Hulu: Top 10 best rated TV shows on Hulu

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Searching for great shows to binge in the streaming era can be a challenge despite (and because) of the number of platforms available. The good news is there’s so much programming out there. Of course, the bad news is, well, there’s SO MUCH programming out there.

While the Hulu catalog isn’t as vast as Netflix or Amazon’s, there’s still a lot to choose from on the streaming giant’s service. (Our comparison review has plenty of information to help you decide between Hulu and Netflix.) The variety of good shows on Hulu is abundant, from off-kilter comedies to dramas, the network really does have something for everyone — even live TV. (Take a look at our Hulu + Live TV review for all details about the service’s live tv offering.) To help the discerning viewer (and aren’t we all discerning?), here’s a list of the top shows on Hulu right now for your streaming pleasure. Check out our Hulu review to find out more about the on-demand side of the service. 

How we rate Hulu shows

All shows on this list are based on Rotten Tomatoes scores, while also taking into consideration the overall bingeability of Hulu TV shows. And just in case you can’t wait to get started, here’s a quick way to find out more about Hulu’s packages, pricing, and channels

Top 10 Hulu Shows

Atlanta (2016)

  • Number of seasons: 2
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 97%
  • Average Audience Score: 89%

With just two seasons and 21 episodes filmed (seasons three and four are due to air next year on FX), Atlanta makes for a quick but high-quality binge. The brainchild of the multi-talented Donald Glover, Atlanta follows Earn (played by Glover) as he attempts to navigate his love life, professional life, and day-to-day life without getting in his own way (a huge challenge for the character). While that synopsis of the show is accurate, it doesn’t begin to explain the surrealistic and satirical flights of fancy the show takes from episode to episode. Atlanta uses both linear and non-linear approaches to narrative: some episodes showcase conventional storylines, and others stand alone and are almost indescribable. Remarkably, all the pieces fit. For the uninitiated, Atlanta might first seem like a bit of a challenge at first, but if given just a little time and patience, viewers might find they will learn to worship it. When it comes to great TV series, Atlanta isn’t just one of the best TV shows on Hulu, it’s one of the best shows on television, period.

Better Things (2016)

  • Number of seasons: 4
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 97%
  • Average Audience Score: 84%

Starring the scrappy, tart-tongued actress Pamela Adlon, Better Things has long been a critical darling with modest ratings over its four seasons on FX. As a show about a fictional former child star, Sam Fox, struggling to maintain an acting career that could fade away at any moment, Better Things may not sound like a comedy. Especially when you consider that Sam is also balancing life as a single mother of three with a mentally ailing live-in mother. But this is a comedy, we promise, it’s just not a conventional one. The laughs are only occasionally out loud funny, but the knowing smirks that crease the faces of viewers are likely to resonate long after the jokes have passed. If there were a category called “comedies that make you wince” (think Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louie, or The Office), Better Thingswould be a perfect fit — and we mean that as a compliment. 

Difficult People (2015)

  • Number of seasons: 3
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 96%
  • Average Audience Score: 86%

The very definition of a cult show, Difficult People ran for three seasons as one of Hulu’s original shows from 2015 to 2017. Created by comedian Julie Klausner and co-starring Billy Eichner, the show is a dark comedy about two struggling comedians who only know one person they can stand: each other. Sharply written and beguilingly performed by its two leads, Difficult People earned most of its critical appreciation just as its run on Hulu was ending. Now is the perfect time to go back and see what you may have missed.

Fargo (2014)

  • Number of seasons: 3
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 96%
  • Average Audience Score: 93%

Basing its vibe and location on the Coen Brothers’ film of the same name, FX’s Fargo takes place in the same universe as the Oscar-winning film it draws inspiration from while also carving out a distinct space of its own. Those familiar with the film will have no trouble recognizing the frosty terrain, local accents, and eccentric personalities mixed in with a pulpy, darkly-humored crime drama. While all three seasons of Fargo are connected to each other (and the film), they are all watchable as self-contained storylines. Each season takes place in a different year (2006, 1979, and 2010), and while starting from the beginning will make picking up the inside references more enjoyable, you can easily start with any season and have a great time. Filming of the fourth season of Fargo resumed at the end of August.

