If you haven’t taken advantage of all that Hulu has to offer lately besides “The Handmaid’s Tale” – which everybody should really, really watch right now – then you’re missing out.
“The Handmaid’s Tale’ has been a groundbreaking series for the streaming service, thanks to its foreboding story about a near future in which a portion of the United States has been turned into a theocracy. This new world of Gilead subjugates women and makes the fertile ones become breeders for high-ranking officials. Moving performances by Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Yvonne Strahovski, O-T Fagbenle and Alexis Bledel have made this series a must-watch.
Not only does Hulu have strong original programming like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but it is one of the best places to watch shows that are currently on TV now, which makes cord-cutting that much easier. It also has an impressive catalog of past shows that are well worth revisiting.
Whether you’re waiting for the next episode of “Handmaid’s” to be released or just want to see what else Hulu has, here are more 13 more great shows about women that the service has to offer:
David E. Kelley’s legal comedy-drama made Calista Flockhart a household name in the title role as a lawyer who works at the Boston law firm of Cage & Fish. Somehow these attorneys find time to work on (often quirky) legal cases in between all the interpersonal and romantic dynamics. The killer cast also includes Jane Krakowski, Greg Germann, Peter McNicol, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Portia de Rossi, Lucy Liu and later, Robert Downey, Jr. Lighthearted and unique, the series included many offbeat or surreal running gags, such as Ally falling over whenever she was attracted to someone or fantasy animated sequences (such as that damned dancing baby). The series also courted controversy. While some felt that Ally represented a new face of feminism, others decried her short skirts and emotional instability. Nevertheless, the critically acclaimed series earned numerous awards, including Emmys and Golden Globes.
Abbi and Ilana are two 20something Jewish women who are trying (but not too hard) to make it in New York. When they’re not getting high, they’re often pursuing whatever Ilana has in mind for her hedonistic lifestyle. The duo’s frank, unapologetic and healthy sexual appetites, not to mention their willingness to try almost any new adventure that life or sex throws at them, are simultaneously hilarious and cringe-inducing.
As the best vampire TV show ever, “Buffy” set the bar high with its mix of urban fantasy, horror, action and humor. It made an indelible mark on television that is still seen today, whether it’s the use of the term “Scooby gang” for its group of monster-bashing, crime-solving sleuths to the show’s strong but believably flawed female characters, who made it perfectly normal for women to kickass on TV in any way they could. No mere genre show, “Buffy” was able to tell intricate, innovative and introspective stories that are still discussed today.
This look at modern dating centers on the excellent Michaela Watkins as Valerie, a successful shrink who divorces her cheating husband and moves in with her brother Alex (Tommy Dewey), who co-founded the popular dating site Snooger. Her teenage daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr) also lives with the adult siblings, making for some awkward moments when everyone is trying to find some privacy to date or at least hook up. This Hulu original premieres its third season on May 23.
Julie (Julie Klausner) and Billy (Billy Eichner) are two struggling comedians and best friends who hate people, and their bad behavior often leads to their downfall. Set in New York, the series explores how they often self-destruct in their quest for personal and professional fulfillment, all with a healthy dose of pop culture references thrown in. Imperfect and often annoying, Julie and Billy are nevertheless navigating in a world as best they can.
This ‘80s sitcom was well ahead of its time in depicting life isn’t over for women past 40, but in fact there’s adventure, shenanigans, cheesecake and lots and lots of sex. Before those “Sex and the City” gals hit the scene, it was Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Dorothy who epitomized the delightful range of women who are happy and vital, mainly thanks to the strength of a great female bond.
After 13 years as a mother and housewife, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) steps back into the workforce to practice law in the wake of her husband’s public sex and corruption scandal. Never shy of spotlighting the ugly or complicated aspects of people and life, the series is one of the last greatest legal and political dramas on broadcast television. The show also had an excellent supporting cast played by Josh Charles, Christine Baranski, Archie Panjabi, Cush Jumbo, Alan Cumming, Chris Noth and Matt Czuchry .
While 1760s London brothels may not seem like the most obvious place to find evidence of feminism, being a sex worker at least allowed you to make some decisions for yourself and earn you a bit of income and autonomy. On the show, Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) are rival madams who are fighting over the clientele in the city, and have a personal beef to settle also. While the show can be boisterous and bawdy, it doesn’t ignore the more horrifying aspects of such a life either and gives food for thought. This vivid period piece is one of Hulu’s original series that acts somewhat as a companion to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” exploring women and how they’ve struggled in society to make take control of their own fates.
The sketch comedy series offers a look into pop culture, sexuality and gender roles, all told with irreverent wit and biting insight. Schumer’s candor is refreshing, and how she skewers current events, such as her take on the Bill Cosby molestation allegations was note perfect. It’s no wonder that she’s able to attract a bevy of fantastic guest stars ranging from Lena Dunham and America Ferrera to Steve Buscemi and Jeff Goldblum. Hands down, the most memorable skit is the one that brought together Patricia Arquette, Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to celebrate JLD’s “last fuckable day” as a woman – according to Hollywood standards, anyway.
Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) is still the ultimate example of a modern woman on TV. She was America’s first never-married, independent career TV woman who didn’t have to sacrifice looks, integrity or anything else to get her what she wanted. While the Emmy-winning series was both heartwarming and humorous, it also tackled progressive topics of the day like equal pay, homosexuality, divorce, infertility and even contempt of court. Mary was and still is a role model for women everywhere.
Jordin Althaus/Universal Television
Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is somewhat of a descendant of Mary Richards. Over the course of multiple seasons, Mindy established herself as a leading gynecologist, launched her own side business, became a single mom and still boast a fabulous wardrobe, appetite and sex life. While the show keeps its lighthearted, daffy tone, it has explored some issues such as racial identity and the need for marriage in ways that don’t dismiss their importance. Let’s also not forget that Kaling is the first Asian Indian rom-com star-creator on TV.
Although it would be easy to write this off as a mere teen drama, the power of “My So-Called Life” was that it was so much more than that. A young Claire Danes gives a stunning performance as the Angela, a high school student who in her sophomore year questions her identity and tests the waters with a new appearance, new friends and new boyfriend. Although the critically acclaimed series only lasted one season, it covered a host of issues such as drug use, homophobia, child abuse, alcoholism and adultery, and kept these on as continuing storylines. Besides, you really cannot miss out on young Claire Danes or Jared Leto in love.
Perhaps the best adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel yet, this miniseries is what made Bridget Jones drool so much over Colin Firth (read the book!) and for good reason. While Firth epitomized the dashing and taciturn Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jennifer Ehle’s performance as Lizzie Bennett was his equal. Gorgeous filmmaking and unhurried performances make this adaptation one to savor.
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