The 10 Best TV Shows to Binge on Hulu
While the streaming industry’s heavy hitters steal the headlines, Hulu has quietly amassed a library of long-running shows that will keep you glued to your couch. Prepare to bid farewell to efficiency for a few hours or even days. And, of course, Hulu isn’t restricted to just producing its own shows. It also features many popular series from the past and present.
As fans of shows like Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or How I Met Your Mother can attest, Hulu is the home of shows full of seasons upon seasons. So, if you’re looking for something to binge on, Hulu has many options, whether you prefer drama, comedy, horror, or a mix of all three. Pop some corn, get cozy under a blanket, and invite a friend over to indulge in a night of “just one more episode.”
American Horror Story (2011-present)
American Horror Story is like a master of disguise in the world of television, constantly reinventing itself to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, lost in a twisted maze of horror and suspense season after season. Crafted by the ingenious duo of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, American Horror Story shattered the mold of conventional storytelling, boldly embracing an anthology format that gleefully flips the script with every season. Viewers are treated to a delightful concoction of fresh and captivating storylines, ranging from the spine-chilling corridors of “Murder House” to the devilish vibes of “Coven.”
American Horror Stories also delves into contemporary issues. Whether it’s via shining a light into the shadows of a mental health facility in “Asylum” or reflecting the political turmoil of the past few years in “Cult,” the series expertly incorporates real-world fears into the fabric of horror. Recurring stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, and the unparalleled Jessica Lange give an acting lesson as they take on entirely new characters each season. The promise of an emotional brew ranging from chilling fear to wrenching empathy in each episode makes it difficult to say “no” to “just one more episode.”
The Handmaid’s Tale (2017 – present)
The series adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale is a terrifying plunge into a future when societal structures have been destroyed, and women are marketed as mere commodities and battle with unimaginable torment. The show takes place in the Republic of Gilead. This theocratic state has supplanted the United States, painting a bleak vision of a country where environmental catastrophes and falling population rates have prompted the introduction of strict new rules.
Elisabeth Moss delivers a stunning performance as Offred, an enslaved handmaid who bears children for the ruling class. As the audience delves into Offred’s world, they see her problems and the larger tapestry of individuals who have stories of grief, defiance, and hope to tell. Most importantly, The Handmaid’s Tale is captivating because of its unnerving connection with contemporary themes like women’s rights, dictatorial tendencies, and social complacency. It’s a wake-up call and a warning all in one, leaving viewers thinking about the series long after the credits roll.
Law & Order: SVU (1999-present)
When it comes to procedural dramas, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) is a household name thanks to its astonishing run that has kept viewers captivated for nearly two decades. The New York City setting of SVU allows an in-depth exploration of the traumatic world of sexually based crimes and their complex psychological aftereffects. The series’s bold approach to storytelling is a significant factor in its enduring popularity. Each episode expertly juggles empathy and brutal honesty as it presents complicated narratives based on current events.
SVU’s stellar ensemble cast is the show’s backbone, with Mariska Hargitay’s portrayal of Detective Olivia Benson as its rock. As a result of her unwavering commitment to victims and relentless pursuit of justice, Benson has become a symbol of perseverance and success in the face of overwhelming odds. Viewers learn about the Special Victims Unit team’s personal lives and challenges throughout the show, giving the procedural style an extra dose of depth and empathy. In a television market rife with fleeting shows, Law & Order: SVU stands out as a constant in quality and relevancy, making it a show that longtime viewers and novices alike can enjoy binge-watching.
What We Do in the Shadows (2019-present)
The vampires of modern-day Staten Island apparently have remarkably ordinary lives, and What We Do in the Shadows is a deliciously off-kilter comedy gem that dives into this shocking reality. This mockumentary-style series, created by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, is a spin-off of the eponymous 2014 film, and it has carved its own niche in the comedic landscape. At its heart, the show is an odd mix of the supernatural and the hysterically ordinary. Ancient vampires face mundane problems like paying rent, resolving roommate disputes, and attending city council meetings.
This contrast is a never-ending supply of comic gold. Comedic genius abounds from the entire cast, especially Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), and energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Prosch). Their antics, blunders, and centuries-old grudges are conveyed in short episodes that are just as comical as they are endearing. In an era dominated by heavy dramas and high-octane action, this show offers a refreshing palate cleanser, making it the perfect binge-worthy escape from the humdrum of everyday life.
An honest and unfiltered look at the ups and downs of parenting, Breeders provides a unique perspective on the rollercoaster of emotions that is being a parent. The show, which features Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard, debunks the myths surrounding parenthood by showcasing the inevitable weariness, frustration, and humor that come with the job. This raw, unfiltered quality is essential to its attraction. This unfiltered honesty, peppered with sharp wit, hits home with every parent who has ever struggled.
