From originals to network TV series, new programming and legacy, Hulu has it all. Which is both great and overwhelming when it comes to choice. That is where we come in. Each week, we go through the list of series that are available to stream on Hulu to bring you the best of the best you can watch right now. From intense dramas like Little Fires Everywhere to hilarious comedies like Community and even reality shows like Pawn Stars, there something to suit your mood and TV-binging appetite.
This British series has largely flown under the radar, yet the simple but effective premise and tremendous acting talents of Michael Sheen and David Tennant have resulted in critics giving quiet praise to the comedy. The first season, which holds a solid 93% aggregate critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes , saw the acting pair play fictional versions of themselves in the present-day, attempting to rehearse a performance over videoconferencing due to the pandemic. As the actors try to run their lines and capture the essence of their characters, the director Simon (played by Simon Evans, who also created and directed the show itself) does the best he can to manage around the technical issues combined with the actors' inflated egos. The timely series has been called a "welcome distraction" by The Independent's Louis Chilton, who describes it best as an " eminently watchable portrait of two artists as petulant, egotistical children ."
Created by: Simon Evans, Phil Glynn Cast: David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Simon Evans, Georgia Tennant, Anna Lundberg, Lucy Eaton Number of seasons: 2
The effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was one of the central battlegrounds of the women's movement in the 1970s. Mrs. America chronicles that fight and the unexpected backlash brought by Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett), dubbed "the sweetheart of the silent majority." Told through the eyes of Schlafly and second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, and Jill Ruckelshaus, Mrs. America is a political drama that adroitly plays both sides of the aisle, depicting one of the toughest political battles of the 20th century. The series explores how this fight helped give rise to the Moral Majority and completely shifted the American political landscape.
Created by: Dahvi Waller Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Elizabeth Banks, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tracey Ullman, Sarah Paulson Number of seasons: 1
Little Fires Everywhere
Hollywood A-listers Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington burn their talented acting candles bright in this gritty miniseries as both show off their talents for pulling off seriously dramatic — and highly emotional — roles. Based on the 2017 Celeste Ng novel of the same name, the period series is set in the '90s and highlights the dramatic differences between these two women. While they share motherhood in common, they come from very different socioeconomic backgrounds, making them markedly different people with very different lives and life experiences. It beautifully examines the dichotomy between wealth and privilege and hardship and sacrifice. Reviews criticize the series for playing it safe sometimes, but there's no denying that it's electric when Witherspoon and Washington share screen time.
Created by: Liz Tigelaar (based on Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng) Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Joshua Jackson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jade Pettyjohn, Lexi Underwood, Megan Stott, Gavin Lewis, Jordan Elsass Number of seasons: 1
Sparking nostalgia for kids from the '90s, Steven Spielberg and his company Amblin Entertainment (in association with Warner Bros. Animation) return with this reboot of the popular animated comedy musical. The original Animaniacs entertained kids with characters like Yakko, Wakko, Dot, and the Goodfeathers, and it pleased parents with the sneaky adult humor (from sexual innuendo to parodies and dated pop culture references) that went right over kids' heads. Many of the original voice actors reprise their roles here, and there's a similar variety show format with different skits following characters and their own independent plot lines. For anyone who grew up in the '90s, it's a must-watch throwback series, with or without kids.
Created by: Tom Ruegger Cast: Jess Harnell, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacHeille, Rob Paulsen, Frank Welker, Andy Milder, Abby Trott Number of seasons: 1
Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult star in this satirical, genre-bending drama about the rise of Catherine the Great from boring outsider to Russian Empress. The anti-historical romp through 18th-century Russia would make Chekhov blush and throw his vodka. It's a fictionalized series that leans into some of its historical characters' basest, silliest, and most stereotyped characteristics, which makes for some great fun. Fanning's Catherine is delightfully intense and idealistic with just a touch of sadism toward her depraved, dopey husband, Peter III.
