A decade of new hit series
The Finnish television industry experienced its biggest revolution since VHS when MTV began to broadcast The Bold and The Beautiful in 1992. The series centres on the Forrester family and their fashion house business, and it was the first daily soap opera shown in Finland. The Bold and The Beautiful remains a popular daily drama for many viewers and has a solid following of fans.
Another important change in television programming came in the form of Twin Peaks, the critically-acclaimed serial drama created by director and producer David Lynch. The series followed an investigation into the murder of a girl called Laura Palmer, and quickly achieved cult status in Finland. Series such as The X-Files and Ally McBeal brought even more unusual, mystical or even supernatural phenomena and characters to Finnish TV screens.
Heart-warming series following lives in idiosyncratic small towns also found receptive audiences, and both Picket Fences and Northern Exposure charmed viewers with their authenticity. Series targeted at young people, such as the teenage drama series Beverly Hills 90210, the Los Angeles-based Melrose Place and the comedy triumph Friends also had their heyday in the 90s.
Heroic and fearless characters dominated in children’s programmes. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of the children’s shows that achieved huge popularity in the ’90s, where four turtles – Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello – fought tirelessly to overcome bad guys such as Shredder. Biker Mice from Mars and Pokémon were also popular shows that pitted good against bad.
Among Finnish hit titles in the ’90s were the charming drama series Ruusun aika, the comedy drama Blondi tuli taloon and Raija Oranen’s masterpiece Puhtaat valkeat lakanat. Salatut elämät, which remains a firm favourite today, also first aired in the late ’90s. Jyrki! provided young people with artist interviews as well as a unique window into both Finnish and international music trends. The Saturday evening show BumtsiBum! established its place in the hearts of Finnish families thanks to its cheerful and energetic host, Marco Bjurström.
The chat show category saw the addition of the bold and provocative live show Hyvät, pahat ja rumat, where hosts Simo Rantalainen and Jari Sarasvuo attacked current affairs with vigour.
In the 1990s, MTV began to buy almost all of its programming from independent production companies, with the exception of news and current affairs programmes.