The 58 Best Shows on Hulu Right Now (February 20
Last update: February 8, 2020.
Life is tough for small business owners, but if your business is struggling, there’s one man you can turn to for help: Nathan Fielder (playing a fictional version of himself), a consultant with a metaphorical briefcase full of bizarre marketing ideas and social anxiety. When an ordinary business owner finds themselves in a tricky situation, Fielder strolls into their lives like an awkward Rumpelstiltskin, ready to solve their problem in some bizarre way. Nathan For You is a brilliant mockumentary, with Nathan’s outlandish marketing stunts confusing the ordinary folk entangled in them 8212; his parody coffee shop Dumb Starbucks even made international news!
Set in the remote, rural town of Letterkenny (populated, the show tells us, entirely by hicks, skids, hockey players, and Christians), Jared Keeso’s comedy Letterkenny follows a group of hicks: Wayne (Keeso), his friend Daryl (Nathan Dales), Katy (Michelle Mylett), and Squirrelly Dan (K. Trevor Wilson), as well as a pair of hockey players, Reilly (Dylan Playfair) and Jonesy (Andrew Herr), with whom Katy has a three-way relationship. The show revolves around their lives and encounters with the other eccentrics in the town. It’s a show deeply rooted in Canadian culture, with heavy use of slang, but even those unfamiliar with the vernacular will quickly come to appreciate the show’s deadpan wit.
Adapting a great work of literature, particularly one as stylish as Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, is a daunting task, but George Clooney and company managed to do it, more or less successfully, in this four-part miniseries. Set during World War II, Catch-22 follows Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), an American bombardier desperate to get out of the war. He wants to take advantage of the military’s policy of discharging any soldier on the basis of insanity. Unfortunately, Yossarian’s desire to get discharged for insanity is stifled by the military’s Catch-22 clause: Anyone who is crazy can ask to be discharged, but anyone asking to be discharged is clearly thinking rationally. So Yossarian keeps flying missions, and his superiors keep raising the number of missions required to end the war, and the war seems no closer to ending. Catch-22 is a darkly hilarious examination of the horrors of bureaucracy (and war), with a brilliant cast including 8212; along with Abbott 8212; George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, Hugh Laurie, and Julie Ann Emery.
The streaming world is awash in introspective, character-driven comedies, and while Ramy’s format will feel familiar, it adds a new wrinkle. The eponymous character (played by comedian Ramy Youssef) isn’t just a millennial dealing with the awkward ups and downs of work and dating in the 21st century. He 8217;s also Muslim and trying to lead a moral life in amoral times. Ramy wades in ambiguities and its protagonist’s hypocrisies and hang-ups 8212; he’s uncomfortable kissing a Muslim woman on their first date, but fine hooking up with non-Muslims, for which the former chews him out. It’s a show with a unique perspective and a willingness to present its characters in an unflattering light.
Donald Glover is a modern Renaissance man: Since launching a comedy career via skits circulated on YouTube, he has since branched into rapping, acting, and even showrunning, with the remarkable, surreal comedy-drama Atlanta. The show follows a dogged college dropout named Earn (Glover), who sleeps at his on/off-again girlfriend’s place and struggles to provide for their child. When he learns that his cousin Alfred is starting to achieve success as a rapper 8212; stage name: Paper Boi 8212; Earn becomes his manager. There is not much of an overarching plot to Atlanta. Most episodes play out like short films, and the show experiments with a variety of stories and formats 8212; one standout episode is presented entirely as an episode of a local interview show, complete with fake commercials. Daring and frequently poignant, Atlanta is one of the most exciting shows on TV today.
Desiree Akhavan’s The Bisexual is a character study of a bisexual woman, Leila (Akhavan), who breaks up with her older girlfriend after the latter proposes marriage. Leila moves in with a writer, Gabe (Brian Gleeson), and sets about trying to explore relationships with men, with sometimes awkward results. Leila must navigate not just relationships with men, but her friendships with the lesbian women she’s spent years associating with, who aren’t sure what to make of her now. It’s a complicated, emotionally honest examination of sexuality, with a complex cast of characters and a deft balance of humor of drama.
