Last Updated: November 7th
If we’ve learned one thing during the age of the streaming wars it’s this: don’t sleep on Hulu.
Sure, Netflix has the original series on lock, but Hulu’s got all of the peak TV happening everywhere else — from FX dramas to NBC comedies and OG favorites on prestige networks. Whether you’re watching for the first time or in need of a re-watch, there are plenty of shows to keep your binge-watching schedule busy. So here are the best TV shows on Hulu right now.
2 seasons, 20 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Every few years a show rises through the appointment-viewing ranks to prove that network sitcoms aren’t dead yet. Abbott Elementary is one such show. Creator Quinta Brunson takes the beloved mockumentary format of predecessors like The Office and Parks and Rec and turns the lens on a group of dedicated Philadelphia school teachers trying their best despite budget cuts, angry parents, and a truly incompetent principal (a hilarious Janelle James). Everyone shines in their respective roles but Brunson’s eager and optimistic Janine is the show’s heart and Sheryl Lee Ralph’s no-nonsense veteran educator Barbara Howard is the stand-out here.
1 season, 8 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
The Bear is like if any one of Gordon Ramsay’s reality cooking shows was scripted and directed by the Safdie Brothers. It’s Uncut Gems, but in the kitchen. And it’s the wildest series we’ve streamed in a while. Its premise follows Carmy (Shameless star Jeremy Allen White), a brilliant young chef who returns home to Chicago to help his family’s struggling restaurant after the death of his brother. He encounters resistance from the back-of-house staff when he tries to implement some fine-dining training, and he’s forced to reckon with long-buried demons when estranged siblings and cousins come calling.
6 seasons, 75 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
The Americans follows Russian spies (Keri Russell and Mathew Rhys) posing as a married couple living in America, and while the missions are enjoyable, and the glimpse into the 1980s is fascinating, the real pull in this show is the relationship drama, both between the married spies — who are often pulled between their love for one another and their love of country — an FBI agent (Noah Emmerich) — who is pulled between his own relationship with his family and country — and the children of the Russian spies, pulled between their family and their love of America. Well-crafted, engrossing, and hypnotic, The Americans is one of best TV shows of all time.
Nine Perfect Strangers
1 season, 8 episodes | IMDb: 7.4/10
Nicole Kidman plays an ambiguously accented wellness guru in this mindf*ck of a dramedy about a group of privileged and plagued people searching for enlightenment in the strangest of places. Kidman’s Masha is the ringleader, a woman with a mysterious past and an even more muddled plan for the future of her psychedelic-minded commune. She tries to heal various mental and emotional ailments — a family mourning the loss of their son, a woman swindled by an internet predator, a couple on the rocks, a divorcee with anger issues, and a former pro-footballer with a drug problem — but you quickly get the feeling that whether she succeeds in that is secondary to her greater ambitions for the group. Everyone from Melissa McCarthy to Bobby Cannavale and Michael Shannon is in this thing, and they’re all terrific.
2 seasons, 18 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Reservation Dogs is proof we’ve come a long way in terms of representation on TV. Not only is this a comedy show about Indigenous people, made by Indigenous people, on Indigenous land – it’s also a story that doesn’t relegate its characters to background noise. A story about Native American kids that focuses solely on their triumphs and struggles – as hilarious and ridiculous and low stakes as they may be. It pulls from tones in other shows like Betty and Atlanta, so if you vibe with those, you’ll probably enjoy the comedic atmosphere here.
13 seasons, 244 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
There are plenty of worthwhile animated comedies on TV right now (a few are already on this list), but it’d be a mistake to overlook Fox’s Bob’s Burgers. The show centers on the Belcher family — Bob, Linda, and their three children, Tina, Gene, and Louise — who own a hamburger joint in a nondescript seaside town. There are rivalries with fellow restaurant owners, running-gags involving inappropriate business names (Moist Yoga anyone?) and plenty of filthy family humor to keep you hooked.
