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5 best Hulu TV shows of 2023, ranked

Hulu TV shows had a fabulous year in 2023. There have been high-profile launches, a few in partnership with FX, and long-awaited series returns. Several of the new shows launched on Hulu this year were met with rave reviews. Some even received Emmy nominations.

The five best Hulu shows of 2023 include three that returned with new seasons, one after a three-year hiatus. There are also two brand-new shows, one that premiered late in the year, but is already gaining attention, and another that has already been renewed for a second season.

5. Unprisoned (2023-)

An older man and young woman laugh together in the kitchen in a scene from UnPrisoned on Hulu.
Kelsey McNeal / Hulu

Kerry Washington gained legions of fans as Olivia Pope in Scandal. She switches to a more comedic role in UnPrisoned, which tells the story the story of Paige (Washington), a young single mother who had a difficult childhood. Her father was in and out of prison when she was growing up, which left Paige living either in foster care or with her father’s girlfriend, Nadine (Brenda Strong). Now grown with a teenager of her own, Paige’s life is turned upside down when her father, Edwin (Delroy Lindo), is released after 17 years of incarceration and is hoping for reconciliation.

UnPrisoned does a wonderful job of balancing heavy subject matter with humor. Paige might seem like she has it altogether, especially in her job as, ironically, a family and marriage therapist. But whenever she is faced with difficult situations, she finds herself coping by interacting with her “inner child.” Critics especially love the dynamic and chemistry between Washington and Lindo. The series has been renewed for a second season.

Stream UnPrisoned on Hulu.

4. Fargo (2014-)

Jon Hamm in a sheriff's cowboy hat standing at a fence in a scene from Fargo season 5.
FX Networks / Hulu

Fans waited patiently for three years for a new season of Fargo, and when it finally arrived in late 2023, it didn’t disappoint. The black comedy crime drama, based on the 1996 film of the same name by the Coen brothers, features compartmentalized anthology stories in each season. But everything exists in the same universe. In the latest fifth season, the story takes place in North Dakota and Minnesota where a housewife named Dorothy (Ted Lasso’s Juno Temple) is kidnapped and rescued, but then denies it ever happened.

A complex web is weaved that involves multiple other characters, including her alleged kidnapper (Sam Spruell), her ex-husband and county sheriff (Jon Hamm), a state trooper (Lamorne Morris), and her current husband (David Rysdahl). Critics praise the lead performances by Temple and Hamm, calling the latest season a “back-to-basics caper.”

Stream Fargo on Hulu. 

3. Only Murders in the Building (2021-)

Mabel, Oliver, and Charles stand in an elevator together in Only Murders in the Building Season 3.
Patrick Harbron / Hulu

In its third season (it’s already been renewed for a fourth), Only Murders in the Building still manages to keep things fresh despite a premise that screams for a single season run. Mabel (Selena Gomez), Charles (Steve Martin), and Oliver (Martin Short) are unlikely friends with only two things in common: they all live in the same swanky New York City building and they are all obsessed with true crime. Fate and circumstance lead them to become acquainted with one another when a murder just so happens to occur in their building. The freshly minted trio take it upon themselves to try and solve it. In the process, they develop a true crime podcast and get mixed up with dangerous people, season after season, new murder after new murder.

Season 3 adds Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep to the cast, a testament to the comedy-mystery’s success. But it’s really the chemistry among the trio that lights up the screen, as well as the topical theme that pokes fun at our obsession with true crime. The silly entertainment keeps you guessing the whole way through as new truths are revealed, with each episode told from the perspective of a different suspect. With an almost perfect Rotten Tomatoes score for all three seasons, Only Murders in the Building is consistently one of Hulu’s standout series.

Stream Only Murders in the Building on Hulu. 

2. A Murder at the End of the World (2023)

Darby in the dark with pink hair looking suspiciously to her side in a scene from A Murder at the End of the World.
Christopher Saunders / FX Networks

Emma Corrin impressed with her performance as Princess Diana in season 4 of the Netflix series The Crown, and her very different role in A Murder at the End of the World allows the actress to demonstrate her acting range. One of many recent projects within the revived murder mystery genre, she plays Darby, a talented young hacker who, to her surprise, gets invited to a lavish retreat at a tech billionaire’s remote cabin.

Things become murky when a guest at the party drops dead. Darby, who grew up around dead bodies while visiting crime scenes with her forensic pathologist father, doesn’t believe it was an accident. She thinks this was murder. She’s convinced there’s a killer among them, a hunch that intensifies when a second person winds up deceased. Discovering the killer’s identity without pointing fingers means Darby has to be smart, know who she can trust, and find out what the motive is. Co-created by Brit Marling, who starred in Netflix series The OA (and who is also counted among the cast of this series), A Murder at the End of the World is an entertaining whodunit psychological thriller drama with a killer (pun intended) supporting cast.

Stream A Murder at the End of the World on Hulu.

1. The Bear (2022-)

Carmy stuck in the walk-in fridge in a scene from The Bear season 2.
Chuck Hodes / Image via FX Networks

Yes, chef! These two words have been uttered by many since The Bear broke onto the scene in June 2022. Season 1 received rave reviews and 13 Emmy nominations, and season 2, released this year, garnered universal acclaim once again. Now fully established back at home in Chicago, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) is ready to use the money his brother left behind to turn The Beef into a fine-dining establishment. But it isn’t going to come easy and not without a hefty price.

The season added a long list of guest stars to the mix, many of whom appeared in the incredible Seven Fishes episode. Each character adds to the story in a unique way, helping to explain the past that shaped the man Carmy has become today. It’s not all about him, though: there’s so much character development in this season. The frantic pace fans have come to love is back and the events set the story up beautifully for the confirmed third season.

Stream The Bear on Hulu. 

Editors' Recommendations

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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