Every bygone television era brought forth shows we now deem as classics. These are the shows that have stood the test of time. They have entertained past and present generations, and more than likely, they will continue to do so for future generations as well. Whether it's classic comedies or dramas, these shows have set high standards and become the benchmark against which future shows are measured.
Hulu is best known for its collection of television shows, and for good reason, considering its vast supply available for streaming. Fortunately for classic TV watchers, Hulu also has countless selections for you to scratch your itch for iconic television. We've narrowed the list to a handful of shows you don't want to miss. Best of all, you can easily binge these series in one seamless viewing since all episodes are available.
Plus, don't miss out on this great deal: get Hulu for just $0.99 per month for an entire year!
If you ever wanted to go where everyone knew your name, you'd probably stop by the Cheers bar. For 11 seasons, the show focused upon the interactions between the owner and bartender Sam Malone, played by Ted Danson, the waitresses, and several regulars patronizing the bar. Thanks to the strong cast of characters, you become entwined into the highs and lows of their lives.
The relatable lives of each person who came into the bar, even if it was a brief appearance by an extra, makes this show as appealing today as it was during the 80s and 90s. Like Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman's Carla Tortelli, John Ratzenberger's Cliff Claven, and George Wendt's Norm Peterson appeared for the entire duration of the series. Their enduring presence gave the show a continuity rarely found in sitcoms or for shows that last as long as Cheers did.
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Before Friends even began, there was Living Single. Starring ever-talented Queen Latifah, who also sings the series' opening theme, the iconic 90s show told the story of six single friends living in Brooklyn, New York. In one apartment lived the three women: Latifah's Khadijah James, her cousin Synclaire James-Jones, played by Kim Jones, and a childhood friend Regina "Régine" Hunter, played by Kim Fields. Above them lived T.C. Carson's Kyle Barker and John Henton's Overton Wakefield Jones.
The series focused on the careers and romantic lives of the characters, giving us storylines that went beyond surface-level comedy. Not only was this show so ground-breaking because of its Black-led cast, but its creator, Yvette Lee Bowser, was the first Black woman to produce a prime-time show series. It's a beloved, albeit highly underrated, show that has become a classic in the hearts of its fans. Fortunately for us, it's available on Hulu.
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The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years focuses on the life of a 12-year-old boy, Kevin Arnold, played by Fred Savage, as he navigates the challenges of growing up and dealing with the highs and lows that come from his family and friends. Josh Saviano's Paul Pfeiffer plays his best friend, and Winnie Cooper, played by Danica McKellar, is his ongoing love interest.
Each moment of the show is reflected upon by the now-adult Kevin Arnold, voiced by the never-seen but always-heard Daniel Stern. The show has a perfect blend of drama, romance, and comedy. What's also fascinating is that it includes real-life moments in the history of that time, such as the moon landing and the Vietnam War. However, it's all a backdrop to Kevin's personal drama and life milestones. This coming-of-age show is one of the best classics to watch on Hulu.
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It's impossible to mention the best classic shows on Hulu without mentioning the Golden Girls. The show centered upon the lives of four women above the age of 50 as they shared a house in Miami, Florida. Bea Arthur starred as Dorothy Zbornak, Betty White as Rose Nylund, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, and Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo. The women had incredible chemistry, each delivering their comedic expertise that enhanced the other.
Beyond the comedy, though, the show also addressed serious issues, from depression to Alzheimer's to age discrimination. However, it did so with finesse and class, never giving up the show's integrity and characters for the sake of a joke. It received numerous awards during its seven-year run. While the show has been over for decades, it remains alive in the hearts of its fans. Take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy this television treasure on Hulu.
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When Cheers concluded, it was a delight to see one of the characters get their own show. Kelsey Grammer's Dr. Frasier Crane moved from Boston to Seattle to take a job as a radio host personality. He'd quickly end up living with his father, Martin Crane, played by the late John Mahoney, and Martin's quirky dog, Eddie.
Part of Frasier's charm was the lead character's fastidious and elitist attitude, sharply contrasted by his down-to-earth father, Martin. While Frasier's brother, Niles, played by David Hyde Pierce, was equally snobbish, he was also hilarious, awkward, and highly reactive to the world around him. The show endured for 11 seasons and became a staple in countless homes during the 90s. If it's been a while since you've seen it or never tried it, you can watch the entire series on Hulu.
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Nicole Pyles is a writer in Portland, Oregon. She loves movies, especially Lifetime movies, obscure TV movies, and disaster flicks. Her writing has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Mental Floss, WOW! Women on Writing, Ripley's Believe it or Not, and more. When she isn't watching movies, she's spending time with family, reading, and writing short stories. Say hi on Twitter @BeingTheWriter.