The best shows on Hulu: Originals. 11) The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on the ever-relevant novel by Margaret Atwood, women are stripped of all of their rights in the Republic of Gilead, a theocracy formerly known as the U.S. The few women who remain fertile in this near-future dystopia are now Handmaids forced to bear children, and it’s difficult to tell who really believes and who’s playing a part —D.W. 16) I Love You, America. For its first dance with late night, Hulu takes the Netflix-Chelsea Handler approach with weekly episodes, but that’s about where the comparisons to Handler or other late-night shows end. I Love You, America’s set feels like a throwback to a late-’90s MTV show, and Silverman has a “white guy at a desk” to throw to in case America needs comfort.
Streaming TV is not a new concept, but its popularity is at an all-time high. Thanks to the wonder of on-demand viewing, fans of most TV series need not worry about catching their favorite show when it airs, or even setting up their DVR.
To help you sort through the massive vault that is Hulu’s library, we’ve put together a list of the best shows on the streaming service. From comedies to animated classics, we cover it all. Comedy ‘Atlanta’ Donald Glover is a modern Renaissance man: Since launching a comedy career via skits circulated on YouTube, he has since branched into rapping, acting, and even showrunning, with the remarkable, surreal comedy-drama Atlanta.
The show follows a dogged college dropout named Earn (Glover), who sleeps at his on/off again girlfriend’s place and struggles to provide for their child. When he learns that his cousin Alfred is starting to achieve success as a rapper — stage name: Paper Boi — Earn becomes his manager. There is not much of an overarching plot to Atlanta. Most episodes play out like short films, and the show experiments with a variety of stories and formats — one standout episode is presented entirely as an episode of a local interview show, complete with fake commercials.
Daring and frequently poignant, Atlanta is one of the most exciting shows on TV today. ‘The Bisexual’ Desiree Akhavan’s The Bisexual is a character study of a bisexual woman, Leila (Akhavan), who breaks up with her older girlfriend after the latter proposes marriage. Leila moves in with a writer, Gabe (Brian Gleeson), and sets about trying to explore relationships with men, with sometimes awkward results.
Leila must navigate not just relationships with men, but her friendships with the lesbian women she’s spent years associating with, who aren’t sure what to make of her now. It’s a complicated, emotionally honest examination of sexuality, with a complex cast of characters and a deft balance of humor of drama. ‘Better Things’ The age of the subversive sitcom continues with Better Things, a dark, caustic comedy about growing older and raising kids.
The show follows Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a struggling actress raising three kids by herself in Los Angeles. Sam juggles her attempts to advance her career and have fun with her responsibility to her daughters, each of whom presents their own unique difficulties.
Adlon and co-creator Louis C.K. previously worked on the surreal comedy-drama Louie, and Better Things shows a similar mean streak, narrowing in on the grimy, depressing aspects of parenthood that other sitcoms gloss over. ‘The Last Man on Earth’ Most people probably don’t consider the end of the world to be a hilarious scenario; thankfully, the creators of The Last Man on Earth were not deterred. The show finds humor in the apocalypse, following a man named Phil Miller (Will Forte), who wanders the ghost town of Tuscon after a viral outbreak destroys civilization.
He eventually finds a companion, Carol Pilbasian (Kristen Schaal), but their personality quirks make life together problematic, to say the least. The Last Man on Earth is a strange show, and also a sharply written one, rendering it the kind of ambitious sitcom that only rarely comes along. ‘Key & Peele’ Great sketch shows have been in short supply for a while now, which makes it all the easier to appreciate the short but brilliant life of Key & Peele. Starring by former MADtv members Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the show is an adventurous collection of sketches that blend absurdist humor and social commentary.
See, for example, a skit in which white news anchors complain about the dangers of “black ice” on the streets at night, to the indignation of their black colleagues. Not every sketch is political, however; sometimes they just freak out about the latest Liam Neeson film. Both hosts bring a manic energy, and throw themselves fully into a variety of roles. ‘Regular Show’ Cartoon Network has developed a reputation in recent years for surreal, wonderfully animated shows that can appeal to adults as well as kids.
Regular Show fits into the new pantheon of the network’s hits, alongside Adventure Time and Steven Universe, and it’s not hard to see why. The show’s colorful world and zany sense of humor are certain to entertain kids, but what really sets Regular Show apart is its focus on themes and feelings that adults know all too well. The show follows Mordecai and Rigby — a blue jay and a raccoon, respectively — two slackers who deal with the sort of angst and aimlessness common to people in their 20s.