Created by: Tony McNamara Cast: Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Sacha Dhawan, Charity Wakefield, Gwilym Lee, Adam Godley, Douglas Hodge Number of seasons: 1
"How can I help?" That's Dr. Max Goodwin's manta as medical director of the fictional New Amsterdam public hospital, and words you'll hear him utter over and over again each episode. Despite the predictability as far as stereotypical medical dramas go, the soapy series is worth watching thanks to its talented cast and ridiculous yet thoroughly entertaining storylines.
The story begins with Goodwin, believing his secret cancer diagnosis is a death sentence, decides to run the hospital the way it should be run, ignoring all the red tape and bureaucracy that might otherwise hold a medical facility back from providing sufficient medical care to all of its patients. Naturally, the powers that be are none too pleased with Goodwin's "no rules" strategy and the risks it brings along with it, even if deep down they agree with his caring intent. As the series progresses, and peripheral storylines develop, it's easy to find a favorite character and get invested in them. Watch the first two seasons as well as new season three episodes as they air.
Created by: David Schulner Cast: Ryan Eggold, Janet Montgomery, Feeema Agyeman, Jocko Sims, Tyler Labine, Anaupam Kher Number of seasons: 3
A refreshingly modern take on your typical coming-of-age teen drama, this series follows a young man named Victor as he navigates life in a new high school and embarks on a journey to self-discovery, including figuring out his sexuality. The series is set in the same world as the 2018 teen drama Love, Simon , which starred Nick Robinson as the title character. Robinson is now a producer and narrator, helping Victor through his struggles and providing guidance. The spinoff series received an overwhelmingly positive reception, with the consensus being that it's an easily digestible and entertaining watch.
Created by: Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger Cast: Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Mason Gooding, George Sear, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, James Martinez, Ana Ortiz Number of seasons: 1
Donald Glover is a modern Renaissance man: Since launching a comedy career via skits circulated on YouTube, he has 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.
Created by: Donald Glover Cast: Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz Number of seasons: 2
Sometimes, you're just in the mood for some reality TV, and this long-running series has been entertaining viewers for more than a decade. The World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas is open 24 hours, and, needless to say, it attracts plenty of interesting characters looking to buy and sell all kinds of seemingly valuable (or non-valuable) items. As the Harrison family members, who have owned the family shop since 1989, and their staff haggle over prices with customers and discuss the origins of various artifacts, they can't help but fight with one another, as family does. Four of the 17 seasons to date are available for streaming, with 143 episodes to keep you busy for hours.
Created by: Leftfield Pictures Cast: Rick Harrison, Richard "Old Man" Harrison, Corey "Big Hoss" Harrison, Austin "Chumlee" Russell Number of seasons: 17
This spy thriller kept fans glued to their screens for eight seasons as they watched Claire Danes brilliantly portray Carrie, a CIA agent trying to balance her career with her bipolar disorder. The series began when Carrie believed that a sniper from her team who had been captured by al-Qaeda had been turned and posed a threat to the team. The plot evolved and spiraled from there to touch on a long list of twists and turns, and viewers couldn't get enough of the story. The series garnered consistently favorable reviews through to the end, with the final season lauded for being "tautly thrilling" and providing a fitting finish to the captivating story.
Created by: Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa (based on Prisoners of War by Gideon Raff) Cast: Claire Daines, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin, David Harewood, Diego Klattenhoff, Jackson Pace, Morgan Saylor, Mandy Patinkin, Jamey Sheridan, David Marciano, Navid Negahban, Rupert Friend, Sarita Choudhury, and others Number of seasons: 8
Sterling Archer is an agent for a dysfunctional intelligence agency in this animated sitcom that takes inspiration from franchises like James Bond and mid-century comic art. Relying on reference-heavy humor and meta-comedy, Archer revolves around the narcissistic, womanizing secret agent Archer and his seven colleagues, each with their own quirks, like his snarky mother, delusional and psychotic personal assistant, and a morally bankrupt scientist. The later seasons of this series, which was originally created for basic cable network FX then moved to sister network FXX, are designed like an anthology, with each season having its own self-contained story. Season 11 is available on Hulu immediately after airing on FXX in 2020.
