Top 10 Hidden Gems on Hulu
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Beca Dalimonte
Huly is full of hidden gems. For this list, we'll be looking at Hulu original films and series you may not have known about! Our countdown includes "Woke," "Shrill," "Devs," and more!
Top 10 Hidden Gems on Hulu
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hidden Gems on Hulu.
For this list, we’ll be looking at Hulu original films and series you may not have known about!
What is the best thing you’ve discovered through Hulu? Let us know in the comments!
#10: “Dollface” (2019-22)
Even if you haven’t heard of “Dollface,” you’re likely familiar with some of its talented cast. The comedy series features the acting talents of Marvel star Kat Dennings, “Pretty Little Liars’” Shay Mitchell, and “The Suite Life”’s Brenda Song in leading roles, in addition to featuring Matthew Gray Gubler and Beth Grant in its supporting cast. The series’ narrative revolves around a young woman who, after a breakup, realizes that she has ostracized other women while in her relationship. She attempts to remedy this by reconnecting with old friends from college, and finally getting to know her female coworkers.
#9: “Woke” (2020-22)
Keef Knight, based on subversive American cartoonist Keith Knight, is a Black cartoonist known for shying away from difficult topics in his work. He’s close to making it big in his field, with plans to make an appearance at Golden Con to introduce his work to a wider audience. In the lead-up to the convention, however, he is racially profiled by an antagonistic policeman - a traumatic experience that completely shakes up his view on life and art. Mixing live-action scenes with animated characters, the series stars “New Girl” actor Lamorne Morris as the now “woke” Keef, who must balance his newfound understanding of the world with his burgeoning career.
#8: “Plan B” (2021)
With reproductive rights in the United States in flux, it seems more important than ever to portray the difficulties of obtaining safe contraceptives in film. “Plan B” does just that, with a comedic slant. It focuses on Sunny, a young girl who has a regretful encounter at a party she throws with her best friend, Lupe. Wanting to avoid the ire of Sunny’s mother, the pair attempt to buy Plan B at their pharmacy - and are promptly denied. This denial causes them to take a road trip to the nearest city with a Planned Parenthood, running into trouble every step of the way. The film is directed by actress Natalie Morales, known for her recurring roles in “Dead to Me” and “Parks & Recreation.”
#7: “Big Time Adolescence” (2019)
In recent years, it seems that “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Pete Davidson has become more known for who he dates off-screen than what he does on-screen. His acting talent should not be discounted, though, as it's clear from the Hulu original film, “Big Time Adolescence” that he has the acting chops to carry an emotionally-driven dramedy. The film follows a wide-eyed, straight-edge teen named Mo who becomes enamored with the laid-back lifestyle of his friend Zeke, a drug-dealing college dropout. This unique narrative set-up allows for a fresh approach to the coming of age subgenre, showcasing how a teenager and young adult can both “come-of-age” in their own ways.
#6: “Devs” (2020)
Created by “Annihilation” and “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland, “Devs” is a thrilling science fiction tale about a software engineer named Lily Chan who discovers that her workplace, Amaya, may not be what it seems. She begins investigating the quantum computing company, and its CEO Forest, after her boyfriend dies on his first day at the job. The miniseries received four Emmy nominations in below-the-line categories and showcased “Parks & Recreation”s Nick Offerman giving a surprising dramatic performance in a major role. “Devs” has also been praised for its unique perspective on humanity and free will, with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll calling the show a “good change of pace from what [is ordinarily seen] in action movies.”
#5: “High Fidelity” (2020)
You might be familiar with the 2000 film “High Fidelity,” or even the 1995 novel on which it was based, but did you know that Hulu released a series adaptation of the same story in 2020? The modernized adaptation of the popular romantic comedy features a genderswapped Rob as its protagonist, played by “The Batman” star Zoë Kravitz. It was met with favorable critical reviews, which praised it for being a “fresh take” on its source material, and featured cameo appearances by music industry legends Debbie Harry and Jack Antonoff. Although it was canceled by the streamer after a single season, the series is still an enjoyable and worthwhile watch with an adequately satisfying end.
#4: “Minding the Gap” (2018)
On its surface, the Academy Award-nominated “Minding the Gap” appears to be a casual film about skateboarding and friendship. It draws from old footage of the director and his friends frequenting skate parks as teens, comparing their past dynamic to the men they have become. As the film goes on, however, it becomes clear that it is not solely about the camaraderie of skate culture. As director Bing Liu learns more about the adult lives of his childhood friends, he discovers how the heartbreaking and complicated realities of the cycle of abuse have affected their lives and the lives around them. With an incredibly personal perspective, “Minding the Gap” is an honest and harrowing portrayal of the complexity of human nature.
#3: “Shrill” (2019-21)
Annie is happy with her body, but society isn’t. In this body-positive comedy series starring “SNL” alum Aidy Bryant, a woman deals with her demanding boss, sick parents, and substandard dating life at a weight that everyone around her deems “bad.” In defiance of public opinion, Annie sees herself on equal footing with her skinnier peers and does everything in her power to prove it to those around her. Although the series was largely overlooked by the general public, it received critical acclaim on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic, and even landed its star an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
#2: “Palm Springs” (2020)
It feels as if the “Groundhog Day” time loop gimmick has been done to death as of late, with films like “Happy Death Day” and shows like “Russian Doll” all employing the concept for their narratives. Nonetheless, “Palm Springs” provides a fun and fresh take on the now-common trope, throwing the viewer in mid-cycle and allowing its charming lead, played by “SNL”-alum Andy Samberg, to fill in the missing pieces. The summer rom-com boasts acclaim from both critics and audiences alike, and features the acting chops of Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons in the film’s antagonist role.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Ramy Hassan Struggles to Respect His Egyptian Upbringing as an American Millennial
Mother Doesn’t Always Know Best in This Tense Thriller Starring “AHS”’s Sarah Paulson
“Happiest Season” (2020)
A Sweet Holiday Romcom With a Lesbian Twist, Starring Kristen Stewart & Mackenzie Davis
“Difficult People” (2015-17)
Two Amateur Comedians Struggle to Get By & Grow Resentful of Their Friends’ Successes
A Date Spells Disaster for Noa, Who Gets Tied up in Her New Boyfriend’s Horrifying Hobby
#1: “PEN15” (2019-21)
Do you remember what it was like to be in middle school? Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle do, and they’ve recreated their experiences - warts and all - in their coming-of-age cringe comedy series “PEN15.” The two showrunners also star in the series as their younger selves alongside an actual teenage cast, a unique decision which sets “PEN15” apart from other series of the same ilk. Produced by Lonely Island members Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, the series has received multiple Primetime Emmy nominations during its short run and emerged as a critical favorite.