Only Murders In The Building
2 seasons, 20 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
Steve Martin and Martin Short reunite for this mystery-comedy about, what else, true crime podcasters. The pair play building-mates and reluctant partners who team up to investigate a suspicious death in their apartment complex. They rope Selena Gomez’s character into becoming their third amigo and, honestly, the chemistry works. Gomez’s Mabel is a sarcastic millennial with a dry wit that complements Short’s more dramatic impulses and Martin is just there to make the ride funnier. It’s a comfort watch — if a show about people profiting off a stranger’s death can be called that.
What We Do In The Shadows
4 seasons, 40 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
What happens when a documentary crew trails a group of thousand-year-old vampires rooming together in a Staten Island mansion? This punchline of a comedy series created by geniuses Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement. The show, which borrows inspiration from its film predecessor, introduces a trio of undead friends – Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and Laszlo (Matt Berry) – stuck in a house with their familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) and an energy-sucking vamp named Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch). Weird sh*t goes down in every episode but the show really flourishes in season two. Vampire councils, semen-thieving witches, Haley Joel Osment as a zombie, and small-town American hero Jackie Daytona were just a few highlights.
2 seasons, 20 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult star in this period dramedy that riffs heavily off the vibe of Yorgos Lanthimos’ Oscar-nominated flick, The Favourite. Hoult has a hell of a lot of fun playing a sadistic sociopath who just so happens to be the Emperor of Russia. Fanning is his hopeful bride-to-be who comes to the palace looking for love and ends up launching a coup and a plot to murder her new husband. It’s a deliciously fun show filled with absurd characters and too many memeable quotes to count.
4 seasons, 32 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer go head-to-head in a gripping, globe-trotting game of cat-and-mouse in this spy-thriller from BBC. Oh (who earned a history-making Emmy for this role) plays the titular Eve (Polastri), a British Intelligence operative obsessed with catching an elusive assassin named Villanelle (Comer). Villanelle is a psychopath, one with a dark past and a love for the work she does — she’s damn good at it too — and the two capable women soon find their lives entwined in ways neither of them expected.
6 seasons, 78 episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
The fifth season might have been the one minor letdown in its run, but Justified came back strong in its sixth and final season, making it one of television’s best all-time complete series. Justified boasts not only the two most charismatic characters around in trigger-happy Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and its sly villain, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), but also the quickest 42 minutes on television. No hour-long drama flies by faster than Justified, which also makes it a great series to binge-watch. Moreover, Justified not only boasts smart, economic Elmore Leonard-inspired writing and crackling dialogue (under the direction of showrunner Graham Yost), but the stories are as engrossing as Leonard’s were page-turning. It’s not a perfect series, but even its flaws are endearing. (Bonus: Justified also features nearly every major actor from Deadwood at some point in the series.)
6 seasons, 118 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
Damon Lindelof’s hit TV series about the survivors of a horrific plane crash, who try to find a way off the island they’ve been stranded on, is much more than the sum of its parts. Sure, a polar bear makes a strange cameo, smoke monsters haunt the group, and the finale left much to be desired, but at its core, Lost was always a show that tackled the big themes: Life, death, science vs. faith. It treated us to brilliant performances by an ensemble cast and broadened the imagined horizons of the TV landscape. Without Lost, some of the most epic series we enjoy today wouldn’t be possible. Show some respect and give it another watch on Hulu.
6 seasons, 80 episodes | IMDb: 8/10
Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara star in this Canadian sitcom about a wealthy family forced to scale down their extravagant lifestyle with hilarious results. Levy plays Johnny Rose, a rich video-store magnate who loses his fortune when his business manager fails to pay his taxes. O’Hara plays his wife, Moira, a former soap opera star who, along with her husband and their two pampered children, must move to a town called Schitt’s Creek. The show finally started to get the critical attention it deserved in later seasons so rest assured, the quality of humor and storytelling never drops with this one — nor does the outlandish verbiage of its leading lady.
4 seasons, 41 episodes | IMDb: 8.9/10
Few people thought showrunner Noah Hawley could pull off a TV adaptation of the beloved crime thriller from the Coen Brothers but here we are, four seasons later with Fargo cementing itself as one of the best dramas on TV. 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 and it’s given names like Ewan McGregor and Chris Rock a chance to reinvent themselves for a new audience.