Created by: Adam Reed Cast: H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Adam Reed, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Lucky Yates Number of seasons: 11
The Handmaid's Tale
In a not-too-distant future, after an environmental disaster causes widespread infertility, an extremist cult in the United States stages a coup, establishing the totalitarian state of Gilead. In this new society, women are relegated to subservient roles, and due to the low birth rate, a class of women called "handmaids" is conscripted to bear children for the leaders of Gilead. The protagonist of The Handmaid's Tale , Offred (Elisabeth Moss), is one such woman, forced to have ritualized sex with Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) to provide him and his wife a child. Living without any rights or power, Offred tries to survive each day, hoping to one day be free. The Handmaid's Tale is a masterful adaptation of Margaret Atwood's grim novel of the same name, with excellent performances and gorgeous, oft-disturbing scene composition.
Created by: Bruce Miller Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O.T. Fagbenie, Max Minghella, Samira Wiley, Amanda Brugel, Bradley Whitford Number of seasons: 3
Set in the remote, rural town of Letterkenny (populated, the show tells us, entirely by hicks, skids, hockey players, and Christians), Jared Keeso's comedy Letterkenny follows a group of hicks: Wayne (Keeso), his friend Daryl (Nathan Dales), sister Katy (Michelle Mylett), and Squirrelly Dan (K. Trevor Wilson), as well as a pair of hockey players, Reilly (Dylan Playfair) and Jonesy (Andrew Herr), with whom Katy has a three-way relationship. The show revolves around their lives and encounters with the other eccentrics in the town. It's a show deeply rooted in Canadian culture, with heavy use of slang, but even those unfamiliar with the vernacular will quickly come to appreciate the show's deadpan wit.
Created by: Jared Keeso Cast: Jared Keeso, Nathan Dales, Michelle Mylett, K. Trevor Wilson, Dylan Playfair, Andrew Herr, Tyler Johnston, Alexander de Jordy, Daniel Petronijevic, Melanie Scrofano, Jacob Tierney, Lisa Codrington Number of seasons: 9
The Hardy Boys
Brothers Frank and Joe Hardy, 16 and 12, aren't too happy about having their big-city lives upended in order to move to a small town. But once there, they find themselves caught up in a mysterious secret investigation. Believing that their father, a detective, may have uncovered something about a case, they take it upon themselves to help. Who can they trust? It seems that suspicions run just as deep in a small town as they do in the city.
The series only recently launched on Hulu as one of the streaming service's latest originals. But the enduring history of the Hardy Boys characters, which originated in 1927 by several ghostwriters known under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon and was re-created as Hardy Boys Casefiles in 1987, suggests that seeing the sleuthing siblings come to life on screen is sure to be a success.
Created by: Based on the fictional characters by the ghostwriters known as Franklin W. Dixon Cast: Alexander Elliot, Rohan Campbell, Jennifer Hsiung, Keana Lyn, Riley O'Donnell, Bea Santos, Adam Swain, Atticus Mitchell, Ric Garcia, and others Number of seasons: 1
Based on the Coen brothers' beloved film of the same name, Fargo returns to the icy plains of Minnesota, a place where nefarious plots are conceived and enacted by otherwise seemingly normal folks. The TV adaptation features a rotating all-star cast that has included Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, not to mention Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman, and stays true to the same black comedy and deadly mishaps that made the original film so popular.
Created by: Noah Hawley Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks, Martin Freeman (season 1); Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson (season 2); Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (season 3) Number of seasons: 4
Chris Carter's science fiction drama, The X-Files, operated under one simple premise: The truth is out there. FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unsolved mysteries called X-Files. These X-Files deal with paranormal activity, aliens, UFO sightings, and various phenomena. Mulder believes in the existence of alien life while Scully offers scientific explanations for the mysterious happenings, with their relationship serving as the show's bedrock.