Harlots (2017)

  • # of seasons: 3
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 97%
  • Average Audience Score: 92%

Taking place in the 18th century, Harlots is a sneakily pro-feminist show about two competing madams (played by Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville) running their separate brothels in London. We say sneakily pro-feminist because the show does an excellent job of showing just how few opportunities women had in Georgian Britain, even in the big city. Not only do these two madams have to contend with each other, but they must also struggle against a moralistic movement that leaves them vulnerable to sudden police raids and evangelists fighting for their brothels to be closed. Harlots ran for three seasons before the streaming service canceled the show in 2019.  

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2005)

  • Number of seasons: 14
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 96%
  • Average Audience Score: 93%

One of the great sleeper successes in modern television history, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia first aired way back in 2005. The show’s co-creator, Rob McElhenny, recently announced he has begun writing what will be the show’s fifteenth (!) season. This rowdy comedy about five ne’er-do-well friends (played by McElhenny, Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson, Glenn Howerton, and Danny DeVito) in South Philadelphia running a barely-solvent neighborhood bar is known for its bawdy, uproarious humor, but also for its ability to showcase moments of genuine tenderness and friendship. All 14 seasons are available to stream right now on Hulu. Check out our review of Hulu’s packages, pricing, and channels for more information about the full range of entertainment options the service offers. 

Justified (2010)

  • Number of seasons: 6
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 97%
  • Average Audience score: 95%

FX’s lawman drama based on a character created by Elmore Leonard might not be the first show that comes to mind when thinking of the very best shows on Hulu, but anyone who watched it during its original six-season run from 2010 to 2015 will likely be nodding in agreement at this point. Justified features star-making turns from Timothy Olyphant as Deputy US Marshall Raylan Givens and Walton Goggins as his nemesis, Boyd Crowder. Not many shows take place in the commonwealth of Kentucky, which only adds another unique layer to a show already full of colorful characters and wry, crisp dialogue. Justified enjoyed a sizable audience on FX and was nominated for eight prime-time Emmys over the life of the show. Still, Justified was never a big hit and remains ripe for discovery by new viewers.

Mrs. America (2020)

  • Number of seasons: 1
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 96%
  • Average Audience Score: 65%

It takes a special project to bring the great Cate Blanchett to television, and FX’s 2020 production Mrs. America is exactly that. The show centers around the real-life anti-feminist conservative activist Phyllis Schafly, the woman who led the resistance against the Equal Rights Movement of the 1970s. Playing Schafly, Blanchett is a force of nature as a culture warrior facing off against noted feminists of the era Gloria Steinem and Shirley Chisholm (played by Rose Byrne and Uzo Aduba, respectively). The nine-episode mini-series offers a bracing look at the issues that divided us then, and to some degree, still divide us now. Along with HBO’s Watchmen, Mrs. America is the most critically lauded limited series of the year, earning 10 Emmy nominations.

Ramy (2019)

  • Number of seasons: 2
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 97%
  • Average Audience Score: 89%

For several years now, Hulu’s calling card for original shows has been its searing dystopian drama, The Handmaid’s Tale. But, one of the new shows on Hulu, Ramy (led by the show’s star, the actor and stand-up comedian Ramy Youssef), is beginning to achieve accolades of similar distinction. In this “slice of life” Muslim-American comedy, the title character is a first-generation American born to Egyptian immigrant parents, whose struggle to find his place between the world of the traditional values of his family and the world of New Jersey millennials he’s surrounded by forms the crux of the show. This challenge is illustrated with great depth and humor in a series that doesn’t feel like anything else on television.

What We Do In Shadows (2019)

  • Number of seasons: 2
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 97%
  • Average Audience score: 94%

Based on the 2014 film by the same name, FX’s What We Do In Shadows is a dryly amusing mockumentary following the lives of three vampires as they go about their lives dealing with the “normal” problems that plagued creatures of the night. The series is transplanted from the film’s original location (in New Zealand) to New York’s Staten Island. Both the film and series spring from the skewed minds of Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) and writer-director Taika Watiti (who went on to direct Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit). Clement and Watiti oversee the series (writing and directing many of the episodes themselves), perfectly retaining the deadpan humor of the original film. Shadows earned two Emmy nominations for its first season in 2019, but the second season caught even greater notice from the Television Academy, earning an impressive eight nominations. Building on the success and acclaim of season two, FX renewed the show for a third season.

And that’s our list of the top shows on Hulu streaming right now! If you don’t already have Hulu, you can always give things a try with the service’s free trial — we’ve collected all the information about Hulu free trials and deals to make the process easy for you. If you already have Hulu, you might want to consider expanding your access to all the best shows to watch on Hulu. And you can get the lowdown on Hulu’s ESPN+ Disney+ bundle here. 

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