4 seasons, 41 episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
It’s not enough to praise Atlanta for being the most inventive show on TV — though plenty of critics have. To understand the genius of Donald Glover’s sometimes-comedy series, you simply have to watch it. The show follows Glover’s Earn, a young black man living in the titular city who’s down on his luck. He’s basically homeless when we meet him in the first episode, selling credit cards, making no money, and trying to manage the rap career of his cousin, Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry). Over the course of the first and second season, Earn wrestles with issues of race, classism, and his own sense of self-worth. It’s a show that will probably feel familiar to some and strangely alien to others, but it should be required viewing for everyone.
7 seasons, 138 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
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.
The Handmaid’s Tale
5 seasons, 55 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
Few shows have become as influential in the cultural lexicon as this Margaret Atwood adaptation. The timing of this dystopian classic, combined with its stellar cast and gripping storylines has propelled it to something more than just another TV show. America as we know it is no more, taken over by a Christian fundamentalist organization 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 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, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, and Yvonne Strahovski all deliver memorable moments as fellow women trying to survive this harsh new world.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
7 seasons, 144 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Joss Whedon has gone on to giant blockbusters since his days on The WB, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer 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.
6 seasons, 110 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
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.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
15 seasons, 156 episodes | IMDb: 8.8/10
There’s no denying that the protagonists of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are amoral psychopaths. (Looking at you especially, Dennis.) But there are few shows out there that will elicit the same belly laughs. As these raging narcissists hang around Paddy’s Irish Pub, you will be struck by the lack of self-awareness while at the same time hoping things never change. Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day shine especially bright, sucking into a vortex of kitten mittens and Nightman. Whether or not you believe in a higher power, you will thank your gods that you are better adjusted than these assholes. What might be even more miraculous than so thoroughly enjoying a show about such sh*tty human beings though is how the series manages to continue to operate at such a high level, 14 seasons later.
1 season, 14 episodes | IMDb: 9/10
There’s so much to love about Joss Whedon’s space cowboy series, it still boggles our minds that the show was canceled before it could get a second season. Still, the 14 episodes available on Hulu are worth a binge. Nathan Fillion plays Mal Reynolds, captain of a clunk of metal scavenging the galaxy 500 years into the future. He’s got a motley crew on board — Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, and Morena Baccarin also star — and he regularly gets into trouble with his less-than-legal side jobs. The writing is top-notch, the world-building is fascinating, and the chemistry is off the charts.
11 seasons, 218 episodes | IMDb: 8.7/10
Many sci-fi shows have come into the geeky pantheon of television, but The X-Files remains a benchmark. While the revival series wasn’t quite what fans were hoping for, seeing the unbeatable team of Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) back in action was a treat. Still, going back to the beginning is the only way to go with the show. Whether you get caught up in the monster of the week storylines or like digging into the overarching mythology, The X-Files will stick with you for years to come.
Freaks And Geeks
1 season, 18 episodes | IMDb: 8.8/10
t’s been over 20 years since NBC canceled this coming-of-age comedy, but now that it’s available to stream on Hulu, why not watch (or re-watch) it, if just to have a laugh at how stupid the TV exec who trashed this show looks right now. The series acts as a primer for the contemporary generation of comedy. Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segal, and Paul Feig (among others) honed their craft over the course of 18 episodes, and the only true gripe you’ll come away with after sitting through one season is that there isn’t more.
13 seasons, 134 episodes | IMDb: 8.7/10
While it started as a hilarious James Bond spoof, Archer has really evolved into a show that can stand on its own. As super spies Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler) are out doing the cool derring-do for ISIS (not that ISIS), the rest of the desk jockeys are left to deal with their mess and a lack of unionization. Archer quickly banishes the idea that cartoons are just for children (seriously, this show is not for children) with enough sex, drugs, and terrible behavior that Bond himself would blush. We’re still all in, 11 seasons, one trip to outer space, and an extremely long coma later.
Rick and Morty
6 seasons, 57 episodes | IMDb: 9.3/10
Many wondered how Dan Harmon would follow up the perfection that was Community at its peak, and he certainly delivered with Rick and Morty. Like a demented version of Back to the Future, Rick and Morty follows a super scientist and his less-than-genius grandson on a variety of adventures. It’s part cartoon, part “cosmic horror.” Who knew that following a vomiting scientist and his dimwitted grandson could be so brilliant? Rick and Morty is a demented work of escapism for adults that’s not to be missed. It’s also a still relatively underground show that’s waiting to burst forth into a broader audience. Get in on the goodness now.