Funny, smart, and often just plain weird, Regular Show is an excellent, character-driven series. ‘Man Seeking Woman’ Following a breakup with his long-term girlfriend, Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel) needs to rebound … badly. Man Seeking Woman chronicles his adventures in dating, which involve, among other things, dating a troll, attending a wedding in Hell, and fiddling with the space-time continuum in an attempt to fix relationship mistakes.
The show explores common aspects of life and dating through surreal scenes; an episode where Josh is tempted to cheat on a current girlfriend, for example, finds him taking a trip to “boyfriend court” in his mind.
The show’s absurdist sense of humor at times makes it seem like a live-action cartoon, but the tone is balanced out by nuanced characters and some great performances. Baruchel is excellent as the somewhat charming, sometimes petulant Josh, and other characters — such as Josh’s best friend, Mike (Eric Andre), and sister, Liz (Britt Lower) — add memorable performances of their own.
‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ What South Park is the late-night animation, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is to sitcoms. Rob McElhenney, Glen Howerton, and Charlie Day — who also created and write the show — star as three best friends who kind of hate each other, while Kaitlin Olsen and Danny Devito round out the cast as the infamous Dee and Frank. The group often find itself in some of most absurd situations as the members push into the uncharted and irreverent comedic territory for which the show is well known, usually as a result of their own botched schemes.
‘Community’ Community has seen its fair share of ups and downs while on NBC but this Dan Harmon comedy is one of the funniest shows on TV — its first three seasons were, at least. The show centers around a group of newly acquainted friends who attend a blunder of a community college.
Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, and Donald Glover headline this hilarious show while Jim Rash’s turn as the dean is as funny as any character on TV. It’s no longer on the airwaves, but Yahoo recently picked up the show for an online-only sixth season. ‘Adventure Time’ Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time has amassed a huge audience over its six-season run, one that crosses over into numerous demographics, making it a contemporary classic for adults and kids alike. The stories of best friends Jake and Finn in the magical Land of Ooo are a joy to watch.
Whether the duo are protecting the land from the evil (and misunderstood) Ice King or helping a young Vampire navigate her family life, Adventure Time captures a sense of adventure and fun, while providing a subtle maturity that speaks to older audiences. ‘Parks and Recreation’ Fans of NBC’s other workplace comedy, The Office, will no doubt see some similarities in Parks and Recreation. Amy Poehler heads a hilarious cast comprised of comedian Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, and Chris Pratt.
The show follows this cast of characters as they run a local parks and recreation department in the small town of Pawnee, Indiana. The writing and comedic timing is superb as Parks is a bonafide hit and features some of modern television’s most memorable characters, such as the meat-loving Ron Swanson.
‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Parks and Recreation creators Michael Schur and Dan Goor struck comedy gold yet again with their action comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Andy Samberg stars in the show, which focuses on a fictional police department precinct in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Andre Braugher plays the yin to Andy Samberg’s yang, providing dry, yet hilariously timed humor during each episode. In just its first season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine took home two Golden Globe trophies.
‘Broad City’ Ilana and her best friend Abbi are two 29-something women, living in New York. Abbi is a struggling artist, working at a fitness center while she attempts to get her career off the ground.
Ilana, on the other hand, does everything in her power to avoid working, and instead pursues all manner of pleasurable distractions, including sexual escapes and consuming large amounts of marijuana.
The two are often pulled into crazy scenarios, frequently as a consequence of one of Ilana’s ill-conceived plots. Broad City has received high praise from critics due to its clever writing and subtle-yet-effective message of female empowerment. ‘Arrested Development’ Despite getting canceled by Fox in 2006, Ron Howard and Mitchell Hurwitz’s Arrested Development saw critical success across the board.
Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Michael Cera star as family members of the very dysfunctional Bluth family living in Newport Beach, California. The show centers around Michael Bluth (Bateman) as he’s forced to assist his off-the-wall relatives after the family business comes under fire.
‘Seinfeld’ Seinfeld is a show that needs no introduction. Starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld, Julia-Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jason Alexander as the neurotic George Costanza, and Michael Richards as the hilarious Kramer, each episode follows the group of friends as they endure the absurdities of life in the big city (along with their own foibles).
Thankfully, the Emmy-winning sitcom has endured since its original run in the ’90s, further solidifying it as one of the most popular and important comedies to ever air on television. ‘Rick and Morty’ Creators Dan Harmon ( Community) and Justin Roiland ( House of Cosbys) teamed up to create one of the best animated comedies in year.
