But we are here to help! For those who are already subscribed to Hulu (or who are thinking about it), we’ve compiled a list of our favourite series available, from new classics to old favourites, and everything in between. We’ll also be updating the list as the library changes or new original series debut that make their case for being some of TV’s best. And, if you’re not quite ready to invest in an entire series and are looking for something shorter-form, check out our list of the Best Movies on Hulu Right Now.
Cast: Justin Roiland, Thomas Middleditch, Sean Giambrone, and Mary Mack
The Hulu animated original series Solar Opposites hails from one half of the creative team of Rick and Morty and indeed shares many similarities with that show in terms of style and humour. But the tone of Solar Opposites is a bit more hopeful, a bit more compassionate, and bit more, well, optimistic than the often dark adventures of Rick and Morty. And in that way, it serves as a pretty great series all its own. The story revolves around a family of aliens from a better world who is taking refuge in middle America following the destruction of their planet. They disagree on whether Earth is awful or awesome, which is where much of the tension comes from, but there’s a playfulness throughout that keeps things light and compelling. If you like Rick and Morty, you’ll love Solar Opposites.
Cast: Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal
Normal People, based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Sally Rooney, is quite simply one of 2020’s best new shows. It’s essentially Call Me by Your Name meets The O.C. as it charts the relationship between two individuals from their teen years in high school up through college, but it’s told with a level of intimacy and emotional maturity rarely seen on TV. Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal are mesmerizing as the two individuals at the heart of this 12-episode limited series, and you’ll find your heart swooning and breaking right alongside them. It’s also one of the best-directed shows on all of television
Cast: Sonoya Mizuno, Nick Offerman, Alison Pill, Jin Ha, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Cailee Spaeny, and Jin Ha
Originally set to debut on FX, Devs actually became the first show to debut on Hulu as part of the new “FX on Hulu” initiative, in which some FX original series air exclusively on the streaming service. Devs is exactly what you think you’ll get when you combine the filmmaker behind movies like Ex Machina and Annihilation with the story of a tech company working on a big secret project. It’s spooky and weird and mysterious, but also tackles themes relating to determinism vs. free will, how A.I. is changing the way we live, and how predictive algorithms will impact society. You know, very chill stuff. The performances in this limited series are all incredible, and with only eight episodes this is a complete story from beginning to end told in eight hours. If you’re a fan of Alex Garland’s filmmaking or heady tech-driven sci-fi stories, you’ll dig Devs. – Adam Chitwood
Cast: Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring, Francis Capra, Tina Majorino, and Ryan Hansen
Veronica Mars shouldn’t be as good as it is. There are so many ways a teen-centric private eye show can go wrong, and yet creator/showrunner Rob Thomas always keeps his series firmly planted in reality, grounded by a star-making performance from Kristen Bell. The titular high schooler never feels like a conduit for a middle-aged adult’s zingers, and that’s a testament both to Thomas’ writing and Bell’s maturity as a performer. On top of that, the mysteries are genuinely compelling, the teen drama alluring, and the ensemble is (mostly) filled out with charismatic actors who soak up the screen. Think The O.C. meets True Detective and you’ve got Veronica Mars.
Cast: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Jack McBrayer
When 30 Rock debuted in 2006, it was the underdog to West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin’s dramatic take on an SNL-like show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But as it turns out, Tina Fey’s ridiculous, slightly surreal half-hour comedy would not only outlive Studio 60, but go on to become one of the best and most iconic sitcoms of the 21st century. Fey plays the head writer of an SNL-like series, juggling her corporate boss Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and image-obsessed stars (Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski) all while trying to have some semblance of a personal life. The amount of laugh-out-loud jokes packed into each and every 30 Rock episode is crazy, but what endures about the series are its characters. Its lovable, strange, certifiably insane characters.
Cast: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash, and Chevy Chase
Before Dan Harmon brought us, Rick and Morty, he tried his hand at a more traditional network sitcom with Community. The NBC series wasn’t without its many ups and downs, but its core ensemble—a group of misfits attending a community college for various reasons—remains tremendous throughout, and Harmon always managed to find the humanity in his characters. The show would get more experimental as it went along, bringing in directors like The Russo Brothers or Justin Lin to craft epic homages to famous film genres. The back half of Season 1 through Season 3 is where the show really hit its stride before Harmon was fired and then re-hired and the writing got a bit inconsistent, but the characters are endearing enough to keep things compelling throughout.
Cast: James Franco, Sarah Gadon, Lucy Fry, George McKay, T.R. Knight, Daniel Webber, Josh Duhamel, and Chris Cooper
If you’re looking for a relatively easy binge with a beginning, middle, and end, the Hulu limited series 11.22.63 is a solid choice. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the J.J. Abrams-produced series stars James Franco as an English teacher who is given the chance to travel back in time to 1960 in order to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which in turn is supposed to fix all the world’s problems that occurred after that event. It’s got a great sci-fi premise, but the story itself is very much a period piece and Franco anchors this thing well. At eight episodes it’s not a massive investment, and it’s absolutely compelling throughout. For history buffs who are also fans of time travel, with a Mad Men-esque spin, you’ll probably enjoy 11.22.63 – Adam Chitwood
Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards
Seinfeld is not a show about nothing. It’s actually about something pretty profound: bad people. All four of the central characters in Seinfeld are quite awful, whether they’re stealing bread from old ladies, pushing children out of the way during a fire, or accidentally murdering their fiancé by being cheap and lazy. But it’s precisely this reason that Seinfeld was as big of a hit as it was, and why it endures so strongly today. Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer do and say the things we wish we could do and say, and watching them deal with (or ignore) the fallout from their actions is hilarious. That’s the brilliance of Seinfeld. In the hands of any other writers, this would be fodder for a horror show or a tragedy, but Seinfeld and David understood it’s actually extremely funny.
Cast: Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, Paul Ready, Adam Nagaitis, Ian Hart, Nive Nielsen, and Ciarán Hinds
The AMC horror series The Terror is one of the best horror shows from the last few years, full-stop, but it should also appeal directly to history buffs. Based on the Dan Simmons novel of the same name, the first season provides a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to the Arctic in 1845-1848, in which all men on two ships died terrible deaths. The show begins with the two ships getting stuck in ice trying to cross through the Arctic, and we subsequently follow the men as they battle mutiny, malnutrition, and some kind of supernatural beast that is seemingly killing them off one-by-one. It’s like Master and Commander by way of The Thing, with a hefty dose of cannibalism mixed in for good measure. It’s fantastic and comes to a genuine conclusion by the end of the first season as the series was subsequently revealed to be an anthology. – Adam Chitwood
Cast: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, and John Roberts
It’s something of a miracle that Fox has not only not cancelled Bob’s Burgers by now, but they’re actually making a feature film adaptation. Loren Bouchard’s animated series is delightfully, almost glaringly silly. Each episode is packed with oddball jokes and original songs, and the plots mostly revolve around trivial nonsense that the kids get into. It’s a weird show, but its focus is always on the love amongst the central family—a little heart goes a long way, and this is a goofy comedy with a lot of heart. If you’re looking for a pure feel-good watch, you can’t go wrong with this one.