Freeman’s portrayal of a dad constantly teetering on the edge of a meltdown is both heartbreaking and relatable, capturing the essence of a modern parent struggling to reconcile the overwhelming love he feels for his children with the relentless challenges they present. However, Haggard’s persona provides a touching window into the thorny issues of parenthood, professional success, and personal development. Despite its dramatic and comedic elements, Breeders is notable as an honest, often funny, and profoundly moving tribute to the messy beauty of parenthood.
The psyche of fiction’s most infamous cannibalistic psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is explored in Hannibal, the brainchild of the brilliant Bryan Fuller. This horror-thriller delves deeply into the complexities of the human mind, interpersonal dynamics, and the delicate border between sanity and insanity. The performance of Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter is nothing short of brilliant. He gives the character an air of frigid refinement that starkly contrasts his savagery. The series hinges on this juxtaposition, where horror and grace coexist in a hypnotic dance.
Hugh Dancy’s performance as the troubled FBI profiler Will Graham provides the ideal counterpoint to Hannibal’s cold, planned malice. Their complicated friendship is the story’s backbone, with elements of mutual curiosity, loathing, and an unexpectedly sympathetic closeness. If you enjoy cerebral, aesthetically rich storytelling, Hannibal is a binge-worthy experience that will take you on a journey through the darkest depths of the human psyche.
The X-Files (1993-2018)
Chris Carter’s masterwork, The X-Files, is a compelling mix of science fiction, horror, and investigative drama that won over viewers all over the world and became an instant classic. The series is set against the vast backdrop of the unknown and follows FBI agents Fox Mulder (a believer) and Dana Scully (a skeptic) as they plunge into the shadowy realms of paranormal occurrences and government conspiracies. The central allure of The X-Files lies in its intricate dance between skepticism and faith, embodied brilliantly by the dynamic chemistry of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.
Each episode introduces a fresh mystery, a new “X-file,” ranging from alien abductions and enigmatic animals, to creepy ghostly occurrences. This episodic framework, filled with broader narrative arcs, keeps viewers fascinated by bouncing between stand-alone stories and the developing mythos of extraterrestrial truths. As Mulder’s iconic poster proclaims, “I Want to Believe,” this yearning, this quest for truth beyond the mundane realities of life, resonates deeply with audiences.
The Mindy Project (2012-2017)
Through the lens of the hilariously lovable Dr. Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project is a vibrant and shamelessly daring dive into the world of contemporary romance, ambition, and self-discovery. The show’s creator and star, Mindy Kaling, vividly depicts the complexities and joys of living in New York City. The show’s refreshingly realistic depiction of romantic relationships and professional aspirations is one of its many strong points. It doesn’t romanticize the intersections of love, work, and development; instead, it shows how messy and frequently funny they can be.
Dr. Lahiri, a fan of chick flicks, exemplifies many contemporary women; she is passionately ambitious, constantly on the lookout for love, and frequently humorously flawed in her reaction to life’s obstacles. The show’s attractiveness stems from how she interacts with a wide cast of characters, from the moody Danny Castellano to the eccentric Morgan Tookers. Simply said, The Mindy Project is a pleasant break from the usual as it celebrates life’s imperfections, wrapped in humor.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-present)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is an adventurous, rebellious mix of dark comedy, absurdity, and a joyous lack of moral compass, making it one of its generation’s most distinct shows. The comedy follows the hilariously inappropriate exploits of Charlie (Charlie Day), Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Dee (Kaitlin Olson), and Frank (Danny DeVito) — a bunch of friends whose egos, illusions, and pure cluelessness lead them into a host of compromising situations — amid the dimly lit, frequently raucous confines of Paddy’s Pub.
One of the show’s defining characteristics is its daring approach to taboo subjects; it delves headfirst into contentious territory, frequently with a satirical twist that is both surprising and wonderfully observant. Disdain for one another, crazy plans, and an unyielding belief in their warped logic define the group dynamic of the gang. The ensemble cast does a fantastic job bringing to life flawed, often reprehensible individuals who are charming in their continuous tendency to make the worst conceivable decisions.
Only Murders in the Building (2021- present)
Only Murders in the Building is set against the grand backdrop of a historic New York City apartment complex. This humorous murder mystery, co-created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, revolves around three unusual allies: Charles, Oliver, and Mabel, portrayed to perfection by Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, respectively. When a neighbor dies unexpectedly, their mutual obsession with true crime podcasts entangles them in a real-life murder investigation.
The show’s superb blend of humorous timing and the palpable tension of a murder investigation is one of its notable aspects. The combination of seasoned comedians and Selena Gomez’s youthful vitality creates a charming on-screen dynamic that delights and captivates. While paying respect to the true crime genre, Only Murders in the Building also reflects on our culture’s obsession with such shows with sarcastic remarks and lighthearted critiques.
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