The basic premise centers on Rick (Roiland), a scientist who employs the help of his grandson, Morty, to assist him with dangerous quests and various schemes across space and time. The Adult Swim series is chock full of biting satire and clever humor, and moreover, has garnered a cult following in the wake of its successful and highly-acclaimed first season. ‘Drunk History’ If you enjoy history, but find history shows to be a little dry, why not add liquor? Comedy Central’s Drunk History, which evolved from a Funny or Die web series, follows host Derek Waters and a revolving lineup of guests, who get drunk and recite stories from history, from big events like the revolutionary war to smaller ones like Edgar Allan Poe’s feud with publisher Rufus Griswold.
For each lecture, actors — generally notable comic actors such as Kristen Wiig or Bob Odenkirk — re-enact the events, going so far as to incorporate the narrator’s mistakes or drunken tics.
Watching Drunk History, you’ll probably get a few laughs, and maybe even learn something new. ‘Baskets’ This off-kilter comedy typically flies under the radar, despite its impressive pedigree and unique story. The show follows Chip Baskets (Zach Galifianakis), an aspiring clown who, after dropping out of clown academy in Paris, moves back to California and takes a job as a rodeo clown.
The show frequently examines Chip’s failed relationships and his attempts to achieve his dreams. The comedy is dark, though it finds plenty of ways to mine humor out of one man’s constant failure, and Galifianakis gives a tremendous, nuanced performance as the quixotic clown. Louis C.K. also had a hand in the creation of Baskets, and his influence shows in the surreal visuals and understated jokes. ‘Black-ish’ ABC’s Black-ish is one of many shows to have sprung up during the latest sitcom renaissance, which seems to emphasize distinct points of view not often seen on TV.
This particular sitcom follows the Johnsons, an upper-middle-class family in America. Parents Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) try to raise their children, whom they worry may be growing up in a vastly different milieu than they did. The show takes a critical look at issues of race and identity in contemporary America, balancing heavy social commentary with character-driven comedy.
‘Futurama’ Although it didn’t attain immortality like its unending older brother The Simpsons (which now has the most scripted episodes of any prime-time series), Matt Groening’s other cartoon, Futurama, established an identity of its own as a funny, often poignant vision of the future. The show follows Philip J. Fry (Billy West), a delivery boy who stumbles into a cryogenic pod and wakes up a thousand years in the future.
He ends up working for an interplanetary delivery company, working with a variety of colorful characters, including steely cyclops Leela (Katey Sagal) and hard-drinking, sociopathic robot Bender (John DiMaggio). Futurama is an inventive comedy, with every episode going in some wild directions, and it has an incredible cast of oddballs to bounce off each other.
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Bound – Hulu This cult classic flips the script on mob movie tropes. Perhaps more than any other movie, you’re going to wind up at a party where some cutie with thick glasses and a short haircut asks you if you’ve seen it, and then wonders if you you even gay? Don’t be that gal. Don’t disappoint the cute lesbian police. The L Word The L Word – Showtime on Hulu The L Word is notoriously one of the worst written shows, and yet a must-see. Formative to so many millennial lesbians’ sexuality, regardless of it representing only the tiniest sliver of the lesbian experience.
You’d better catch up/review in preparation for the . The Real L Word The Real L Word Showtime on Hulu Finally, lesbians get a trashy reality show just for us. Bonus for all you reluctant smokers, my girlfriend claims that she quit smoking because of the scene where Cori got hypnotized. The L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin This documentary is a timely and relevant look at what it’s like to be a lesbian in the South Lip Service If you have yet to watch the Scottish version of The L Word, you’re truly missing out.
After all, this show made it to the . The Dinah Girls
CW Last Updated: December 18th As many different services vie for your attention, Hulu has really upped the ante in terms of its streaming catalog. While the service may have , there are more than a few reasons to stick with it.
So here are the 30 best shows on Hulu right now, ranked. For a list of the best shows on Hulu with an emphasis on current series, .
Related: FX 1. Fargo 3 seasons, 30 episodes | IMDb: The announcement that the relatively unknown producer Noah Hawley would be turning the classic film Fargo into an anthology series, it was met with a healthy dose of skepticism. However, by the end of the first episode, fans were hooked. Instead of a rote retelling of the classic crime tale, viewers were treated to a top-notch cast, shocking violence, incredible character names, and stunning visuals.
