Best shows on Hulu right now

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Best shows on Hulu right now


Savvy cord-cutters know that Hulu has produced some great original movies (click here for our top picks), but the streaming service has an even stronger library of original TV shows. We’ve combed through its large and varied selection of dramas, comedies, mini-series, unscripted shows, animation, and more and can highly recommend these 10 titles, plus 10 runners-up.

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10. Castle Rock

Hulu

Henry Deaver (André Holland) reconnects with his adoptive mother Ruth (Sissy Spacek) when returning to his hometown in Castle Rock.

Stephen King uber-fans Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason came up with this idea of a horror-themed soap opera set in King’s recurring fictional town. Castle Rock (2018-19) doesn’t quite snap together as smoothly as it might have, but its ambition, its great cast, and the way it weaves King lore into its narrative is quite impressive.

Here’s a taste: star Sissy Spacek appeared in the movie Carrie, based on King’s first novel; actor Bill Skarsgård very recently played the creepy Pennywise in It; Shawshank prison is mentioned; a character is related to Jack Torrance (from The Shining); ex-sheriff Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn) is a recurring character in more than one King story; and a young, pre-Misery Annie Wilkes (Lizzy Caplan) even shows up. André Holland plays the main protagonist and catalyst, Henry Deaver, returning in his capacity as an attorney to his hometown for the first time in years. The wonderful Melanie Lynskey co-stars as a woman with certain—abilities.

9. 11.22.63

11.22.63, on Hulu Hulu

Jake Epping (James Franco) travels back in time to hopefully prevent the JFK assassination, with the help of Sadie Dunhill (Sarah Gadon) in 11.22.63.

Here’s an actual Stephen King story, based on one of his most acclaimed recent novels. The book, published in 2011, is massive, and the idea—by producer J.J. Abrams and many others—to expand the adaptation to eight, one-hour episodes was inspired. Unlike another King epic (The Dark Tower) that was turned into a truncated, very dumb movie, 11.22.63 (2016) feels fully explored and deeply satisfying. James Franco plays Jake, a divorced teacher. His ailing friend Al Templeton (Chris Cooper) shows him the closet of the local diner he owns, which somehow contains a time portal leading to a particular spot in the year 1960.

Jake agrees to take on Al’s personal vendetta, to try to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He must spend the years between 1960 and 1963 making all the right moves to be at the right place at the right time. But what will the result of his work finally be? Sarah Gadon plays a woman of the past who complicates Jake’s stay.

8. Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi (2020)

Taste of the Nation, on Hulu Hulu

Host Padma Lakshmi (right) travels around the country to find the origins of favorite American foods in Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi.

There’s no shortage of food shows wherein a host travels around, watches other chefs make things, and then tastes them on camera, making “ooh” and “yum” noises. But Padma Lakshmi is the whole package. She’s a fashion model and the author of three cookbooks; she’s good on camera, and she knows her stuff. She asks the right questions, too, as the theme of her show is exploring just what makes American food—American. And of course, most of it isn’t even American at all.

Lakshmi examines the origins of various dishes, from poke and pad Thai to kebabs and hot dogs, and does it with a little bit of sass and humor and a sense of progressiveness. This material isn’t stuffy or censored, as evidenced by some of comic Ali Wong’s comments while discussing “Chop Suey” in San Francisco. (She even lets a flirty elderly gent hold her hand.) Truthfully, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi (2020-ongoing) had me at episode one with burritos.

7. Letterkenny

Letterkenny on Hulu Hulu

“Squirrelly Dan” (K. Trevor Wilson) and Wayne (Jared Keeso) deal with various comical “problems” in their small town in Letterkenny. (Hulu)

I had no idea what to expect pressing ‘play’ on the Canadian series Letterkenny (2016-ongoing), but it quickly elicited the biggest belly laughs I’ve experienced from any Hulu original series. Beginning as a YouTube channel, it quickly turned into a TV series, and Hulu eventually became its permanent U.S. home, hosting nine seasons and 61 episodes.



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