You might be bored out of your mind indoors by now, struggling to find what the next best or newest thing to watch online is. With countless of new shows popping out on your preferred streaming platform, you may be spoiled for choice, or simply overwhelmed. So why not turn back the hands of time and explore the generous offerings of the 1990s and 2000s?
Here’s a list of 15 TV shows which were humongous in Kenya and East Africa in the era, and may just ignite the nostalgia you require to keep you hooked to the screen for the next couple of hours or weeks, whichever your forte:
(1) Walker Texas Ranger | Action, Adventure
Ever wondered why Chuck Norris (played by Cordell Walker) has always been termed as invincible? Well look no further! 1993 was the year that made his career, in this crime action series that spanned over 8 years and saw Chuck and his partner Trivette (played by Clarence Gilyard Jr.) enforce the law around Dallas and the U.S. state of Texas.
(2) 7th Heaven | Drama, Family
Reverend Eric Camden (played by Steven Collins) and Annie Camden (Catherine Hicks) were the model television parents of the nineties, keeping it together despite having a house and a handful of kids to deal with. 11 years and 243 episodes were enough to cement ‘7th Heaven’ as a leading series of its time, producing many other stars who went on to feature in their own hit big and small screen hits.
(3) Vioja Mahakamani | Crime, Comedy
Arguably one of Kenya’s longest running comedy series, spanning over 25 years of broadcast on the National station, KBC, this show told long tales of the country’s criminal justice system in a comical manner, and featured the some of the greats including Olexander Josphat (Peter Sankale) and Ondiek Nyuka-Kwota (Hiram Mungai).
(4) Renegade | Action, Crime
Wrongly accused Reno Reins (played by Lorenzo Lamas) escapes from jail and goes on the run, trying to evade the corrupt police officer, Lieutenant ‘Dutch’ Dixon (Steven Cannell). Reno was probably the inaugural definition of the bad boy.
(5) Saber Rider & the Star Sherrifs | Animation, Action
Spanning 52 episodes that culminated in the year of my birth, a spectacular team of four high tech Star Sheriffs defends the frontier space colony called Yuma from outlaws, as well as Outriders, an army of humanoid alien beings called Vapors, led by mysterious Nemesis.
(6) Suburban Bliss | Comedy
This South African sitcom explored relationships between two families – the white Dwyer’s and the black Moloi’s, who attempted to live a new version of the old South African dream by purchasing posh houses in the suburbs near Sandton City, that was until they ended up living next to each other.
(7) Vitimbi | Comedy
The Kenyan comedy premiered in 1985 on the then Voice of Kenya (now Kenya Broadcasting Corporation) and cemented the late Benson Wanjau (paying Mzee Ojwang) and Mary Khavere‘s (Mama Kayai) careers as some of the most prolific and foremost comedic performers in Kenya’s history.
(8) Prison Break | Crime, Action
Dominic Purcell (playing Lincoln Burrows) and Wentworth Miller‘s (Michael Scofield) bond in ‘Prison Break’ was unbeatable back in 2005, broadcast locally on Kenya Television Network. With a political conspiracy sending his brother to prison, Scofield gets himself incarcerated in order to get Burrows out!
(9) La Femme Nikita | Action, Romance
Wasn’t it joyful to see Peta Wilson (playing the role of Nikita) arguably the first badass female assassin to rock Kenya’s television screens, take on cases ordered by Madeline (Alberta Watson), all the while maintaining a not-so-subtle romance with Michael (Roy Dupuis). Nikita, in this adaptation of the 1990 Luc Besson film by the same name, is given a second chance at living somewhat free as she is employed as a top-level yet stylish assassin.
(10) Relic Hunter | Adventure, Action
University Professor Sidney Fox (played by Tia Carrere) and her assistant Nigel Bailey (Christien Anholt) traverse the world in search of stolen treasures. Her black belt comes in very handy to fight off the dastardly deeds of her competition and the bad guys. This 3-year long series was quite a highlight especially for the nerds
(11) Sunset Beach | Drama, Romance
Eddie Cibrian (who plays Cole Deschanel) became an overnight superstar with his role in ‘Sunset Beach’, a soap opera that aired from the late nineties. This show focused on the wealthy and not so prominent families of a Southern Californian ocean-side town.
(12) Buffy the Vampire Slayer | Sci-Fi, Action
Sweet-faced Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) was fighting crime and the dark forces of evil as a vampire-hunter who ends up falling for a demon. It was a sometimes-scary, sometimes-ridiculous but often inspirational tussle of light versus darkness as Buffy banished the damned back to hell.
(13) Sex & the City | Comedy, Romance
Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw) and Kim Cattrall (Samantha Jones) were the feminine-gurus of their time in this 1990s classic that give women tips on how to deal with the men in their lives, and intimacy. It’s worth a casual watch now, even if its just to delve into the minds of 90s era modern women.
(14) The Adventures of Sinbad | Fantasy, Action
We may look at it as culturally inappropriate now, but the 1996 hit, staring Zen Gesnar (as Sinbad), George Buza, and the fire-throwing sword-yielding Jacqueline Collen (as Maeve) was quite the interesting and magical show full of wit.
(15) Time Trax | Sci-Fi, Action
In this show before its time, 1993 to be precise, Dale Midkiff plays the role of Darrien Lambart who is a police officer from the future who is sent back in time to track down fugitives who are hiding from authorities. I remember skipping a church service, to the chagrin of my folks, to catch an episode of this show that used to air on Saturday afternoons.
Do you have any shows you loved in the 1990sor early 2000s that you haven’t seen in this list? Share them in the comments below.