Hulu doesn’t have nearly as many original shows as its rivals Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. However, a case could be made that Hulu is trying to offer quality over quantity with its original content.
Here are our picks for the best Hulu original series that are currently running and are scheduled to get new seasons. We will also quickly list shows that have completed their runs, along with upcoming Hulu shows.
Best Hulu original series
Editor’s Note: We will update this post as more original Hulu series launch on the streaming service.
1. The Handmaid’s Tale
Based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel, The Handmaid’s Tale is a cautionary look at a possible future United States that lets an ultra-Christian theocracy take over the country. In this version of the future, women are seen as no more than servants, wives and, in the case of Handmaids, birth mothers. As the title character Offred, Elizabeth Moss gives the performance of her career as a woman who fights this horrible life in her own way — with dignity and grace.
Ths is by far the best Hulu original series, and it’s also the first ever streaming series to win an Emmy for Best Drama. Two full seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale are available on Hulu now. The first season pretty much adapts the novel’s storyline, but the second season goes beyond what Atwood originally penned. The highly anticipated third season is currently releasing new episodes every Wednesday and a fourth season is due in 2020. It’s one of the best shows on Hulu that’s an original series for the streaming service as well.
This Marvel Hulu original series is based on the acclaimed Marve comic. It combines superhero action with teen angst. Six teenagers learn that they each have superpowers; however, this is not a cause for celebration, as these teens also learn that their parents are part of a secret supervillain group called The Pride that has some very bad intentions. As you might expect from the title of this show, these kids decide to break away from their moms and days to fight them, along with trying to figure out the normal teenage issues of love, acceptance and more. Two seasons of Runaways are available on Hulu and a third is due in 2020.
In this era of movie and TV franchises that create a “universe” of interconnected stories, the folks at J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot were smart enough to know that there was already one such universe that was available to mine, the many novels and short stories of Stephen King. King’s version of Maine has been brought to life in books and movies, and Hulu used those stories and settings to create Castle Rock. The series, which takes its name from the fictional Maine small town that figures into many of King’s works, tells an original tale, but with lots of connections and Easter Eggs that should keep both new viewers and King fans happy. You can catch the first season on Hulu, with the second due for release in 2020.
The time travel comedy is a sub-genre unto itself, with entries like the Back to the Future film trilogy and the Hot Tub Time Machine films. This Hulu original series fits squarely into that category. Josh Hutcherson plays a janitor who just wants to play his video games without anyone bothering him. However, it’s his ability to play action video games well that gets him recruited by people from the future, who need his “skills” to help fight a massive enemy. Future Man can be a bit crude in its humor sometimes, but it’s worth it to check out the funny time travel situations and paradoxes that come about with Hutcherson’s character trying desperately to be a hero. You can catch the first two seasons now and the third and final season is due later in 2019.
Into the Dark
Horror stories don’t have to center around Halloween. Into The Dark proves that every month as a Hulu original show. It’s a year-long anthology series. Each month we get a new short horror film, with a different writer, director and cast. Each of these tales is centered on a holiday that shows up on the month that the film first launches. The tales so far have centered on holidays like Christmas (Pooka!), Valentine’s Day (Down) and even International Women’s Day (Treehouse). If you are looking for thoughtful stories that might also scare you, check out the current slate of Into the Dark’s films. There are currently 11 episodes to check out, and Hulu has renewed the short film series for a second season.
6. Veronica Mars
Not only can you watch the first three seasons of this classic teen detective series on Hulu right now, but you can also binge watch the all-new eighth episode fourth season of Veronica Mars. Kristen Bell returns as the title character, but she’s much older and wiser as she tries to figure out who is setting off bombs in her home town of Neptune, California. Many other characters from the original run return for the fourth season, and hopefully we won’t have to wait for a fifth season to debut on Hulu.
Best Hulu original shows – Limited series
Here’s a quick look at Hulu original series that are still available for streaming, but won’t be getting any new episodes:
- The Looming Tower – This limited series takes a look at the history of the U.S. intelligence forces in the years just prior to the 9/11 attacks of 2001.
- 11/22/63 – Steven King’s novel of time travel is adapted into this limited series, as a man finds out he has a chance to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
- Catch-22 – An adaptation of the classic satirical World War II novel, this limited series tells the story of a U.S. military pilot in Italy who tries to get himself certified as crazy so he can’t fly, and possibly, die.
Best Hulu original shows – upcoming series
Here’s another fast look, this time into the future, to check out upcoming Hulu original shows:
- Marvel’s Ghost Rider – The latest attempt to turn the motorcycle rider-demon from Marvel Comics into a live action property is due sometime in 2020
- Animaniacs – The classic TV series is returning to Hulu for all new episodes in 2020.
- Wild Cards – Two (yes, two) series based on the superhero-themed series of short stories and novels edited, and sometimes written by, George R.R. Martin, are coming sometime in 2020.