The 18 Best Shows on Hulu Right Now (September 2020)

Not sure what to watch on Hulu? Start with these highly-rated options

Hulu got its start as the online streaming home for several television networks, and television is still its strong suit. You can find everything from fantastic exclusives, to current network hits, and decades-old fan favorites in its library. We combed through that massive catalog for you and came up with the best shows Hulu has to offer.

01
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Fargo (2014): Best Crime Anthology

Chris Rock stars as Loy Cannon in Season 4 of 'Fargo'

IMDb rating: 8.9

Genre: Crime, Drama

Starring: Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman

Created By: Noah Hawley

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 4

The Emmy-winning crime anthology Fargo returns for its fourth season starting on Sept. 28. This season stars Chris Rock and Jason Schwartzman as 1950s Kansas City mobsters Loy Cannon and Josto Fadda. Cannon is the head of a crime syndicate comprised of black migrants fleeing the Jim Crow-era South, while Fadda is a member of the mafia. The two butt heads as their respective organizations vie for control of the city.

Other cast members this year include Jessie Buckley, Jack Huston, Ben Whishaw, and Timothy Olyphant.

02
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The Great (2020): Best Occasionally True Historical Satire

Sacha Dhawan, Adam Godley, and Nicholas Hoult in 'The Great'

 Hulu

IMDb rating: 8.1

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox

Created By: Tony McNamara

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

The Great tells the story of Catherine the Great's (Elle Fanning) rise from a dewy-faced Prussian noble to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia's history. Over the course of the show's first season, she marries Peter III (Nicholas Hoult), finds out he's a debauched and sociopathic manchild, and begins a plot to overthrow him. The show is only loosely based on real events and instead weaves humorous historical satire with well-written characters backed by fine performances from the entire main cast.

03
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Archer (2009): Best Spy Satire

The animated cast of 'Archer' conduct a meeting inside ISIS.

FX

IMDb rating: 8.6

Genre: Animation, Comedy

Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Judy Greer, Amber Nash

Created By: Adam Reed

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 11

FX's animated spy spoof Archer is back for its 11th season starting Sept. 16. After numerous seasons reinventing itself as a detective noir, adventure, and sci-fi, the show is returning to its roots. Superspy Sterling Archer is finally awakening from his coma and getting back to work at ISIS.

Although the detours into other genres didn't always land with fans, Archer remains a delightfully raunchy, irreverent show even after 11 years. And if you're new to the series, there's plenty to catch up on before the new season.

04
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Ramy (2019): Best Glimpse Into the Modern Muslim American Family

Ramy Youssef in 'Ramy'

 Hulu

IMDb rating: 8.0

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Ramy Youssef, Mo Amer, Hiam Abbass

Created By: Ramy Youssef, Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Recently nominated for an Emmy Award, Ramy tells the story of a first-generation Egyptian-American living in a politically divided New Jersey neighborhood. It explores the challenges of what it's like to be caught between a Muslim community that thinks everything is a moral test and a generation of millennials that think life as no consequences.

The show has been praised by critics for portraying Muslims as something more than just the "bad guys." Its depiction of a young man trying to better himself is at times both profanely funny and thought-provoking.

05
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PEN15 (2019): Best Awkward Adolescent Comedy

Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle in the Hulu TV show 'PEN15'.

 Hulu

IMDb rating: 7.9

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Melora Walters

Created By: Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Emmy-nominated comedy PEN15 returns for its second season on Sept. 18. The Hulu original stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle as cringe-inducing versions of their 13-year-old selves. You need to suspend a little disbelief to watch two 30somethings portray teenagers while surrounded by teenaged actors (fans of another weird comedy gem, Strangers with Candy, won't find it a challenge), but once you do you'll find this show a funny and sometimes tender look at adolescence and all of its trials and tribulations.

06
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Woke (2020): Best Socially-Conscious Comedy

Lamorne Morris as Keef Knight in the Hulu original show 'Woke."

 Hulu

IMDb rating: n/a

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Lamorne Morris, T. Murph, Blake Anderson

Created By: Keith Knight, Marshall Todd

TV Rating: n/a

Number of Seasons: 1

Woke is a Hulu original series loosely based on the life and work of artist Keith Knight (The K Chronicles and The Knight Life). Keef (Lamorne Morris) is a cartoonist who's gained some recognition and mainstream success. But, when he becomes the victim of a wrongful arrest, he begins to reevaluate the world around him. Also, inanimate objects turn into cartoons and start talking to him.

Knight is an award-winning comic strip creator known for tackling social, racial and class issues, and Woke looks like it will touch on that subject matter as well. It debuts on Sept. 9.

07
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A Wilderness of Error (2020): Best New True Crime Docuseries

A photo of Jeffrey MacDonald in the documentary 'A Wilderness of Errors.'

