It's just too much family drama, secrets and years of buried emotions that come out in chaotic circumstances.
18. Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai!
Why did the show's makers think it was okay for them to depict two husbands that are obsessed with each other's wives? The fact is that this show normalises and perpetuates emotional infidelity. And that too, only for men.
19. Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai
If you've ever watched the show carefully or followed it long enough, you'd have noticed how unequal Naira and Kartik's marriage is. Kartik simply keeps acting like an ungrateful douche and Naria keeps forgiving him for it, until the day she dies. Not to mention, the show tries to encourage the age-old mentality that daughters-in-law are supposed to be perfect in every way, regardless of whether their own son is.
20. Pehredaar Piya Ki
Pehredaar Piya Ki somehow managed to make it seem absolutely normal for someone to marry a minor. The TV show encouraged problematic practices that are usually disguised as tradition or family honour. The Indian audience is too intelligent for this sort of content, please stop.
Wishing for better shows to come along on television!