Created by: Chris Carter Cast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick, Annabeth Gish, Mitch Pileggi Number of seasons: 11
There's good reason this series has become the longest-running scripted primetime medical drama: Every season brings a fresh, new take on the personal and professional lives of a team of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals working at Seattle Grace Hospital. While there has been a revolving door of cast members, including some major character deaths, the title character, Dr. Meredith Grey, remains at the heart of the show. With intense crossover episodes, special episodes that present like mini-movies, and heart-wrenching storylines, the series that brought to life doctors "McDreamy" and "McSteamy" continues to capture the attention of its core audience, and attract new viewers.
Created by: Shonda Rhimes Cast: Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers, T.R. Knight, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Isaiah Washington, Patrick Dempsey, Kate Walsh, Sara Ramirez, Eric Dance, and others Number of seasons: 17
Community saw 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 rumors of a forthcoming movie persist.
Created by: Dan Harmon Cast: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase, Jim Rash Number of seasons: 6
American Horror Story
American Horror Story is an anthology series where each season centers on its own unique story, with a core cast whose roles change from season to season. Each season provides scares and frightening psychological storylines, whether they take place within a troubled family home, amid a coven of witches, or inside a hotel of circus freaks. American Horror Story is a unique drama, one that capitalizes on the work of series creator Ryan Murphy.
Created by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk Cast: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, and others (varies by season) Number of seasons: 9
For MI5 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), the life of a spy is more mundane than the movies make it out to be. She's stuck working at a desk, and the most excitement she sees is late-night karaoke, rather than infiltrating high-tech facilities or something similar. Eve gets a shot at a much livelier case when someone murders a Russian politician and Eve correctly deduces the assassin was a woman. Soon, she is on the trail of the assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a highly-skilled killer with no conscience, who takes an interest in the woman hunting her. Blending drama, humor, and international spy antics, Killing Eve is an exceptional psychological thriller, built around a complicated cat-and-mouse relationship.
Created by: Sally Woodward Gentle Cast: Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw, Darren Boyd, Owen McDonnell, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, David Haig, Kim Bodnia, and others Number of seasons: 3
Rick and Morty
Creators Dan Harmon ( Community ) and Justin Roiland ( House of Cosbys ) teamed up to create one of the best animated comedies in years. 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.
Created by: Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon Cast: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke Number of seasons: 4
One of the most talked-about shows of the early- to mid-2000s, this drama combined elements of supernatural with sci-fi and general intrigue. A group of survivors winds up on a mysterious island after the commercial jet airliner they're traveling on supposedly crashes. Every episode delves into character backstories, raises questions, and introduces strange new happenings. You're continually drawn into the compelling, puzzling, mind-bending twists and turns — it's near impossible to watch just one episode per sitting! Binge all six seasons of this J.J. Abrams series that has widely been considered one of the greatest of all time.
Created by: Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof Stars: Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Maggie Grace, Josh Holloway, Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan, and others Number of seasons: 6
One of the most controversial series of the 2000s, the American remake only lasted a single season on MTV before it got the ax due to low ratings and the depictions of teen sexuality. But the original British series, which premiered in 2007, lasted seven seasons with each episode focusing on a character, or group of characters, and their struggles with everything from mental illness to sexuality, substance abuse, death, bullying — every topical teen issue you could imagine. There were originally only six seasons but after a possible film spinoff was shelved, a final season aired three years later to wrap up the story, with some original cast members returning. You can binge-watch all seven seasons now.
Created by: Bryan Elsley, Jamie Brittain Starring: Ensemble cast, replaced biennially Number of seasons: 7
Sons of Anarchy
A biker gang, the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (aka SAMCRO), makes ends meet by trafficking guns and subverting the law at every turn. However, when the gang's young vice president Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) discovers the diary of his deceased father, he begins to question SAMCRO's business decisions. This puts Jax at odds with his stepfather Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), who presides as the club's president. The series tells the story of Jax's efforts to keep the club together while balancing his complicated family life.