While honoring the legacy of the original film in the details, Fargo managed to become a unique and essential addition to the current television landscape.
NBC 2. Parks and Recreation 7 seasons, 123 episodes | IMDb: There simply isn’t a better show to binge watch when you need a pick me up than . Hilarious, smart, and relentlessly sunny, Parks and Recreation is a balm to weary viewers. Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope has joined the ranks of television icons, but the supporting cast is no less wonderful. If you’re looking for a show about good people trying to do good things while making good jokes, Parks and Recreation will be your new favorite show.
While the first season feels a bit too much like a riff on The Office, it finds its feet in season two and never lets up. While so much of today’s comedy is mired in cynicism, Parks and Recreation will make you want to do better. It also gets better with each rewatch, so pour yourself some Snake Juice and enjoy.
NBC 3. 30 Rock 7 seasons, 138 episodes | IMDb: Few shows have as many jokes per minute as 30 Rock. The brainchild of Tina Fey, 30 Rock shows the daily madness of an SNL-like variety show, which Fey’s Liz Lemon at the helm. As she tries (sometimes failing) to wrangle her writers and her actors (Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski), Lemon also attempts the ever elusive dream of “having it all.” Her quest will feel very, very familiar to viewers, particularly women, as they try and balance, work, life, love, and even a small bit of success.
With Alec Baldwin turning in his best performance to date (come at me, Glengarry Glen Ross fans) as Jack Donaghy, Lemon’s boss, mentor, and eventual friend, 30 Rock has the perfect blend of weirdness, sharp writing, and genuine laughs that will make it a favorite for years to come. Hulu 4. The Handmaid’s Tale 2 seasons, 20 episodes | IMDb: Although Margaret Atwood’s novel was published back in 1985, the series premiere in 2017 still felt relevant as hell ().
America as we know it is no more, taken over by a Christian fundamentalist organization and newly christened Gilead. However, things are not as idyllic as the name would suggest, as women are no longer allowed to have jobs, rights, hold property, or have any sort of agency. Instead they are either handmaids, a select few still-fertile women who are essentially used as broodmares for powerful men, and Marthas, who work in the rich households. Elisabeth Moss turns in a strong performance as Ofglen, the titular handmaid who is trying to survive and escape to her fugitive family, but Alexis Bledel steals the show in a devastating supporting turn.
The Handmaid’s Tale grabs viewers by the face and demands that they keep watching from the get-go, but prepare to get a little angry as the series progresses. Castle Rock 5. Seinfeld 9 seasons, 171 episodes | IMDb: For a show about nothing, has left a cultural imprint that few shows can boast of achieving. Back before shows about neurotic people were the latest trend, Jerry Seinfeld blended his own neuroses with his stand up act, creating a New York landscape that many could relate to.
With stories based on the minutiae of relationships and every day living, Seinfeld embedded itself in the cultural zeitgeist like few shows have done. Even if you’ve never seen an episode, you still know about the Soup Nazi and Newman. Plus, Veep fans will enjoy seeing a pre-presidential Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the hilariously frazzled Elaine Benes. If you’ve been meaning to watch the show that has made people laugh for decades, Hulu has you covered.
Warner Brothers 6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer 7 seasons, 144 episodes | IMDb: Joss Whedon has gone on to giant blockbusters since his days on The WB, but will forever be his magnum opus. Buffy offered the perfect blend of horror, comedy, and feels, with episodes and characters that have stuck with viewers for years.
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s titular slayer perfectly balanced the ordinary pains of growing up against the extraordinary and supernatural circumstances that come with living on a Hellmouth. The clothing and catchphrases might be deeply rooted in the ’90s, but the themes are timeless. Even if you don’t know your standard demon curse from an ancient rune, Buffy is essential. It’ll rip your heart out, but you’ll like it anyway.
NBC 7. Community 6 seasons, 110 episodes | IMDb: Has there ever been a sitcom as downright clever as Community? Aside from the gas leak year, Community was quicker than nearly every other comedy out there, with jokes flying fast but also taking seasons to reach a punchline. After getting caught with a phony degree, former lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) heads to Greendale Community College to get a legitimate degree.
There he gets into increasingly hilarious hijinks with his Spanish study group. Between paintball wars, zombie outbreaks, and the increasingly ridiculous presence of Senor Chang (Ken Jeong), Community is never, ever boring.
Quit living in the darkest timeline and get to watching.
Top 10 Best Hulu Original Series