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The best Hulu shows to watch right now

The Great
(Image credit: Gareth Gatrell/Hulu)

More and more streaming services seem to be popping up, but Hulu is one of the originals. Long a home to stream classic TV shows, Hulu has grown to also include the latest episodes of shows currently on air as well as its own original series.

We assembled a list of our favorite Hulu shows (in alphabetical order) for you right here. If you want to watch these or any other Hulu original series, you need to be signed up for Hulu, which is available as a standalone service, a part of the Disney Bundle or add live TV to the offering via Hulu with Live TV.

Without further adieu, here are the best Hulu shows:

Castle Rock

Lizzy Caplan holding a shovel in Castle Rock

Lizzy Caplan in Castle Rock (Image credit: Dana Starbard/Hulu)

The world of Stephen King is vast and iconic, but the advantageous Castle Rock effortlessly weaves the characters, settings and themes of the most horrifying place in all of Maine. The show is simultaneously an authentically new horror story and a love letter to all things King. For long-time fans of King’s work, familiar characters are given a new life and stories we’ve heard time and time again explore roads never traveled. 

Even if you’ve never read a page of Stephen King or watched one of the many film/TV adaptations (seriously, who are you?), Castle Rock is still compelling and downright terrifying as a standalone property.  — BJ Colangelo

Difficult People

Billy Eichner in Difficult People

Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner in Difficult People (Image credit: Hulu)

Difficult People is a show about some of the most unlikable people ever written that you can’t help but love and want to hang out with, if only to hear how Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner would read filth to you before stealing your leftover takeout. 

Difficult People is one of the few shows to truly capture the "everyone is terrible" essence in a post-Seinfeld world and never once pulls any punches. The show was both ahead of its time and exactly of its moment, tackling subjects like the horrific reputations of Woody Allen and Kevin Spacey long before hashtag campaigns, while reveling in Billy and Julie’s misanthropic tastes in humor. Of all the cancelled Hulu shows, this is the one that most deserves to be brought back to life. — BJ Colangelo

Dopesick

Kailyn Dever and Michael Keaton in Dopesick

Kaitlyn Dever and Michael Keaton in Dopesick (Image credit: Antony Platt/Hulu)

Dopesick is not an easy watch, but it is a powerful one, as the limited depicts much of the details surrounding the rise of the opioid crisis in America. Based on the book Dopesick by Beth Macy, the series stars Michael Keaton, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosario Dawson, Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Poulter, Phillipa Soo and Peter Sarsgaard. The show and Keaton's performance, were singled out as some of the best TV of 2021 and it's hard to argue against that. — Michael Balderston

Future Man

Josh Hutcherson in Future Man

Josh Hutcherson in Future Man (Image credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu)

For fans of sci-fi comedies, Future Man is a show you’ll binge over a weekend and then feel frustrated over when you’re out of episodes. Josh Futterman (Josh Hutcherson) works as a janitor by day but is a high-ranking world class gamer. After beating a game promoted as "undefeatable," soldiers from the future arrive and inform him that he’s the only hope in defeating an imminent invasion. Josh travels through time to assemble a team to defeat the impending villains, doing all he can to save planet Earth in the process. 

If this sounds like an amalgamation of a ton of sci-fi movies you already know and love, it’s because Future Man is a walking homage to the genre from movies, tv shows, comic books and video games. — BJ Colangelo

The Great

The Great Elle Fanning

Elle Fanning in The Great (Image credit: Hulu)

Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult bring the laughs as they depict Russian history, or at least a loosely accurate version of it. The Great shows the rise to power and reign of Catherine the Great, albeit with the show taking more than a few liberties with the facts as well as the tone. But this retooling of history is a sheer delight powered by the performances of Fanning and Hoult as Catherine and Emperor Peter, as well as a magnificent supporting cast. A third season is on the way. Huzzah! — Michael Balderston

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale Season 4

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale (Image credit: Hulu)

It might actually be against the law to talk about Hulu shows without mentioning their smash-hit, The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian (yet somehow feeling closer and closer to reality every day…) novel of the same name, the Elizabeth Moss starring series has become a downright cultural phenomenon. — BJ Colangelo

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 15

(Image credit: FX)

Hulu is the streaming home for the longest-running TV comedy in history, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (yes, it's true). Through 15 seasons the crew from Paddy's Pub have made us laugh with their harebrained antics, all of which are available to watch on Hulu. It's always a good time hanging out with Charlie, Dennis, Dee, Mac and Frank, even if sometimes we're laughing at them it not necessarily with him. — Michael Balderston

Marvel’s Runaways

Marvel's Runaways

(Image credit: Michael Desmond / Hulu)

While Marvel’s foray into television has kicked into overdrive with the Disney Plus series, before they arrived one of the standouts was Hulu's Marvel’s Runaways

Six teens discover that all of their parents are part of an evil crime syndicate called PRIDE and join forces to try and take them on as well as the supervillains they encounter along the way. Considering the story focuses on teenagers, many dismissed the show as another Riverdale, despite that being the furthest possible comparison anyone should make. (Y’all, there are more than just CW shows starring teens.) — BJ Colangelo

Normal People

Connell and Marianne in Normal People

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People (Image credit: BBC)