Created by: Kurt Sutter Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan, Johnny Lewis, Maggie Siff, Ron Perlman, Ryan Hurst, William Lucking, Theo Rossi, Dayton Callie, Jimmy Smits, Drea De Matteo, David Labrava, Niko Nicotera Number of seasons: 7
Fans were outraged when this teen noir mystery drama, airing from 2004 to 2007, was canceled prematurely. It has since developed a cult following and even spawned a follow-up film in 2014 as well as an eight-episode fourth-season revival in 2019, 12 years after the original cancellation. Putting Kristen Bell on Hollywood's radar as a young actor to watch, the show starred the then up-and-comer as the title character, a high school student who works as a private investigator at night with her detective father. While a mystery at heart, Veronica Mars is really the story of a sharp-tongued young woman and her somewhat atypical yet still very relatable coming-of-age story. You can binge all four seasons.
Created by: Rob Thomas Cast: Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn, Jason Dohring, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Francis Capra, Enrico Colantoni, Ryan Hansen, Kyle Gallner, Tessa Thompson, Julie Gonzalo, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Michael Muhney Number of seasons: 4
The streaming world is awash in introspective, character-driven comedies, and while Ramy's format will feel familiar, it adds a new wrinkle. The eponymous character (played by comedian Ramy Youssef) isn't just a millennial dealing with the awkward ups and downs of work and dating in the 21st century. He's also Muslim trying to lead a moral life in amoral times. Ramy wades in ambiguities and its protagonist's hypocrisies and hang-ups; for instance, he's uncomfortable kissing a Muslim woman on their first date, but fine hooking up with non-Muslims, for which the former chews him out. It's a show with a unique perspective and a willingness to present its characters in an unflattering light.
Created by: Ramy Youssef, Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch Cast: Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer, Hiam Abbass, Dave Merheje, Amr Waked, May Calamawy, Laith Nakli Number of seasons: 2
Nathan for You
Life is tough for small business owners, but if your business is struggling, there's one man you can turn to for help: Nathan Fielder (playing a fictional version of himself), a consultant with a metaphorical briefcase full of bizarre marketing ideas and social anxiety. When an ordinary business owner finds themselves in a tricky situation, Fielder strolls into their lives like an awkward Rumpelstiltskin, ready to solve their problem in some bizarre way. Nathan for You is a brilliant mockumentary, with Fielder's outlandish marketing stunts confusing the ordinary folk entangled in them — his parody coffee shop Dumb Starbucks even made international news!
Created by: Nathan Fielder, Michael Koman Cast: Nathan Fielder Number of seasons: 4
Adapting a great work of literature, particularly one as stylish as Joseph Heller's Catch-22 , is a daunting task, but George Clooney and company managed to do it, more or less successfully, in this six-part miniseries. Set during World War II, Catch-22 follows Capt. Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), an American bombardier desperate to get out of the war. He wants to take advantage of the military's policy of discharging any soldier on the basis of insanity. Unfortunately, Yossarian's desire to get discharged for insanity is stifled by the military's Catch-22 clause: Anyone who is crazy can ask to be discharged, but anyone asking to be discharged is clearly thinking rationally. So Yossarian keeps flying missions, and his superiors keep raising the number of missions required to end the war, and the war seems no closer to ending. Catch-22 is a darkly hilarious examination of the horrors of bureaucracy (and war), with a brilliant cast including — along with Abbott — George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, Hugh Laurie, and Julie Ann Emery.
Created by: Luke Davies, David Michod Cast: Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, Daniel David Stewart, Rafi Gavron, Graham Patrick Martin, Lewis Pullman, Austin Stowell, Pico Alexander, Jon Rudnitsky, Gerran Howell, Hugh Laurie, Giancarlo Giannini, George Clooney Number of seasons: 6
The Venture Bros.
