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.