FX

IMDb rating: n/a

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Clay Boulware, John Morgan, Logan Stearns

Created By: Marc Smerling, Blumhouse

TV Rating: n/a

Number of Seasons: 1

Based on the best-selling book by Errol Morris, A Wilderness of Error is a five-part documentary series about Army surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald, who has sent to prison for killing his family. The docuseries examines the case and the differing narratives surrounding it. It also explores the possibility that MacDonald may be innocent of the crime.

A Wilderness of Error debuts on FX on Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. It comes to Hulu on Sept. 26.

08
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Shrill (2019): Best Feminist Comedy

Aidy Bryant and Lolly Adefope star in 'Shrill'

 Hulu

IMDb rating: 7.4

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Aidy Bryant, Lolly Adefope, Luka Jones

Created By: Aidy Bryant, Alexandra Rushfield, Lindy West

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Based on Lindy West's 2016 book Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, the Hulu show Shrill is about a young journalist named Annie Easton (Aidy Bryant) who grapples with weight and self-esteem issues. Over the course of the show's two seasons, she slowly learns to value herself as a person, no matter her size, and come to terms with her schlubby boyfriend, Ryan (Luka Jones).

SNL alum Bryant brings a likability and casual humor to Annie, and she's backed by an equally likable cast, sharp writing, and a sweet story about learning to love yourself, flaws and all.

09
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Mrs. America (2020): Best for Those Looking for a 'Mad Men' Style Fix

Cate Blanchett in 'Mrs. America'

Hulu

 

IMDb rating: 7.8

Genre: Drama

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba

Created By: Dahvi Waller

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

The miniseries Mrs. America is a historical drama loosely based on the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and the unexpected backlash it received, particularly from conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett), in the 1970s. Featuring a large ensemble cast, it follows the stories of various notable women in that era—including Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), and Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman)—and how their struggles helped permanently change the American political landscape.

The show features great performances (especially from Blanchett, who recently nabbed an Emmy nomination), and all of the women are given their moments in the spotlight. It uses documentary-style filmmaking to great effect (handheld for the liberals, traditional shots for the conservatives), and features a zippy '70s soundtrack. Oh, and the clothes will make you nostalgic for Mad Men.

10
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What We Do in the Shadows (2019): Best Vampire Mockumentary

Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, and Harvey Guillén in 'What We Do in the Shadows'

FX

IMDb rating: 8.5

Genre: Comedy, Horror

Starring: Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou

Created By: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary-style comedy horror about vampire roommates in Staten Island. The show follows their nightly lives as they try to do mundane, mortal things like pay rent, accomplish chores, and resolve roommate conflicts.

The premise is absurd but clever and fun, and the leads are all great. Fans of shows like The Office, fans of vampires in general, or just anyone looking for a good laugh will enjoy this unusual show.

If you enjoy What We Do in the Shadows, also make sure to check out the 2014 film of the same name it's based on.

11
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Cowboy Bebop (1998): Slickest Animated Action Accompanied by the Best Score

Cowboy Bebop

Hulu 

IMDb rating: 8.9

Genre: Anime, Action, Sci-Fi

Starring: Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara / Steve Blum, Beau Billingslea, Wendee Lee

Created By: Hajime Yatate

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 1

Hulu has a lot of great anime, far too many options to dig into here, but Cowboy Bebop is a special case. It combines slick animation, a fantastic score, excellent voice work on both the Japenese and English language tracks, and a smart story that doesn't overstay its welcome. Clocking in at a tight 26 episodes in its single season, this show is all meat and no filler, even if Spike (Kōichi Yamadera, Steve Blum) and Jet's (Unshō Ishizuka, Beau Billingslea) bell peppers and beef always seem to come up lacking in the beef department.

Cowboy Bebop is a bit of a genre-defying space western. Bounty hunters Spike and Jet are joined aboard the Bebop by con artist Faye (Megumi Hayashibara. Wendee Lee), eccentric hacker Ed (Aoi Tada, Melissa Fahn), and a peculiarly smart corgi named Ein. Powered by an outstanding soundtrack by Yoko Kanno, this is a show that grabs you and won't let go.

12
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High Fidelity (2020): Best Gender-Swapped Comedy

Zoë Kravitz in 'High Fidelity'

 Hulu

IMDb rating: 7.7

Genre: Comedy

Starring:  Zoë Kravitz, Jake Lacy, Da'Vine Joy Randolph

Created By: Sarah Kucserka, Veronica West

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

In this TV adaptation of Nick Hornby's 1995 novel High Fidelity, Robyn 'Rob' Brooks is a record store owner and music fanatic obsessed with making Top 5 lists. When she's dumped by her latest boyfriend, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery by revisiting her five biggest heartbreaks to figure out what went wrong.

While Rob is a man in both the original novel and the 2000 film adaptation, Hulu's Rob is played by Zoë Kravitz, who comes across as both relatable and impossibly cool. The gender reversal helps the series feel fresh when compared to its source material, even when telling the same message about music and its impact on our lives and relationships.