Adult Swim's long-running (the series has been airing off and on since 2003) dark comedy The Venture Bros. is a hilarious, occasionally depressing exploration of failure and legacies, set in a world full of colorful characters. Originally built as a parody of '60s adventure shows like Jonny Quest , The Venture Bros. focuses on Dr. Rusty Venture (James Urbaniak), a once-famous boy adventurer who fizzled out, growing up to become a failed scientist. Now the owner of his father's company, the show follows Rusty, his two sons Hank (Christopher McCulloch) and Dean (Michael Sinterniklaas), and their bodyguard, secret agent/bulky murder machine Brock Samson (Patrick Warburton), through various adventures and schemes, flitting through various genres and story structures. The humor is weird but often brilliant — one particularly strange episode reimagines the Scooby gang as a bunch of drug-addled fiends — but what truly stands out about the show is how it has built a vast world full of recurring, oddball characters whose relationships evolve over time.
Created by: Jackson Publick Cast: Christopher McCulloch, Michael Sinterniklaas, James Urbaniak, Patrick Warburton, Doc Hammer, Steven Rattazzi, Dana Snyder Number of seasons: 7
These days, coming-of-age stories are a dime a dozen, but few of them are as novel — or cringeworthy — as PEN15 . Co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle star as 13-year-old versions of themselves, allowing the series to address topics and situations many would consider taboo if performed by younger lead actors. The two find their footing in hormone-fueled incidents involving masturbation and AOL Instant Messenger, not to mention everyday encounters with parents, principals, and the kind of insult-spewing preteens you can expect to find at any middle school. It's all served with a heavy dose of '90s-inspired nostalgia, meaning if the show's no-holds-barred look at adolescence isn't enough, perhaps the constant references to the Spice Girls will be. Season 2 debuted September 18, 2020.
Created by: Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman Cast: Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Mutsuko Erskine, Richard Karn, Taylor Nichols, Melora Walters, Taj Cross, Dallas Liu Number of seasons: 2
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. (who is no longer involved) 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.
Created by: Pamela Adlon, Louis C.K. Cast: Pamela Adlon, Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood, Olivia Edward, Celia Imrie Number of seasons: 4
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 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 manic energy and throw themselves fully into a variety of roles.
Created by: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele Number of seasons: 5
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
What South Park is to late-night animation, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is to sitcoms. Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, and Charlie Day — who also created and write the show — star as three best friends who kind of hate each other, while Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito round out the cast as the infamous Dee and Frank. The group often finds itself in some of the 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.
Created by: Rob McElhenney Cast: Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito Number of seasons: 14
Cartoon Network's Adventure Time amassed a huge audience over its ten-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 is 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.
Created by: Pendleton Ward Cast: Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Hynden Walch, Niki Yang, Tom Kenny, Olivia Olson, Pendleton Ward, Polly Lou Livingston, Jessica DiCicco Number of seasons: 10
Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur and director 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.
Created by: Dan Goor, Michael Schur Cast: Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braugher, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller Number of seasons: 7
Ilana and her best friend Abbi are two 20-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 escapades and consuming large amounts of marijuana. The two are often pulled into crazy situations, 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.
Created by: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer Number of seasons: 5
Seinfeld is a show that needs no introduction. Starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld as himself, 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.
Created by: Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards Number of seasons: 9
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.
Created by: Mitchell Hurwitz Cast: Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter Number of seasons: 5
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.
Created by: Kenya Barris Cast: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, Jeff Meacham, Jenifer Lewis, Peter Mackenzie, Deon Cole Number of seasons: 6
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.
Created by: Matt Groening Cast: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, David Herman, Frank Welker Number of seasons: 7
There are some great anime series on Hulu , and this is one of them. Although it lives in the shadow of Cowboy Bebop , director Shinichiro Watanabe's follow-up, Samurai Champloo, is a terrific anime series, one that deserves to be considered on its own terms. Set in Edo-era Japan, the series follows an unlikely trio of travelers: A young waitress named Fuu, quiet ronin Jin, and wild swordsman Mugen. Fuu wants to find a samurai who smells like sunflowers, and after saving Jin and Mugen from execution, enlists them as bodyguards. The three wander Japan, encountering a variety of bizarre characters and scenarios (including a baseball game for the fate of Japan and a possible zombie apocalypse). Dynamic animation, vibrant art, and a chill hip-hop soundtrack are just a few of the reasons to watch this masterpiece.
