Although Hulu started out as a repository for television programming from other networks, it has grown into a major outlet for original content. Here are 10 of the best original TV series to stream on Hulu.
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Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel Catch-22 is dense and fragmented, the kind of book that resists attempts to adapt it to the screen. But the six-episode Catch-22 miniseries captures Heller’s dark comedy about World War II remarkably well. Produced by George Clooney (who also plays a small part), Catch-22 stars Christopher Abbott as a U.S. Air Force bombardier who tries desperately to finish his service overseas but is caught up in the titular bureaucratic paradox.
Sci-fi filmmaker Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation) brings his sophisticated visual style and storytelling to Devs, an eight-episode miniseries produced under the FX on Hulu brand. Nick Offerman stars as the deceptively affable head of a global tech company, which is developing a mysterious new technology that may change and/or end the world. Sonoya Mizuno plays a company employee who unravels the mystery while simultaneously unraveling her own life.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale might have seemed too esoteric and philosophical to turn into a gripping TV series. But creator Bruce Miller takes Atwood’s concept about a repressive future society where women’s reproductive abilities are a precious commodity and builds it into an intense sci-fi epic. Elisabeth Moss is mesmerizing as the main character who becomes an unlikely freedom fighter.
Love, Victor is a spin-off of the teen romantic comedy Love, Simon, which takes place at the same high school with a new set of characters. Like Simon in the feature film, teenage Victor (Michael Cimino) struggles to accept his identity as a gay man, even as he’s surrounded by supportive friends in an inclusive environment. Victor’s working-class Catholic Latinx family is a contrast to Simon’s affluent white upbringing, adding an extra dimension to the coming-of-age story.
In The Bisexual, creator and star Desiree Akhavan expands on themes from her debut feature film Appropriate Behavior, once again starring as a character loosely based on herself. Akhavan’s Leila starts to explore bisexuality after the end of her long-term lesbian relationship in a reversal of the typical journey in LGBTQ narratives. That unexpected shift provides Akhavan plenty of opportunities for comedy, along with exploring deeper ideas about identity and community.
Comedian Ramy Youssef brings a new perspective to the familiar format of the half-hour dramedy inspired by its creator’s life. Ramy is a low-key series about an aimless dude in his late 20s looking for direction in his life, but it’s also a smart and sensitive exploration of race and religion. As the first-generation son of Egyptian immigrants in New Jersey, the title character balances his heritage and his Muslim religion with his American ambitions and values.
An underrated production of the now-defunct Marvel TV, Runaways spotlights one of Marvel Comics’ lesser-known superhero teams. The title characters are the teenage kids of a secret group of villains, and they strike out on their own when they discover their parents’ nefarious true intentions. It’s a mix of sci-fi action and coming-of-age drama, as the Runaways work to defeat evil while also navigating the perils of adolescence.
From Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, Solar Opposites features a similar tone to that wildly popular animated sci-fi comedy, although it’s not quite as dark or philosophical. The main characters of this animated series are a group of aliens stranded on Earth, who form a sort of makeshift family and attempt to understand human culture, all while working on a plan to destroy all of humanity. It’s an unexpectedly hilarious take on the potential annihilation of civilization.
In 2014, Veronica Mars became one of the earliest examples of a TV series brought back thanks to fan demand when the show’s creators crowd-funded a feature film. In 2019, Veronica Mars returned, this time for a belated fourth season on Hulu, bringing Kristen Bell back as the title character. Former teen detective Veronica is all grown up, but she’s still investigating murder and corruption in her hometown of Neptune, California. The revival captures the sardonic tone of the original series while updating it for the streaming era.
Cartoonist Keith Knight adapted his own long-running comic strips to co-create Woke. Lamorne Morris plays Keith, a Black San Francisco cartoonist who gets a rude awakening about race relations in America and attempts to respond via his art. It’s a funny, playful take on important issues (sometimes via talking inanimate objects). It’s also a personal story about a young artist trying to find his voice and place in the world, alongside his equally aimless friends.