These days, coming-of-age stories are a dime a dozen, but few of them are as novel 8212; or cringeworthy 8212; as PEN15. Co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle star as 13-year-old versions of themselves, allowing the series to address topics and situations many would consider taboo if performed by younger lead actors. The two find their footing in hormone-fueled incidents involving masturbation and AOL Instant Messenger, not to mention everyday encounters with parents, principals, and the kind of insult-spewing preteens you can expect to find at any middle school. It 8217;s all served with a heavy dose of 8217;90s-inspired nostalgia, meaning if the show 8217;s no-holds-barred look at adolescence isn 8217;t enough, perhaps the constant references to the Spice Girls will be.
The age of the subversive sitcom continues with Better Things, a dark, caustic comedy about growing older and raising kids. The show follows Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a struggling actress raising three kids by herself in Los Angeles. Sam juggles her attempts to advance her career and have fun with her responsibility to her daughters, each of whom presents their own unique difficulties. Adlon and co-creator Louis C.K. previously worked on the surreal comedy-drama Louie, and Better Things shows a similar mean streak, narrowing in on the grimy, depressing aspects of parenthood that other sitcoms gloss over.
Most people probably don’t consider the end of the world to be a hilarious scenario; thankfully, the creators of The Last Man on Earth were not deterred. The show finds humor in the apocalypse, following a man named Phil Miller (Will Forte), who wanders the ghost town of Tuscon after a viral outbreak destroys civilization. He eventually finds a companion, Carol Pilbasian (Kristen Schaal), but their personality quirks make life together problematic, to say the least. The Last Man on Earth is a strange show, and also a sharply written one, rendering it the kind of ambitious sitcom that only rarely comes along.
Comedian Aidy Bryant is, arguably, one of the best things about the current crop of Saturday Night Live performers. As such, it was only a matter of time before she found herself a proper show, one that riffs on her particular skill set and brand of humor. Shrill is that show. It 8217;s based on author Lindy West’s 2016 memoir of the same name and is a biting take on what it means to be overweight, awkward, and a woman in a society that doesn 8217;t always take kindly to any of the aforementioned traits. Needless to say, Bryant 8217;s on-screen career as a struggling journalist is just the springboard for the show 8217;s larger commentary.
Great sketch shows have been in short supply for a while now, which makes it all the easier to appreciate the short but brilliant life of Key & Peele. Starring former MADtv members Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the show is an adventurous collection of sketches that blend absurdist humor and social commentary. See, for example, a skit in which white news anchors complain about the dangers of 「black ice」 on the streets at night, to the indignation of their black colleagues. Not every sketch is political, however; sometimes they just freak out about the latest Liam Neeson film. Both hosts bring manic energy and throw themselves fully into a variety of roles.
Cartoon Network has developed a reputation in recent years for surreal, wonderfully animated shows that can appeal to adults as well as kids. Regular Show fits into the new pantheon of the network’s hits, alongside Adventure Time and Steven Universe, and it’s not hard to see why. The show’s colorful world and zany sense of humor are certain to entertain kids, but what sets Regular Show apart is its focus on themes and feelings that adults know all too well. The show follows Mordecai and Rigby 8212; a blue jay and a raccoon, respectively 8212; two slackers who deal with the sort of angst and aimlessness common to people in their 20s. Funny, smart, and often just plain weird, Regular Show is an excellent, character-driven series.
Following a breakup with his long-term girlfriend, Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel) needs to rebound 8230; badly. Man Seeking Woman chronicles his adventures in dating, which involve, among other things, dating a troll, attending a wedding in Hell, and fiddling with the space-time continuum in an attempt to fix relationship mistakes. The show explores common aspects of life and dating through surreal scenes; an episode where Josh is tempted to cheat on a current girlfriend, for example, finds him taking a trip to 「boyfriend court」 in his mind. The show’s absurdist sense of humor at times makes it seem like a live-action cartoon, but the tone is balanced out by nuanced characters and some great performances. Baruchel is excellent as the somewhat charming, sometimes petulant Josh, and other characters 8212; such as Josh’s best friend, Mike (Eric Andre), and sister, Liz (Britt Lower) 8212; add memorable performances of their own.
What South Park is to late-night animation, It 8217;s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is to sitcoms. Rob标签：