My childhood was not much different from other girls of my age. I loved playing with dolls, I had a group of girl-friends in my locality most of whom were elder to me hence I enjoyed their company, a shopping-day out with my parents delighted me the most because I knew it meant new and colourful additions to my wardrobe, I listened ardently to the fairy tales narrated by my dear granny which thrilled my childhood sensibilities to the core and then I had friends from the world of television who came each day during the evening hours to delight me with their presence.
Back in the days of my childhood the internet was not a phenomenon. Hence, outdoor games with our friends used to be our most favorite pastime. But it wasn’t only them who owned my free time there were others who caught my attention as well. This was around the time when I was yet to be teen and was getting introduced to a lot many new things in my life and one of them was Hollywood. It was the time when shows like “Small Wonder”, “Different Strokes”, and “Who’s the Boss” used to get aired on television. These shows fascinated me as a child and they were very much a part of my growing up years. A casual recess from studies and play would definitely glue me in front of my almost-antique television set, when I used to ogle at this very human-like small girl doing wonderful things with her brother Jamie. I loved the way Lawson family adapted a robot and treated her like their child. Named Victoria “Vicki” Ann Smith-Lawson, this small little girl became an object of awe for me. 90s was the time when western silver screen began its journey in the Indian Television. Hence, I must add that “Small Wonder” was not the only show to rule our television sets back then. Other hit shows from Hollywood like Full House and Different Strokes also made presence felt. The high quality dubbing of the shows in Hindi that made use of colloquial and contemporary language, made the conversation among characters sound more realistic hence understanding the moments depicted in the show wasn’t a herculean task for me especially at the time when I could barely make any sense out of their accents.
These Hollywood Shows had amazing concepts which were both funny and sensitive. They focused on many significant issues such as adaption, teen-age problems; traumas of growing-up, family values and shows like “Different Strokes” even showcased the idea of adopting black children by white household. These shows took us to an enigmatic journey. Adorable characters, unforgettable moments and unique concepts, these shows changed the course of television internationally. These shows also emancipated the era of popular sitcoms (situational comedy) with family drama at the core of its model.
Shows like Full House, Boy Meets the World and Seinfeld bewitched a generation of kids who were obsessed with every character and aspect of these shows. For instance, I still remember many teen girls of my age going all ga-ga over Uncle Jesse, the heart-throb and unimaginably handsome uncle of the three sisters in Full House, a character portrayed by John Stamos. The shows which used to be aired back then organized our very first rendezvous with Hollywood. Naturally, then, when it came to making optimum utilization of television medium my attention was laser focused on the children I saw onscreen. For most part I wanted to be them. I wanted their hairs, their makeup, and their dresses and also their beds. The influence was so strong that I remember faking their accent as well. I still remember to become a modeled and a rather Indianized version of Stephanie Tanner – the middle sister in Full House. With all such endearing shows that were telecasted during 90s truly enamored our childhood to a world fantasy. They had a strong influence on me so much so that even today my hard-drive is filled with seasons after seasons of these shows.