Based on the acclaimed novel from Sally Rooney, Normal People took viewers across the world by storm as it chronicled the relationship between two Irish teens, Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones). The two young actors had incredible chemistry and their character's relationship rang authentic and emotionally gripping for so many. Hulu (co-producing with the BBC) quickly went to making another adaptation of Rooney's work, Conversation with Friends, but Normal People is hard to top. — Michael Balderston

Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders in the Building

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building (Image credit: Hulu)

Who doesn't love a good crime story and trying to put all the clues together to see if we can figure out who the murderer is before it is revealed? Seeing three such enthusiasts get wrapped up in their own murder mystery and brought to life hysterically by Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez is why Only Murders in the Building was such a big success (and one of WTW's favorite TV shows of 2021). In addition to making us laugh, Only Murders was also a gripping mystery, with season 1 ending in a massive cliff hanger we can't wait to see unfold in season 2. — Michael Balderston

Pam & Tommy

Pam & Tommy Sebastian Stan Lily James

Sebastian Stan and Lily James in Pam & Tommy (Image credit: Erin Simkin/Hulu)

The releasing of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's sex tape was an infamous Hollywood gossip story from the '90s, but it turned into a compelling and deep Hulu limited series with Pam & Tommy. While the sensation around the tape is covered in the series, Pam & Tommy also takes a hard look at the way that the tape's release had on Anderson and Lee, particularly the former thanks in part to a great performance from Lily James. — Michael Balderston

Pen15

Pen15

Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine in Pen15 (Image credit: Hulu)

Middle school was a horrific time of hormonal cringe for most of us and Pen15 is here to laugh alongside this trip down millennial memory lane. Anna and Maya are seventh grade best friends (played by Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine, both in their 30s) in the year 2000 trying to adjust to puberty, popularity and peer pressure. 

The new millennium nostalgia is a comforting perk, but the true joy of Pen15 is recognizing that junior high can be a brutal experience, but if we’re watching this show, it means we made it out alive. There’s a brutal honesty to the show both in its humorous situations, like watching Wild Things with your biggest crush, but also in the bitter realities, like unchecked discriminatory behaviors that likely went unrecognized as a kid. — BJ Colangelo

Ramy

Zainab (MaameYaa Boafo) and Ramy Youssef in 'Ramy'

MaameYaa Boafo and Ramy Youssef in Ramy (Image credit: Hulu)

Straight up, Ramy is probably the best show on Hulu. Loosely based on the creator and protagonist Ramy Youssef, Ramy is a messy yet charming comedy highlighting the variety of experiences of Muslim-Americans in New Jersey. Conflicts related to religion, tradition, relationships, familial pressure, politics, selfishness, stereotypes, and toxic behaviors are all presented earnestly with nuanced storytelling at every step. 

It’s a show about understanding, growing and self-education, for both the titular character and the audience tuning into the show. When Youssef received a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy he famously said in his acceptance speech, "Look, I know you guys haven’t seen my show." A lot of people may not have seen Ramy, but they should. — BJ Colangelo

Shrill

Annie and Vera are served bread at dinner on 'Shrill'

(Image credit: hulu)

Unless you are also a fat woman, it is incredibly difficult to explain why Shrill is not just wonderful to watch but one of the most important series to debut in a very long time. Starring Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant, Shrill follows a journalist named Annie dealing with a lackluster love life, complicated friendships, a frustrating work environment, all through the lens of existing in the world as a fat person and the unique difficulties that brings along with it. 

Fat representation is somewhat non-existent for women, let alone fat women characters that are allowed to be complex, messy, imperfect and more than just a side character or physical punchline. Based on Lindy West’s memoir of the same name, Shrill has proved with just three seasons that it’s one of the best shows in recent memory. — BJ Colangelo

Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi and Eric Nam cook on Taste the Nation

(Image credit: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

This ain’t your mama’s food show. Award-winning cookbook author and host of Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi, travels across the country to redefine and analyze what it means to be "American Food." The goal of Taste the Nation is to celebrate the various cultures that America’s culinary landscape have been appropriating for over a century, rather than the colonized versions that frequently win awards and earn television shows. Everything from the stories of immigrants reclaiming the hot dog to the recipes Vietnamese women brought to America after marrying soldiers during the war are all brought to the forefront of this show. — BJ Colangelo

Wu-Tang: An American Saga

Wu-Tang: An American Saga Hulu

(Image credit: Hulu)

Fresh off the heels of Reagan’s presidency and deep in the heart of America’s war on drugs, an unlikely band of heroes emerged from Staten Island and grew to become one of the most influential hip-hop artists of all time. Created by Wu-Tang co-founder turned filmmaker, RZA, and screenwriter Alex Tse, Wu-Tang: An American Saga took almost a decade to come to fruition and debuted in celebration of the collective’s 25th Anniversary tour. The series has been called "self-mythologizing," but given the incredible impact and influence of Wu-Tang Clan after all these years, the origin story of these legendary creators is more than deserving. The show is heading into its final season in 2022. — BJ Colangelo

BJ Colangelo is an award winning filmmaker and film analyst specializing in dismissed cinema and television. She writes about horror, wrestling, musicals, adult animation, sex and gender, kicking pancreatic cancer’s ass, and being a fat queer in places like Fangoria, Vulture, The Daily Dot, Autostraddle, Playboy.com, and a handful of books college students get assigned to read. She’s also the co-host of the teen girl movie podcast, This Ends at Prom, with her wife, Harmony.

With contributions from