Created by: Shinji Obara Cast: Ayako Kawasumi, Ginpei Sato, Steve Blum Number of seasons: 1
At first, Bob's Burgers struggled to find traction in Fox's animation block, failing to pull in the dedicated audiences of Family Guy and The Simpsons . Over the last decade, however, the Belchers have emerged as an entity all their own, a family struggling to make ends meet, but never struggling to cheer each other up and have as good of a time as they can. The characters never age, but the sitcom only seems to get better with time, fixating on the fictional family and their burger joint. With 10 seasons in the books and an 11th on the way — not to mention a feature film — there's no better time to start binging the Belcher family's escapades.
Created by: Loren Bouchard Cast: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal Number of seasons: 10
History (the network) melds historic accuracy with epic action in Vikings, a dramatized recounting of a prolific figure in Scandinavian lore, Ragnar Lothbrok. Vikings follows the exploits of the cunning Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) as he becomes the most powerful ruler of Europe's Viking Age, or at least, the one the history books and Nordic sagas remember him as. The show has received much acclaim during its run thus far — and without the gratuitous nudity common to most cable epics — earning it numerous Emmy nominations for both effects and design.
Created by: Michael Hirst Cast: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, and more Number of seasons: 6
Before he was the mastermind behind Marvel's cinematic universe, Joss Whedon was known for creating memorable television series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly . While the latter only lasted for one season before it was ultimately canceled and later revived with the film Serenity , it has garnered a rabid cult following. The sci-fi series is set just after an interplanetary civil war between the populated inner system planets and the outer planets, where life resembles the American West. The series is well known for its cast of likable characters, including Nathan Fillion's Mal Reynolds, who captains the titular ship and is arguably the coolest space criminal since Han Solo.
Created by: Joss Whedon Cast: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass Number of seasons: 1
Anime is often labeled as a niche genre, but like with all forms of media, there are breakout examples that transcend the genre, crossing over in appeal. Cowboy Bebop is a prime example. Set in the early era of humanity's colonization of the solar system, a ragtag group of bounty hunters led by Spike Spiegel (Steven Blum) makes ends meet by taking in wanted criminals, while simultaneously trying to avoid the law and powerful criminal organizations. This space-western has been lauded as one of the best anime series ever made, with a memorable cast and compelling story, featuring one of the most iconic final scenes ever.
Created by: Hajime Yatate Cast: Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara Number of seasons: 1
Star Trek: The Original Series
Few franchises have grown as massive of a fanbase as Star Trek . The Original Series features William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as the iconic Captain Kirk and Commander Spock, respectively. Though dated — the show aired from 1966 to 1969 — it's an appreciated blast from the past and one which created the foundation for so many TV spinoffs and movies. Few would argue that Kirk and Spock are among television's all-time best duos.
Created by: Gene Roddenberry Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley Number of seasons: 3
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Perhaps the most popular of the Star Trek TV shows, The Next Generation ran for an impressive seven seasons from 1987 to 1994. Patrick Stewart takes the lead as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who guides the Enterprise across the galaxy in search of new life and civilizations. It built off the cult success of The Original Series and solidified the Star Trek franchise as one of the best science fiction universes across TV or film. Despite taking place within the boundaries of space — where no man had gone before — TNG drew allegories to our earthbound cultural issues that took place during its televised run.
Created by: Gene Roddenberry Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton Number of seasons: 7
The Twilight Zone
Rod Serling's science fiction/fantasy series The Twilight Zone remains one of the best-written shows ever to air on American television. The original series aired for five seasons from 1959 to 1964 with Serling serving as not just head writer but also host and narrator. Each episode's new story sees the main character encounter paranormal or unusual events that lead to an eventual moral. Though it has spawned two spinoff series, the original Twilight Zone is the best of the bunch.
