Back in your grandparents’ youth, keeping up with the best TV shows wasn’t quite so stressful. There were three networks and a limited number of shows airing at any given time. If you asked them, “Did you watch that amazing show last night?”, they could’ve feasibly answered “yes” without hesitation. But ask the same question today and you’re just being needlessly vague. Which amazing show, out of the thousands of programs airing or streaming at any given moment, on dozens of different networks and content providers, could you possibly be referring to?
We’re here to help things make things a little less confusing. Here are 13 terrific shows, both underrated new programs and old favorites you may’ve missed the first time around, that are currently playing on Hulu. Don’t let these classics and soon-to-be classics slip under your radar. And if you’re in the market for a great movie, instead, check out the 40 Greatest Teen Movies of All Time—Ranked.
Is it a comedy about the frustrations of dating in a digital age? Or a family drama about siblings trying to raise a teenage daughter together? It’s a little of both, and then some.
Over four seasons, this bafflingly underrated show, created by Up In the Air filmmaker Jason Reitman, follows the complex relationship between a divorced mom who moves in with her bachelor brother. The comedy digs deeper than the usual sitcom punchlines, and you might find yourself rooting for (or even empathizing with) these characters, despite their many, many flaws.
If you couldn’t get enough of Danny McBride on Eastbound & Down, this is definitely the series for you. Hank Azaria—otherwise known as the man of a thousand character voices on The Simpsons—plays a foul-mouthed baseball broadcaster who loses his career after an on-air meltdown and then tries to make a comeback years later as a minor league announcer.
It’s definitely not a show you’re going to want to watch with your kids or parents, but if you’re looking for a raunchy comedy about an obnoxious yet lovable drunk stumbling his way towards retribution, you can’t do much better than this. And if Brockmire doesn’t have enough laughs for you, be sure you check out the 30 Funniest Movies Ever.
Who knew that a show about 18th-century London brothels could be compelling for reasons that have nothing to do with sex? The characters in Harlots treat their jobs like… well, jobs. It’s a business with highs and lows, annoying clients and competitor rivalries. The women who work there are mothers who just want to make a better life for their daughters, and Madames who want better working conditions for their harlots-for-hire.
It’s a story that probably wouldn’t have felt this human if it wasn’t written, directed, and produced by women. Imagine the costume drama of Downton Abbey combined with the feminist undercurrent of The Handmaid’s Tale, and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner play fictionalized versions of themselves, which may not be the most ringing endorsement if you have no idea who either of those people is, but trust us on this, it’s one of the most deliciously catty shows on TV. The two main characters are overly confident buffoons who consistently come up with the worst get-rich schemes ever, from starting a charity just to get famous to producing their own Hamilton-inspired musical on the life of Jimmy Carter.
You know you’re watching something different when a show begins with an 18-year-old girl dying after a space station toilet falls from the sky and hits her. It just gets weirder from there, when the girl becomes a reaper in the afterlife—meaning, she gathers the souls of the recently-departed—and befriends a wacky gang of fellow reapers including Mandy Patinkin.
Oh, and apparently professional reapers eat at diners and have to do their own laundry. It was beautifully weird and unexpectedly hilarious, and Showtime canceling the series after just two seasons remains a crime against humanity.
A superhero series created by the same duo that brought us Gossip Girl? Yeah, we were dubious at first, but it turns out we couldn’t have been more wrong. This coming-of-age tale has all the heart-pounding action we’ve come to expect from a Marvel adaptation, while also finding an original way to explore the anxieties and uncertainties of being a teen. These kids start to notice the changes in their bodies, because what teen doesn’t?
But this isn’t puberty, they’re actually coming into their own as full-fledged mutants. And what’s more, their parents aren’t just annoying sources of embarrassment but are actually part of a criminal cabal called the Pride.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the team behind Pineapple Express and many other goofball comedies, brings us the hilarious story of a janitor who hits the high score on his favorite video game, Biotic Wars, only to find out that it’s a recruiting tool from the future, and he’s been hand selected to time travel to the year 2162 and save humanity from the very bad guys he’s been defeating so soundly in his living room at home. Not surprisingly, fighting extraterrestrials in the real world isn’t quite so easy.
A “space western” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon? Um, what else do you need to know? It lasted only one season in the early ‘aughts, but it’s developed a die-hard cult following over the years.
Set several hundred years in the future, it follows the crew of a space freighter called Serenity. Led by Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), they try to keep one step ahead of the Alliance, the galactic government that took over after the Unification War. If you thought Han Solo was the best part of Star Wars, this is definitely the sci-fi series for you.
James Corden… action star? That’s right. And believe it or not, he pulls it off, along with his frequent comedy co-conspirator Mathew Baynton. They play a pair of nerdy office workers who stumble into an underworld of crime and murder that they never bargained for, all because one of them picked up the wrong cellphone at the wrong time.
We don’t want to give too much away about this fast-paced (and yes, hilarious) thriller of mistaken identities, but imagine Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 noir classic The Wrong Man—yes, it partly inspired this spoof—with all the white-knuckled suspense but also jokes.
What’s so funny about the downfall of modern civilization? Quite a bit, if the show is to be believed. It stars SNL alumni Will Forte as Phil Miller, the lone survivor after a viral outbreak wipes out humanity. He may think he’s alone but he soon meets Carol Pilbasian (Kristen Schaal) and they decide to get married and repopulate the world, despite barely being able to stand each other.
They discover other survivors during their travels across the country, and the offbeat, eccentric group tries to cohabitate peacefully together in a new world where they have to make up the rules as they go along. It’s funny and strange and not for everyone, but if you enjoyed Forte’s quirky scenes on Saturday Night Live, you’ll definitely enjoy this.
Forget the punny title, this British sitcom about the nerdtastic tech support team at a company called Reynholm Industries, stuck in the windowless basement and far away from human interaction, is equal parts painful and laugh-till-it-hurts funny.
Yes, they’re unfair stereotypes about the people who’ve devoted their lives to understanding computers so we don’t have to. But it’s also a weirdly relatable view of social anxiety. Our personal favorite character is Moss, a socially-awkward computer genius with a side-parted Afro, who carries around a spray to cool down his “hot ear” and has no idea whatsoever how to talk to other human beings, especially women. You don’t have to be a tech recluse to find something here to relate to.
Don’t be scared away because it was shot in black and white. All five seasons of Rod Serling’s landmark series, which ran from 1959 to 1964, set the stage for much of modern science fiction and fantasy.
These aren’t just stories of aliens, monsters, ghosts, and dystopian futures, but thought-provoking explorations of McCarthyism, race, and nuclear paranoia. Long before M Night Shyamalan, The Twilight Zone mastered the “I never saw it coming” twist ending. Just watch an episode like “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” from season one—about aliens who decide not to attack us because we’re doing such a swell job at destroying ourself—and tell us it doesn’t feel like it could’ve been written in 2018.
It’s not considered legendary television just because it was Aaron Sorkin’s first TV series. Each episode of this behind-the-scenes portrait of a cable sports show, based loosely on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” is like a one-act theatrical play.
The rapid-fire dialogue, the intricately-choreographed staging, the poetic soliloquies played like off-the-cuff mental rambling, the ensemble actors performing at the top of their game. Sorkin went on to fine-tune the formula with West Wing, but it never felt this raw and real again.
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