4 seasons, 72 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
This cult teen drama has enjoyed a handful of revivals over the years — most notably a Kickstarter movie and a Hulu-produced fourth season — but to truly enjoy this noir, Nancy Drew-like adventure, you’ve got to go back to the beginning. We meet Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) as a fresh-faced teenager who’s become a social pariah following the murder of her best friend. As she investigates a death that rocked the sea-side town, graduates to college sleuthing, and juggles romantic interests, Veronica takes down bad guys and stays a step ahead of the adults around her. And she keeps kicking a** into adulthood. Come for the witty banter and thrilling games of cat-and-mouse, stay for Bell, who’s never been better.
1 season, 6 episodes | IMDb: 8/10
The brains behind sci-fi thrillers like Ex Machina and Annihilation gives us another mind-bending drama, this time for the small screen. Devs focuses on a young software engineer named Lily Chan who begins digging into a secret division of the cutting-edge tech company she works for in Silicon Valley because, get this, they probably murdered her boyfriend.
7 seasons, 89 episodes | IMDb: 8.7/10
Michael Chiklis stars in this Golden Globe-winning police drama about a corrupt PD unit and the officers who operate within it. Chiklis plays Detective Vic Mackey, a thuggish anti-hero with a brutal methodology when it comes to police work. He leads a team of cops who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to take down criminals in L.A.’s notoriously crime-ridden district known as The Farm. It’s a gritty, violent look at police work that feels a bit more honest than others of its ilk and loves to paint its leads in shades of grey.
3 seasons, 28 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
Noah Hawley might’ve proven he could shatter expectations with his Fargo reboot but what he’s done on FX’s comic series Legion is truly mind-blowing. The show, which exists in both the Marvel universe and the X-Men series, follows David Haller (Dan Stevens), a man with incredible powers, a murky past, and a demon parasite leeching his abilities while slowly making him go insane. The series begins in an insane asylum before traveling to secret government facilities, astral planes, and the future so good luck keeping track of the action. Better to just strap yourself in, enjoy the wild ride, and not worry whether what you’re seeing is real, or just all in David’s head.
5 seasons, 37 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
There is a rough-around-the-edges quality that makes Misfits irresistible. A rotating team of adolescents gains supernatural powers while they’re fulfilling their criminal community service requirements, but the X-Men they are not. It’s not easy to categorize them as “the good guys” considering all of the people they accidentally kill, but they certainly mean well. Fans of Game of Thrones and Preacher will see some familiar faces, but the whole cast is aces. There are rumblings of an American remake, but hopefully, that will never come to fruition. There is something so decidedly British about Misfits, but not in the stuffy way that people assume. It’s gritty, it’s crass, and to water that down for stateside sensibilities would be a crime.
3 seasons, 57 episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
When we talk about shows that ended too soon, Happy Endings always ranks high on the list. A comedy about a group of friends doing the whole “adulting” thing while living in Chicago doesn’t sound too revolutionary, but it’s the performances that make this show as fantastic as it is. Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson, and Adam Pally deliver some ridiculously funny turns as emotionally-stunted thirtysomethings just trying to get by.
Sons of Anarchy
7 seasons, 92 episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
While the show may have lost a little steam in the middle of its run, when Sons of Anarchy was good, it was electric. As Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) struggled to find his place as the leader of his father’s old motorcycle gang, he is often made to wonder if the violence and stress on his family is worth the adrenaline and power. Kurt Sutter is a divisive figure in Hollywood, but he caught lightning in a bottle with SoA. With an endless parade of shocking moments and killer characters, few shows will keep you on the edge of your seat in the same way. You’ll be awfully glad you aren’t a part of SAMCRO, but you won’t be able to look away all the same. Just don’t go out and buy a motorcycle on a whim. You probably can’t pull off the leather. A television binge is the safer way to go.
The Office U.K.
