Hulu made its bones as an inexpensive place to watch recent TV, but in the past few years, it's evolved to become a much more comprehensive streaming service. Now, Hulu offers high-concept original series, recent hit movies and complete runs of popular TV shows. Better still, there's something for everyone, from '90s sitcoms to imaginative sci-fi fare.
Tom's Guide has compiled a list of our favorite Hulu content to help you find something good to watch. We've also highlighted some programming that's new for this month, as well as some that's about to leave the service. Movies and TV don't stick around on Hulu forever, so watch your favorites while you can.
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
Sorry to Bother You has a solid premise: Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) works as a telemarketer for a company called RegalView. The only trouble is that he can't make any sales — until he discovers that he can use a "white voice" (David Cross, of course) to engender trust in his middle-class customers. But as the movie progresses, it turns out that RegalView is in bed with some very, very weird companies. From there, Green enters a world of drugs, genetic engineering and voluntary-ish indentured servitude, and even the best-laid plans to get the world back to normal might not go far enough.
Total Recall (1990)
Total Recall combines Paul Verhoeven, Arnold Schwarzenegger and early '90s pop sci-fi. If that doesn't excite you, I don't know what to tell you. Based on a short story by psychedelic spec-fic author Philip K. Dick, Total Recall tells the story of Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger), a futuristic construction worker. A company called Rekall offers to implant Quaid with false memories of a trip to Mars, but the procedure does not go quite as planned, and he finds himself on the run from a group of deadly brutes. As Quaid's real memories start to conflict with his implanted ones, he can no longer be certain what's real and what's fake — if the difference was ever really there to begin with.
Credit: Cate CameronYou're either going to love or hate Colossal based on the premise — but the good news is that the film executes said premise with confidence and style. Anne Hathaway plays Gloria: an unemployed alcoholic whose drinking habit finally pushes her boyfriend to kick her out. Moving back home to New England is challenging, as she has to furnish a house, find a job — and deal with the fact that each time she gets blackout drunk, she summons a giant monster that ravages Seoul, South Korea. The "alcoholism makes you a monster" metaphor is pretty on-the-nose, but the concept is unique, and the story has a number of satisfying twists and turns along the way.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Abigail Breslin's breakout role was in Little Miss Sunshine: a comedy-drama about a family road trip where every relative has both a goal and a grievance. Breslin stars as Olive Hooper: a young girl who has the opportunity to compete in a beauty pageant in California. Her dysfunctional family piles into a Volkswagen Microbus for the trip, which starts off difficult and winds up disastrous. Olive's father (Greg Kinnear) believes his terrible motivational speaking will make him rich; her brother (Paul Dano) has taken a Nietzschean vow of silence; her uncle (Steve Carell) just tried to commit suicide; her grandpa (Alan Arkin) has a heroin habit; and her mother (Toni Collette) is barely holding everyone's eccentricities in check.
Credit: Carolyn JonesWhen he's not directing ultraviolent post-apocalyptic Mad Max romps, Australian director George Miller turns his deft hand to family-friendly fare. In 1995, he wrote and produced Babe: the heartwarming story of a pig who dreams of being a sheepdog. Kindly Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) brings home a tiny pig named Babe (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh), but leaves the swine with a family of border collies. Instead of becoming dinner, Babe proves his worth by safeguarding sheep and befriending the agreeable menagerie of odd barnyard animals. There's nothing surprising or subversive in Babe; it's just a heartfelt, well-made movie about finding your niche, even if it's an unusual one.
Castle Rock (2018-Present)
Stephen King adaptations are a dime a dozen, but completely original tales using King's mythos as a springboard? Those are a little rarer. Castle Rock is a love letter to King's connected universe of stories, as well as a thoroughly decent horror yarn in its own right.
The series takes place in the town of Castle Rock, Maine, which featured prominently in works like The Dead Zone, Cujo and The Body. André Holland plays Henry Matthew Deaver: an attorney called back to his hometown of Castle Rock under mysterious circumstances. Murders and supernatural thrills ensue, with a story that touches on other dimensions and intersecting realities.
The Handmaid's Tale (2017-Present)
Based on Margaret Atwood's science-fiction novel of the same name, The Handmaid's Tale gives voice to fears felt by women all over the Western world. The show envisions a future in which the United States has become a patriarchal theocracy, and most women have lost the ability to bear children. Fertile "handmaids" are forced to birth babies for wealthy couples. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is one such handmaid, who eventually finds small ways to rebel against her position, even though she risks her life by doing so. The TV series has now gone past where the book ended, for readers who were curious about what happens next.
Rick and Morty (2013-Present)
Part sci-fi romp, part family drama and part Lovecraftian horror, Rick and Morty isn't quite like anything else on TV. This animated comedy follows Rick, a dimension-hopping mad scientist, and Morty, his dimwitted teenage grandson, as they get themselves into trouble all around the multiverse.
With joke-a-minute pacing and lots of colorful aliens to see, Rick and Morty is easy to sit down and binge. But when the three-dimensional characters start grappling with issues like mortality, individuality and existential freedom, it can get surprisingly deep, too. Few shows pull off the balance between the sublime and the ridiculous so well, all while exploring big ideas.
Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
Twin Peaks is one of those shows that sounds simple on paper, but gets increasingly complex once you start to watch it. Kyle MacLachlan plays Dale Cooper: an FBI agent who must solve the murder of popular high school student Laura Palmer. Cooper's assignment starts off like a regular investigation, but it's not long before he starts to encounter surreal clues, prophetic dreams and impossible creatures.
Like a lot of David Lynch's work, it's never 100 percent clear what's happening, or how much of it is just in the protagonist's head, but if you pay close attention, you can at least figure out the symbolism. A 2017 reboot continued the series, but Hulu has only a few episodes available at present.
Seinfeld may be a show about nothing, but nothing is a surprisingly rich topic to plumb. Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) and his clueless friends Kramer (Michael Richards), George (Jason Alexander) and Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) are four average thirty-somethings in New York City, who act on every stupid desire they experience, and never have to grapple with the consequences of their actions.
Along the way, they face down a Soup Nazi, get lost in a parking garage, pretend to be wealthy industrialists and celebrate the made-up holiday Festivus. If you've ever had a bad idea, Jerry and the gang have probably tried to make it a reality.
Leaving This Month
Pet Sematary (1989)
Stephen King has occasionally referred to Pet Sematary as his scariest novel, and for good reason. While the title may sound like a B-movie setup, the central premise of Pet Sematary is as horrifying as they come. In the 1989 film adaptation, Dale Midkiff plays Louis Creed: a doctor who experiences an unimaginable family tragedy. However, the kindly Jud Crandall (Fred Gwyne) shows Louis a dangerous method that can bring back the dead — even though they don't come back quite right. A remake of Pet Sematary is slated for later this year, but the '80s film is a classic blend of kitsch and horror, and it's hard to imagine anyone doing a better job than Gwyne as the wise-but-conflicted Crandall.
New This Month
Batman Begins (2005)
Credit: Warner Bros. The second installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight, gets most of the franchise's accolades, and rightfully so. But Batman Begins kicked off the series in style, and often doesn't get enough credit for its accomplishments. The film did something that no live-action Batman adaptation before or since has managed to do: It made Batman's origin story interesting. After his parents die in a random act of violence, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world to learn how to fight, and how to inspire fear in his enemies. However, a charismatic new foe called the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) knows how to frighten people as well, and wants to use his abilities to wreak havoc in Gotham City.
What Else to Stream
The amount of good content online doesn't stop here. Check out our list of the best shows to binge watch to find some more gems you'll want to stream.
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