13
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Atlanta (2016): Best Childish Gambino Vehicle

Atlanta

Hulu 

IMDb rating: 8.6

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music

Starring: Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield

Created By: Donald Glover 

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Atlanta is the story of Earn (Donald Glover) as he navigates daily life in Atlanta, GA. Earn has dropped out of college and has no permanent place to live, but he desperately wants to prove himself to his girlfriend (Zazie Beetz) and take care of his daughter. When his cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry) is about to hit it big as a rapper under the stage name Paper Boi, Earn sees an opportunity.

Serving as a star vehicle for creator Donald Glover, who also raps under the name Childish Gambino, Atlanta has received a number of awards and accolades. It won a Best Television Series Golden Globe, while Glover himself took home a Best Actor Golden Globe. The show was also named one of the top 10 television programs by the American Film Institute Awards alongside dozens of other awards and nominations.

14
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The Handmaid's Tale (2017): Best Dystopian Near-Future Thriller

The Handmaid's Tale

Hulu 

IMDb rating: 8.5

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Amanda Brugel, Madeline Brewer 

Created By: Bruce Miller

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 3

Based on the Margaret Atwood book of the same name, The Handmaid's Tale is a gritty, near-future piece of speculative fiction. Following a second American civil war, the few remaining fertile women are forced into child-bearing slavery as "handmaids" to the most powerful men in society. The women are thoroughly dehumanized and forced to act as surrogates for women who are unable to bear children.

June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss), an assistant book editor before the civil war, is subjected to this brutal practice when she is separated from her child and husband. Renamed Offred, she finds herself handmaid to the powerful Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). Though her only desire is to reunite with her family, her goals change when she is forced to bear a child and is approached by a resistance group.

15
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Sons of Anarchy (2008): Best Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Drama

Sons of Anarchy

Hulu 

IMDb rating: 8.6

Genre: Crime, Drama

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman 

Created By: Kurt Sutter

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 7

Sons of Anarchy is essentially MacBeth re-imagined with the backdrop of an outlaw motorcycle club. Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) is the prodigal son of the man who started the club, and his very existence, along with his interest in his father's original philosophy regarding the club, threatens his step-father (and current club leader) Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman).

Over the course of seven seasons, Sons of Anarchy weaves a gripping narrative as Jax and Clay struggle to keep ahead of the law, clash with other motorcycle clubs and each other, and try to keep the club together and above water. The show took home a number of awards over the years, with Katey Segal winning a Best Actress Golden Globe.

16
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Firefly (2002): Best Gorram Sci-Fi Show in the Verse

Firefly

Hulu 

IMDb rating: 9.0

Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure

Starring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk 

Created By: Joss Whedon 

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 1

Firefly didn't last very long, but it burned bright while it was here. This western-in-space from creator Joss Whedon weaves elements of science fiction, comedy, adventure, and drama into a compelling product that's underpinned by fun and interesting characters.

Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) aims to misbehave, as he and his motley crew shuttle cargo, passengers, and intrigue from world to world. Joined by war buddy Zoe (Gina Torres), pilot Wash (Alan Tudyk), and a variety of other colorful characters, Mal finds himself wrapped up in a mystery that involves a peculiar passenger (Summer Glau) and her uptight brother (Sean Maher).

17
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997): Best Vampire-Slaying Ex-Cheerleader

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Hulu 

IMDb rating: 8.2

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Action, Drama

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan 

Created By: Joss Whedon

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 7

Buffy the Vampire Slayer started life as an ill-received movie that has gained cult status over the years. The show is a re-imagining of the movie, keeping some elements and tossing others. Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is an ex-cheerleader who moves to small town Sunnydale after an incident at her old school involving vampires. Joined by new friends Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and eventual witch Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Buffy ends up fighting a whole lot more than vampires.

Creator Joss Whedon pitched the show as being high school as a horror movie, and the many monster-of-the-week episodes play to that perfectly. The larger story arc episodes, and the characters that grow and change over the course of the series, elevate it beyond that.

18
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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005): Worst People Doing the Funniest Things

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Hulu 

IMDb rating: 8.8

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney 

Created By: Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney 

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 15

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is unique in that most TV shows have to present at least one likable character that the audience can identify with. There are no such characters here. The show is about a group of friends that run a bar, but virtually every episode revolves around them being terrible people and doing terrible things to each other, and the result is some of the funniest stuff on television.

Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howertson) is a narcisistic sociopath who co-owns a bar with dim-witted Mac (Rob McElhenney). Their illiterate childhood friend Charlie (Charlie Day) and Dennis' sister Dee (Kaitlynn Olson) both work at the bar. In season two, Danny DeVito joins the cast in what has to be the most bizarre role of his career. In one episode, he bursts naked from a leather couch. In another he eats trash while wearing a singlet.