Hulu today announced the slate for its original series summer lineup, bringing back original comedies Casual and Difficult People for their second seasons, along with the fourth run of teen drama East Los High.
Casual, Hulu’s try at a premium-network dark comedy in the vein of HBO’s recently cancelled Togetherness, will bring back its “disastrous” antics on Tuesday, June 7 with two episodes, followed by new additions each week leading up to 13 for the season. Casual stars Michaela Watkins (Transparent, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) as a 30-something single mom, alongside relative unknowns Tommy Dewey and Tara Lynne Bar as her self-obsessed brother and teenage daughter, respectively. The trio make up a dysfunctional family of sorts trying to get their lives in order, both romantically and otherwise.
Critically acclaimed comedy Difficult People, from executive producer Amy Poehler, will make its return on Tuesday, July 12, again with just two episodes followed by weekly additions for a total of 10. The series spins the ridiculous adventures of two comedian/actors (played by series creator Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner of Billy on the Street fame) as they try to make it in New York. Witty writing and strong performances from the show’s leads are shored up by an impressive cast of extra players, including Andrea Martin (SCTV), James Urbaniak, Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), and Cole Escola, all of whom help keep the main duo on their toes as they strive for stardom in The City.
Finally, Hulu’s teen drama East Los High returns Friday, July 15 with all 12 episodes at once. As one of Hulu’s first (and longest running) originals, the series has found an enduring fan base with its look at the trials of a group of Latino high school students in a working class neighborhood in East Los Angeles. The series stars Gabe Chavarria, Daniell Vega, Carlito Olivero, Alexandra Rodriguez, Vanessa Vasquez, J.D. Pardo, and Prince Royce.
Choosing a weekly release schedule for many of its series, Hulu has had more difficulty getting a foothold in the original content game in comparison to rivals Netflix and Amazon, both of whom have been winning awards on a regular basis in recent years. But a strong showing for supernatural drama 11.22.63, starring James Franco and produced by Steven King and J.J. Abrams, has brought some more attention to the streamer from critics, if not from the masses just yet. If Hulu can score wins in the traditional network drought this summer, it could help turn the tide for the streamer in the highly competitive original content space.