Created by: Rod Serling Cast: Various Number of seasons: 5
Noah Hawley, the creator of FX's Fargo , tries his hand at telling a superhero story with Legion , a visually dynamic series that isn't your typical, man-in-a-cape origin story. The show follows David Haller (Dan Stevens), a man who, having heard voices in his head since a young age, starts the series in a psychiatric hospital. His official diagnosis is schizophrenia, but after meeting another patient, Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller), who can switch bodies with anyone she touches, he discovers that the voices in his head are a sign of his own latent powers. Fitting for a show about a man who may or may not be insane, Legion is a hallucinogenic show, with psychedelic visuals and format-breaking sequences that keep David — and the viewer — confused as to what is real.
Created by: Noah Hawley Cast: Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, Jean Smart, Navid Negahban, Jemaine Clement, Hamish Linklater, Lauren Tsai Number of seasons: 3
This historical drama follows Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a madam running a brothel in 18th century London. Eager to climb the social ladder — and dodge the authorities — Margaret moves into the territory of her former boss, high-class madam Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), sparking a war between the two. Caught up in Margaret's schemes are her two daughters, Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay) and Lucy (Eloise Smyth), whom she has pushed into prostitution. Despite the lurid subject matter, Harlots is never merely titillating; this is a show with a keen eye for the power dynamics at work in its setting, and how hierarchy turns even sex into a cold transaction. A complicated drama with intriguing characters, Harlots is a great show for people who like their historical dramas on the seedier side.
Created by: Alison Newman, Moira Buffini Cast: Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Dorothy Atkinson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Kate Fleetwood, Holli Dempsey, Douggie McMeekin, Edward Hogg, Richard McCabe, Danny Sapani, Hugh Skinner, Eloise Smyth, Liv Tyler, Sebastian Armesto, Julian Rhind-Tutt Number of seasons: 3
Stephen King is one of modern America's most prolific authors, with over 60 novels and 200 short stories, and that allows the creators of Castle Rock , a show that draws inspiration from a variety of King's works, to create an eerie melange of the author's stories. Castle Rock follows Henry Deaver (André Holland), a defense attorney and a pariah in his hometown of Castle Rock, who nevertheless returns after guards at Shawshank Penitentiary find a nameless man (Bill Skarsgård) locked in an abandoned cellblock. As Henry delves into the mystery behind this stranger known only as "The Kid," he wades into a mystery that stretches back years. Castle Rock is loaded with Easter eggs for ardent King fans to grin at, but even those who haven't read the author's complete bibliography can enjoy the show, as it tells a creepy story that can stand on its own merits.
Created by: Sam Shaw, Dustin Thomason Cast: Andre Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgard, Jane Levy, Sissy Spacek (Season 1); Lizzy Caplan, Paul Sparks, Barkhad Abdi, Yusra Warsama, Elsie Fisher, Matthew Alan, Tim Robbins (Season 2) Number of seasons: 2
In the quiet titular town of Twin Peaks, the sudden and tragic murder of high school student Laura Palmer set off a chain of events that turns the town on its head. FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) teams up with local sheriff Harry Truman (Michael Ontkean) to solve the murder, only to uncover a complicated mess of grisly truths that border on the supernatural. Twin Peaks is among director David Lynch's most iconic works, yet the show initially only lasted two brief seasons. Despite this, it produced some timeless episodes . Those who have finished the original two seasons will be delighted to know that the show returned for its first new episodes after 25 years in 2017, though those aren't available on Hulu.
Created by: Mark Frost, David Lynch Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, Warren Frost, Peggy Lipton Number of seasons: 3
On Top Chef , competitors are pitted against one another in a variety of themed challenges in attempts to find out who can create the better meal. Quickfire challenges force contestants to test their skills and finish a meal before the allotted time runs out, while elimination challenges generally entail more detailed and difficult culinary undertakings. After 17 seasons, we only have one question: Where can we sign up to judge?
Created by: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz (executive producers) Cast: Katie Lee, Padma Lakshmi (hosts), various judges, various contestants Number of seasons: 17
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