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Here are the best Hulu original series
Hulu doesn’t have nearly as many original series 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 originals that are currently available on the streaming network. We also take a look at a few honorable mentions, along with upcoming Hulu shows.
If you want to sign up for Hulu, make sure to also consider the Disney Plus-Hulu-ESPN Plus bundle, which gives you three great streaming services for one lower price. You can sign up for the bundle at the link below.
Best Hulu originals
Editor’s note: We will update this post as more original Hulu originals launch on the streaming service.
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.
This is by far the best Hulu original series, and it’s also the first-ever streaming series to win an Emmy for Best Drama. Four 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, third, and fourth seasons go beyond the original novel. Look for season 5 to begin in September 2022.
Only Murders in the Building
This dramedy became an unexpected hit for Hulu in the fall of 2021. Steve Martin stars in this series about three people who live in a New York City apartment building. They are also all fans of podcasts about real murders. When an actual murder occurs in their building, Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez try to solve the case with their podcast detective skills. It’s funny, but also a satire about how these kinds of podcasts have truly become obsessions for some people. You can watch the first two seasons now and a third is due in 2023.
We live in an 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. That franchise was 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 show’s two seasons on Hulu via the button below.
The time travel comedy is a sub-genre unto itself. We have seen 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. They need his “skills” to help fight a massive enemy. Future Man can be a bit crude in its humor sometimes. However, 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 all three seasons now on Hulu.
The Great is a historical series that plays a bit loose with the facts. Even so, it’s still a lot of fun to watch. Elle Fanning plays Catherine the Great, who rose to become Russia’s longest-running female ruler in the late 18th century. This version of her story may not be historically accurate, but it’s entertaining. Nicholas Hoult plays Catherine’s husband Peter III, who is definitely lacking a few cards from his deck. This is one of the best Hulu shows, and you can watch two seasons of it right now.
This series has become one of the most acclaimed and best Hulu original series in a short time. The show takes place on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma, where a group of teenagers fancies themselves to be hard-boiled criminals. It’s a funny, but also touching at times, series about modern Native American life, and it’s worth checking out. You can check out the first two seasons of the show now.
The Orville: New Horizons
Family Guy and Ted creator Seth MacFarlane loves Star Trek but was unable to get the rights to take over the franchise from Paramount. So he decided to make his own space-based sci-fi show and make it as close to Star Trek as he could without getting into legal trouble. The result was The Orville, which ran for two uneven seasons on Fox but is now a Hulu exclusive with its recently completed third season. It also has a modified name with the crew of this starship Orville continuing to explore the galaxy. Hopefully, we will see the fourth season of this show.
The story of the rise and fall of the medical technology company Theranos is also the story of its founder Elizabeth Holmes. This excellent Hulu limited series shows how Holmes, played perfectly by Amanda Seyfried, convinced smart and rich people to invest billions of dollars into Theranos, even though its main product, a blood-scanning machine, simply didn’t work.
Pam and Tommy
This limited series is actually two stories in one. The first tells the tale of the very volatile romantic relationship between rock musician Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) and Playboy model and Baywatch actor Pamela Anderson (Lily James). The other is how a private sex tape of these two people was stolen and how it became public, in one of the first major internet-based leaks. Stan and James go deep into their roles and even become sympathetic even if they are sometimes shown doing some bad things.
This limited series dramatizes the very real story of Perdue Pharma, as they aggressively sold the opioid drug OxyContin in the 2010s. This drug helped to create a massive opioid epidemic in the US, leading to tens of thousands of overdose deaths. This series also has an excellent cast, including Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, and Rosario Dawson, and is definitely one of the best Hulu original series.
This is not only one of the best original shows on Hulu, but it may also be one of the most romantic. Based on the popular novel by Sally Rooney, it follows two people, Marianne and Connell, in a town in Ireland. They first encounter each other at school. Connell is popular, while Marianne is not. However, these two “normal people” discover each other and fall in love. The series follows the couple through the years as they connect, and then disconnect, with each other time and again. There’s no melodrama here; it’s just life between two people who ultimately are supposed to have a connection.
