Amazon may dominate the streaming wars for the sheer size of its content library, while Netflix wins when it comes to audacious investment in original content. But in recent months, Hulu has emerged as a compelling—and compellingly affordable—alternative.
First, with plans starting at just $5.99 a month, it’s an amazingly cheap way to binge-watch TV shows and to watch new new and classic movies without having to pay an additional $3.99 rental fee, as you do with Amazon. Second, though its content library may not be vast, it’s both deep enough to be satisfying and curated enough to make searching for something to watch a manageable (dare we say fun?) experience. And finally, its Hulu originals are increasing bright spots in the prestige TV landscape.
So if you’re done with Tiger King and Ozark and you’re looking for something new to entertain you, it may be time to give Hulu a try.
New and cult classics
Sure, you can rent almost anything off of Amazon Video, but why spend money to rent Booksmart, last year’s breakout coming-of-age comedy film, when you can get it on Hulu? Hulu has quite the collection of new indies, including Best Picture winner Parasite and the excellent new French drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The service’s robust alt classic collection, meanwhile, includes films like Natural Born Killers, Swingers, and Heathers.
Binge-worthy TV series
If long forgotten series that you can’t find anywhere else (especially in their entirety) are your thing, Hulu is home to complete series like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Seinfeld, Grey’s Anatomy, The Shield, and everyone’s underdog favorite, Veronica Mars.
Buzzy, of-the-moment originals
Hulu’s trademark series ,The Handmaid’s Tale, has garnered much-deserved praise for its rendering of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel. The service’s latest drama, Little Fires Everywhere (starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington), is one of the most binge-worthy shows of the spring. In May, Hulu drops the latest season of Golden Globe-winner Ramy, a refreshing, chuckle-inducing, and insightful series about navigating a politically divided Jersey community as a Muslim millennial. Other originals include the Zoë Kravitz reboot High Fidelity; Harlots, which is a British import about female brothel owners and their messy rivalry; and Looking for Alaska, a thoughtful series about a group of teenagers finding sense in tragedy.
FX’s prestige TV
Thanks to its relationship with FX, Hulu is now home to smart TV shows and limited series like the sci-fi thriller Devs, the Michelle Williams-led Fosse/Verdon, and Better Things–Pamela Adlon’s wry and wary take on being a single mom in Los Angeles. FX’s latest limited series biopic, Mrs. America, is about conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly and stars Cate Blanchett–with appearances by Rose Byrne, Elizabeth Banks, and Sarah Paulson.
Trashy reality TV (we promise we won’t tell)
Sometimes, you really do just need some trashy TV to mindlessly watch. So, welcome to the treasure trove of trash that Hulu has ready for you to unearth, with series including Keeping Up with the Kardashians, 90 Day Fiancé (which follows couples defying mail-order SO stereotypes who must decide if they want to get married in 90 days, or else risk one getting deported), The Masked Singer (can you guess who the Banana is?), and Britain’s favorite drama-filled dating show, Love Island. You can keep up with them every week or watch previously aired episodes by watching via Hulu Live TV, a $54.99 a month subscription package that allows you to continue to watch live TV without cable.
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