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Put these underrated Hulu originals on your watch list right now

Published Sep 7th, 2023 9:41PM EDT
The Orville: New Horizons on Hulu
Image: Michael Desmond/Hulu

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With so many new streaming TV shows and movies constantly debuting across all the major services each week, to say that it can be quite an effort to keep up with it all is a pretty big understatement. Netflix alone shovels a massive and never-ending pile of content at us to keep us all glued to our screens, while its rivals like Apple TV+, Max, Disney+, and Hulu, among the many other smaller players, do their best to keep up and stay in contention. And while we can certainly quibble over who the losers of the Streaming Wars are — with so much great content to enjoy, at least one thing is certain: The viewers are absolutely the winners here.

The biggest streaming platforms get plenty of attention and media coverage, so what I want to do in this post is to spotlight, instead, some underrated gems on one of the many platforms that are not named Netflix. We’ll focus for the moment on Hulu, and I’ve picked out seven Hulu shows — including one docuseries — that I think are all a bit underrated and deserve a spot on the watch list of any Hulu subscriber.

The Orville: New Horizons

We’ll start off with The Orville, an epic space adventure series set 400 years in the future that (surprisingly?) comes from the mind of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. The show started out on Fox in 2017, before moving over to Hulu as a Hulu exclusive. At the time in 2017, critics didn’t really seem to know what to make of it. There didn’t seem to be a clear focus, and the humor gave the show a disjointed feel. However, the show quickly came together into an at-times heartfelt meditation on some profound aspects of the universe.

It has so many hardcore fans, because somehow the show morphed from being a Star Trek knockoff with the visuals of an SNL skit to a work of art that dealt with suicide, race, abortion, and showed us protagonists existing as pilgrims in the infinite forever of the universe. The Orville: New Horizons is the title of the latest season that’s available to stream now. It’s about the crew of the U.S.S. Orville “continuing their mission of exploration,” navigating the mysteries of the universe as well as their own interpersonal relationships.


As for this next absolute gem on our list of underrated Hulu seriesExtraordinary is the perfect name for this half-hour, 8-episode series set in a sort of normal-looking city in Ireland, but for the fact that everyone there has superpowers. Everyone, that is, except the protagonist named Jen.

The premise here is that everyone gets their “power” — which can be anything from super-strength to shape-shifting — by their 18th birthday, or shortly thereafter. Jen’s boss at work, for example, is an older woman who still looks like a small child (which, I suppose, might be a superpower to … someone?). Jen’s sister, meanwhile, is a virtuoso on the violin and learns that her power is super-strength when she accidentally rips off the front door of her refrigerator.

The show offers the perfect mixture of zaniness, heart, irreverent humor, and commentary about growing up, and watching Jen try and come to grips with what makes a person “extraordinary” kept me burning through every episode until there was none left — and all I could do is cross my fingers that the already-approved Season 2 doesn’t take too long to materialize.

No Man’s Land

In Hulu’s No Man’s Land, a French drama that quickly turns into a geopolitical, espionage-adjacent thriller, Antoine is a young Frenchman whose sister, everyone is led to believe, died in a terrorist bombing. Eventually, though, Antoine comes to suspect she may not actually be dead — that, in fact, she might somehow have hooked up with a group of female Kurdish fighters who are ISIS’ biggest nightmare.

From Hulu’s description of the show, “Antoine’s journey crosses paths with adventurers and anarchists, spies and innocent victims, and provides a unique look on the tragic events in Syria, and the way they affect the entire world.”

Happy Endings

What happened to all the quality half-hour TV comedies? Happy Endings, which aired for three seasons in the 2010s, revolves around a group of friends who live in Chicago and are navigating the normal highs and lows of careers, relationships, and friendships. Hilarity and quirky situations abound, and this sitcom mixes fast-paced humor and absurd hijinks into a satisfying blend of sitcom perfection — so much so that it still retains a dedicated fan base, all these years later.

Marvel’s Runaways

Moving right along, I feel like this next series on our list of underrated Hulu shows is rarely mentioned in the same breath as Marvel’s other TV series. And that’s a shame, because Runaways offers a strong ensemble, character-driven drama that’s surprisingly introspective at times.

If you haven’t yet checked out the show, here’s the official synopsis of the 3-season series straight from Hulu:

“Every teenager thinks their parents are evil. But what if they really were? When six L.A. teens in Marvel’s Runaways stumble onto a terrible secret, they realize their parents have been lying to them all their lives. But what are their parents after? And why? While the kids investigate, the adults start to wonder if their kids are hiding secrets of their own.”


In this FX limited series from director Alex Garland (that’s only available on Hulu, via the FX on Hulu arrangement), a young software engineer who works at a cutting-edge tech company in Silicon Valley investigates a secret division inside her employer — which she also believes is behind the murder of her boyfriend.

“A hauntingly beautiful meditation on humanity,” reads the Rotten Tomatoes critics’ consensus of the series, “Devs‘ slow unfurling may test some viewers’ patience, but fans of Alex Garland’s singular talents will find much to chew on.”

McCartney 3,2,1

Last but certainly not least, if you’re a Beatles obsessive like me and decided to pass on watching this next Hulu docuseries because you feel like Paul McCartney tells the same stories over and over again like a gramps — I’m happy to tell you that your assumption is misguided, at least here (although he does generally tell the same stories over and over in interviews).

In this 6-episode docuseries shot in black-and-white, McCartney sits down with producer Rick Rubin to walk through his career with The Beatles, his solo group Wings, and everything that came after. McCartney sharing intimate memories and personal stories, the ex-Beatle noodling on the piano, answering all the questions that you yourself would ask if you were in the room — what’s not to like?

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.