2 seasons, 14 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
What can we say about this genre-defining workplace comedy that hasn’t been said before? Ricky Gervais’ mockumentary has influenced some of the greatest works on television, and despite its many predecessors, it remains the best example of what a good, mundane comedy series can do. Gervais as clueless boss David Brent, whose desperate attempts at connecting with his underlings are a painful exercise in futility. Martin Freeman is also a stand-out, playing a role that John Krasinski inhabited in the American remake, but it’s the British sarcasm that really elevates this series and makes it worthy of a watch.
You’re the Worst
5 seasons, 62 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
If you’re looking for a show that will kick you in the balls and then pass you a mimosa, You’re the Worst is that show. It might have you crying tears of laughter in one scene, then leave you wondering “this is a COMEDY, right?!” in the next. It’s that dichotomy that makes it so vital to the modern television landscape. You owe it to yourself to be introduced to the familiar toxicity of Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) before the FX comedy returns. There are few comedies that so aptly mock modern mores of adulthood while still treating its characters with compassion, even if they don’t deserve it. Plus, there are few shows that perfectly express how it feels to be clinically depressed. Come for the trash juice, stay for the insight.
3 seasons, 30 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Comedian Ramy Youssef stars in this semi-autobiographical dramedy, playing a version of himself, a character named Ramy Hassan. Ramy navigates life growing up in New Jersey while straddling the line between the millennial generation he’s a part of and the Muslim community he belongs to. He wrestles with the constraints of his religion and his upbringing, while searching for meaning in more modern pursuits — drinking, partying, and hooking up. It’s heartwarming, eye-opening, and never takes itself too seriously.
2 seasons, 20 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
There is always a little twinge of sadness when you finish a Party Down binge. With only two short seasons, there is always a feeling of “what could have been.” A show about people who can really only be classified as “losers,” Party Down masks a sharp emotional pain beneath hilarious guest stars and “Are we having fun yet?!” If you have ever been disappointed by how your life has turned out, be it by circumstance or your own bad choices, you will painfully relate with someone on the titular catering crew. Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan have killer chemistry as two self-destructive people who see themselves as better than their circumstances but refuse to make the kind of decisions that will help them get what they want. It’s easier to coast along and mock the absurd customers than to actually try.
4 seasons, 43 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
When Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen announced plans to create a TV series based on the DC comic book series Preacher, the gut reaction was to ask, how? The series (anti)hero is a bad-boy preacher who is imbued with supernatural abilities after being possessed by a creature named Genesis. It’s a tall order for a TV show to tackle, even one on AMC, but somehow Rogen and Goldberg were able to translate the over-the-top weirdness of the comic book (think angels, demons, drunken vampires, and a character with an a**hole for a mouth) into a strangely poignant, at times frustrating, drama. Seeing is believing with this one.
9 seasons, 182 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
Scrubs is more than “Guy Love.” Despite the show’s penchant for trafficking in absurd humor, Scrubs managed to pack in deeply emotional moments while also getting called “the most accurate television show about the medical profession.” While the final season may have been a departure from the original charm (it did give us Eliza Coupe, though, so it gets a pass), Zach Braff has never been more likable than he was as J.D., who was navigating his time at Sacred Heart from intern to physician. With hilarious moments of genuine friendship to the most cutting insults you wish you could use but fear HR repercussions, Scrubs proves that you don’t have to be an over the top soap opera or led by a genius misanthrope to keep people watching.Scrubs is showrunner Bill Lawrence at his best, and it definitely holds up to repeat viewings.
5 seasons, 50 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
There are few shows out there that are as consistently manic and hilarious as Broad City. The dream team of Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson make living in New York seem like a screwed up fairy tale, and yet it is still more realistic than almost every other depiction of twentysomething life in the Big Apple. Their apartments are terrible, their sex toys are plentiful, and they are there to expose the cult-like nature of the co-op. While the jokes fly fast, they still manage to work in some pathos, especially in season three, which examines the changeable nature of friendship and how some relationships aren’t made to last.
Removed: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Spaced, Peep Show, Futurama, Seinfeld
Added: Abbott Elementary, The Bear, The Americans, Schitt’s Creek, Happy Endings