I would cancel Hulu this month — here's why

The Hulu app on an Apple TV home screen
(Image credit: Future)

After doing "Dry January," you might be feeling energized to cut back in other areas of your life — perhaps in your streaming budget. As we've noted before, the trick to saving money on streaming is by churning, which is getting rid of one service for a period of time and subscribing again later when an absolute must-watch title hits the platform.

For February 2024, I would cancel Hulu. Yes, even though it's high up on our list of the best streaming services. Hulu is fantastic for TV shows, and finally, broadcast and cable TV favorites are slowly starting to come back after delays due to writers' and actors' strikes. But Hulu's February schedule is pretty bare and unless you can get Hulu for free, the service can be pricey. That's why you should consider canceling Hulu this month.

Only 2 big new originals are coming to Hulu

Hulu is our pick for the best streaming service for TV shows for good reason. Just think about all the amazing originals the service has streamed over the years, from "The Handmaid's Tale" to "Only Murders in the Building" to "The Great." Plus, they are the home to FX on Hulu exclusives like recent Emmy winner "The Bear." 

Yet, Hulu's February 2024 lineup is decidedly lackluster when it comes to originals and exclusives. Only two titles really stand out. 

The first is "Shōgun," a a 10-episode limited series based on the 1975 historical fiction novel by James Clavell. Set in feudal Japan, the story follows Englishman John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis), who arrives on shore with secrets that could help Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) gain more power and also devastate the Jesuit priests and Portuguese merchants who are Blackthorne's enemies. Toranaga’s and Blackthorne’s fates become inextricably tied to their translator, Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai), a Christian noblewoman who is the the last of a disgraced line.

While "Shōgun" looks right up my alley — the mix of battles and political intrigue harkens to "Game of Thrones" — it also doesn't premiere until the very end of the month on Feb. 27. So, it's entirely feasible to cancel Hulu and then sign up again in March to watch the rest of "Shōgun" on a weekly basis. 

This month's other big title is the Hulu original "Life & Beth" season 2, starring Amy Schumer. While it feels like forever since the first season debuted, it was only two years ago in March 2022. The second season finds Beth and John's (Michael Cera) relationship growing more serious, even as they continue to struggle with communication problems. Beth begins contemplating marriage and children, all while delving into the traumatic history that makes her afraid of both.

As much as I enjoyed the dramedy, it's not such a must-watch that I'd subscribe to Hulu solely for it. All 10 episodes of "Life & Beth" season 2 drop on Feb. 16, and I can wait a couple of weeks to catch up on the whole thing. 

Network TV is back —  but there's a free way to watch

One of Hulu's strengths is that the service streams next-day episodes of ABC, Fox, FX, and Freeform series — everything from "The Bachelor" to "Bob's Burgers" to "Fargo." With TV productions back to work, some of ABC's biggest hits are returning this month. And the biggest and best of them is "Abbott Elementary" season 3. 

I'm not gonna lie and say I'd be willing to wait a month to watch new episodes of "Abbott Elementary." But I also don't use Hulu to watch the award-winning comedy. 

Instead, I get ABC the old-fashioned way — through a TV antenna, for free. It's hooked to a Sling AirTV Anywhere device so I can record shows to watch later. But if you don't have this set-up, some antenna options can connect directly to your smart TV and some smart TVs have a built-in antenna. 

Occasionally, my antenna set-up sometimes fails due to bad weather blocking the signal. In that case, I would rely on Hulu to stream episodes the next day. However, these instances are rare enough that I'm willing to chance it by canceling Hulu and saving the subscription fee. 

If you have Hulu with no ads, canceling will save you a hefty $18 in February. That's not nothing!  And you won't miss much that you can't catch up on next month. 

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Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.