9 best '90s TV shows - 98types

9 best '90s TV shows

12 best '90s TV shows and where to stream them now Who doesn't love a heap of TV nostalgia? These are the 9 best '90s TV shows to catch up on and where to stream them.


The so-called ‘golden age of television’ is generally considered to have kicked off in the early 2000s, but the decade that preceded it is pretty darn shiny itself. The ’90s is where TV finally started to take some major risks, whether it was Jerry Seinfeld completely reinventing the sitcom, David Lynch actually getting his own space in primetime or HBO completely upping the game at the end of the decade with a crime drama for the ages. Even the more standard programming seemed to operate at a higher level than previous eras.

If you happened to miss any of it the first time around, now’s a good time to catch up. The ’90s are all the rage again – both in fashion and music – and streaming platforms are packed with the decade’s best series. And even if you’ve seen everything, it’s also an ideal time for a rewatch. Sure, we’re no longer trapped inside to the degree we once were, but the world is still a crazy place, and few things are more comforting than binging the whole run of a classic show. Here are 35 can’t-miss suggestions, along with where to find them.


When it aired: 1990-1991, 2017

Where to stream it today: Hulu, Paramount+, Showtime

This horror drama series, created by David Lynch back in 1990, follows the murder investigation of homecoming queen Laura Palmer in the fictional town of Twin Peaks. Although the show was canceled due to declining ratings after two seasons, it established a cult following that led to a 2017 revival on Showtime. Many original cast members, including Kyle MacLachlan, reprised their roles almost three decades later. You'll only have access to the first two original seasons on these streaming platforms, but why not see what all the fuss is about?



When it aired: 1990-today

Where to stream it today: Disney+

The longer it continues to air, the less The Simpsons seems to belong to any particular era. But if you were a kid in the early ‘90s, you know the degree to which America’s favorite jaundiced family absolutely ruled popular culture. The Bartman? ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns’? The Butterfinger commercials? The bootleg Bart Simpson shirts sold on every boardwalk in America? Even tangentially related stuff, like the premiere of Michael Jackson’s controversial ‘Black or White’ video following an episode in 1991, are etched into the memories of a generation. And then, of course, there’s the consensus that the show’s first nine seasons represent its undisputed ‘golden years’. Maybe some people prefer everything that’s come after 1999. We don’t know. Frankly, we don’t want to know. It’s a market we can do without.  



When it aired: 1998-2004

Where to stream it today: HBO Max

With the further adventures of Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte (Samanta, unfortunately, is nowhere to be seen) now playing out in HBO Max’s And Just Like That, there’s no better time to revisit the O.G. series. Sure, some of it has aged worse than Carrie’s old Macintosh laptop, but you can’t deny that revisiting the lives of these four, fabulous and fashionable single women as they navigate the snake pit that is the dating world of New York is still highly watchable. Also, it’s great for any retro fashion inspo.


When it aired: 1990-1996

Where to stream it today: HBO Max

Any child of the ‘90s can sing the theme song from front to back, but what’s even more memorable are the iconic performances from Will Smith and the Banks family. From the quirky Carlton and his unforgettable dance moves to the ditzy but stunning Hilary and the ever sassy butler, Geoffrey. Important to note too is the significance of a mainstream television series featuring a wealthy and successful African American family and the comical juxtaposition of Will Smith’s background in the affluent backdrop of Bel-Air. Make sure to catch up on old episodes before watching the 30th-anniversary reunion and the gritty, dramatic reboot, which arrives on Peacock in February 2022. 



When it aired: 1994-2004

Where to stream it today: HBO Max

Friends is arguably the biggest sitcom of all time. About a group of six friends who live in New York City, it helped turn its cast – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer – from relative newcomers into household names. Even 27 years after it premiered, the show is still beloved, gaining a whole new cohort of fans when it was previously streaming on Netflix. It remains so popular that there are constantly calls for a movie sequel or reboot, and the cast even got together in 2021 for an emotional reunion special, which not only served up some delicious gossip from behind the scenes but was a reminder of just how much we all still love Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe.



When it aired: 1990-2000

Where to stream it today: Hulu, Paramount+, Pluto TV

The teen drama that spawned hundreds of others, Beverly Hills, 90210 is still referenced today as an emblem of the '90s. Over its four seasons, we’re able to see the characters transition from high school through college and into the adult world in a spiraling development of friendships and romantic relationships. The show was notable for tackling a variety of topical issues including teen pregnancy, divorce, drugs, sex, homophobia, eating disorders, and more.  As such, it stands the test of time. 



When it aired: 1997-2003

Where to stream it today: Hulu, Amazon Prime

This supernatural drama stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as the title character, a regular teenage girl chosen by fate to become a literal slayer of vampires. While the show was snubbed for several Emmys, it has been named the most studied pop culture work in academia. To this day, feminist think pieces and cultural essays delight fans and scholars who seek to dissect the various metaphors peppered throughout each episode.



When it aired: 1997-today

Where to stream it today: HBO Max

What started off as a quirky animated film from two college kids in Colorado wound up as the third longest-running animated tv series—and it’s still going strong. The cartoon sitcom uses four fictional boys to explore a range of topics defining the world of today and to remind us of the mischief and innocence that childhood brings. Profanity and dark humor lead to a lot of laughs.



When it aired: 1993-2018

Where to stream it today: Hulu

The science-fiction drama centers around Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, two FBI agents investigating paranormal-related cases, and it is clearly worth catching. After a nine-season run following its first premiere in 1993, The X-Files concluded; however, in 2016, a successful revival led executives to work on a previously unplanned eleventh season, which aired in 2018. The show continues to be a mainstay of pop culture as fans relish the comradery between Mulder and Scully as they crack the most occult cases.






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