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. She’s much older and wiser as she tries to figure out who is setting off bombs in her hometown of Neptune, California. Many other characters from the original run return for this fourth season, and hopefully we won’t have to wait for a fifth season to debut on Hulu.
Devs was a show originally developed for the FX cable network. However, it launched as a Hulu exclusive. Written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina), this surreal sci-fi series is all about a fictional Silicon Vallery tech company. The company’s secret computing division, Devs, has been working on a project that is so powerful the company is willing to kill for it. It’s a show that rewards its audience with some deep themes of what it means to have free will. It’s without a doubt one of the best of the Hulu original series.
Little Fires Everywhere
This limited series is based on the 2017 by Celeste Ng book. Set in the late 1990’s, the series stars Reese Witherspoon as a well-off mother of a typical family household in Ohio. Things start to get more complicated when a woman, played by Kerry Washington, and her daughter move in with Witherspoon’s family. Deep, dark secrets are slowly revealed in this dramatic series, and it’s definitely one of the best on Hulu.
This animation show comes from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland. He and this show’s co-creator Mike McMahan (the upcoming Star Trek: Lower Decks) bring us this adult series about four aliens stranded on Earth in a suburban town. We have seen this kind of show or movie before (Coneheads, Third Rock from the Sun), but this series is still very entertaining, You can watch the first three seasons now.
This series is all about a high-end restaurant chef who returns to his hometown of Chicago to take over the family’s sandwich shop. It sounds dull but this series is an entertaining and realistic look behind the scenes at a restaurant, with some great performances as well.
The Girl From Plainville
Elle Fanning plays a very different role than she does in The Great in this limited series. She plays Michelle Carter, a real-life young woman who was accused of causing her boyfriend to commit suicide via a series of horrible text messages. This true crime story seems even more relevant today with texting and social media becoming even more prevent in most people’s lives.
Life With Beth
Amy Schumer created and stars in this dramedy series about a New York City woman who seems to have a steady life. However, a major tragedy forces her to make some changes which include moving back to her small home town. Schumer is great as always, playing a woman who can be both funny and dramatic, sometimes in the same minute.
How I Met Your Father
The sitcom How I Met Your Mother was one of the best TV shows of the 2000s, as a group of friends in New York City went through life and love, with one of them having a call with destiny to find the mother of his children. This Hulu series is set in the present and again shows a group of friends in that same city, but this time it’s the woman (Hillary Duff) who has a date with fate and the father of her children.
Nine Perfect Strangers
The idea of going to a wellness resort is taken to the extreme in this limited series. A variety of people head to a remote location to try to find themselves, but they soon learn this resort is very different than what’s in the brochure. The cast includes Nicole Kidman as the mysterious head of the resort, along with Michael Shannon, Melissa McCarthy, and more.
Hulu original series: Honorable mentions
- The Looming Tower – This limited series takes a look at the history of the US 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. A man finds out he has a chance to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
- Catch-22 – A new adaptation of the classic satirical World War II novel. This limited series tells the story of a US military pilot in Italy who tries to get himself certified as crazy so he can’t fly, and possibly, die.
- Pen15 – A very funny satire on teen life, starring Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, adults who play 13-year-old versions of themselves in the year 2000.
- Dollface – Kat Dennings stars in this comedy series about a young woman who tries to reconnect with her girlfriends after breaking up with her boyfriend.
Upcoming Hulu shows
- Welcome to Chippendales – A docudrama about the creation of the Chippendales male dance group.
- The Devil in the White Sky – Keanu Reeves will star in this mini-series about the creation of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago
- The Full Monty – A series that serves as a sequel to the hit UK comedy about a male nude dance revue.
- Futurama – Yes, this long running adult animated sci-fi comedy is getting a third rebirth via Hulu in the near future.
- Alien – This will be based on the hugely popular Alien sci-fi horror movie franchise. The show is being written by Noah Hawley who also created Fargo and Legion for FX.