The 8 Hulu TV shows that are better than 'The Handmaid's Tale,' according to critics


the handmaid's tale

  • Hulu’s hit original TV series, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” returns June 5 for its third season.
  • But there are other Hulu originals viewers should have on their radar, too, if you ask critics.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hulu’s hit original TV series, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” returns June 5 for its anticipated third season. But while the show is an Emmy-winning sensation (it won the best drama series award for its first season), there are other Hulu originals that are even better if you ask critics.

We looked at review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to determine how Hulu’s original TV shows stack up against each other, and there are eight that fare better than “The Handmaid’s Tale” in critics’ eyes.

That’s not to say that “The Handmaid’s Tale” isn’t a critical darling. It has an average critic score of 91% for the show’s first two seasons and an 87% audience score. But it goes to show how much Hulu’s other quality shows go under the radar.

They include “Pen15” and “Shrill,” which prove that Hulu is on a hot streak with female-driven comedies, as well as the new anthology thriller series, “The Act.”

Below are eight Hulu original TV shows better than “The Handmaid’s Tale,” according to critics:

SEE ALSO: Hulu’s 26 notable original TV shows, ranked from worst to best by critics

8. “The Act”

Critics score: 91%

Audience score: 91%

Hulu description: “The Act is a seasonal anthology series that tells startling, stranger-than-fiction true crime stories. Season One follows Gypsy Blanchard (Joey King), a girl trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her overprotective mother, Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette). Her quest for independence opens a Pandora’s box of secrets, one that ultimately leads to murder.”

What critics said:A reminder that even when you think you know a great deal about true story, there can be value in retelling it.” —

Status: Pending (1 season)

7. “Shrill”

Critics score: 92%

Audience score: 79%

Hulu description: “From Executive Producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks comes Shrill, a comedy series starring Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) as Annie, a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Annie is trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, and a perfectionist boss.”

What critics said:Shrill is a marvelous piece of writing and acting, a meeting of Bryant’s vibe and West’s.” — NPR

Status: Current (Season 2 coming)

6. “Casual”

Critics score: 92%

Audience score: 87%

Hulu description: “From the Academy Award Nominated Director of ‘Up in the Air’ and ‘Juno’ comes Casual, a new comedy series about a bachelor brother and his newly divorced sister living under one roof again. Together, they coach each other through the crazy world of dating while raising her teenage daughter.”

What critics said:Casual never hesitated to dig into its uncomfortable interpersonal relationships, but it always managed to do so with humor. And it remained fully committed to having its characters grow and evolve realistically, right until the very end.” — The Verge

Status: Ended (4 seasons)

5. “Difficult People”

Critics score: 95%

Audience score: 81%

Hulu description: “Difficult People hails from Julie Klausner who stars alongside Emmy-nominated Billy on the Street host Billy Eichner. As best friends living in New York City, their typical, irreverent behavior lands them in some very awkward situations.”

What critics said:The jokes, often at the expense of celebrities, are told with startling confidence. Who knows how the market can support a show so narrowly targeted to a literate, mean audience — but who cares when it’s this funny?” — Time

Status: Ended (3 seasons)

4. “Pen15”

Critics score: 95%

Audience score: 84%

Hulu description: “PEN15 is middle school as it really happened. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle star in this adult comedy, playing versions of themselves as thirteen-year-old outcasts in the year 2000, surrounded by actual thirteen-year-olds, where the best day of your life can turn into your worst with the stroke of a gel pen.”

What critics said:The creators’ commitment to their bit pays off, not merely with Y2K-era realism but emotionally, giving every humiliating moment a double edge.” — New Yorker

Status: Current (Season 2 coming)

3. “The Wrong Mans”

Critics score: 95%

Audience score: 91%

Hulu description: “Lowly office workers Sam (Matthew Baynton) and Phil (James Corden) have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. From being dragged into a deadly criminal conspiracy after answering someone else’s phone to being thrown into witness protection in Texas, ‘The Wrong Mans’ is chock-full of plot twists and bold new enemies at every turn.”

What critics said:I’m not ashamed to say I stood and clapped at the end, on my own in a quiet room.” — Guardian

Status: Ended (2 seasons)

2. “Ramy”

Critics score: 97%

Audience score: 81%

Hulu description: “Ramy is a first generation Egyptian-American who is on a spiritual journey in his politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood. RAMY will bring a new perspective to the screen as it explores the challenges of what it’s like being caught between a Muslim community that thinks life is a moral test and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences.”

What critics said:One of the best new comedies of 2019 so far, and bonus points for also being one of the most interesting and different, too.” — Newsday

Status: Current (Season 2 coming)

1. “Harlots”

Critics score: 97%

Audience score: 91%

Hulu description: “Margaret Wells struggles to reconcile her roles as brothel owner and mother to daughters Charlotte and Lucy. When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley, a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret must fight back even if it means losing her family and possibly her life.”

What critics said:It provides a still-relevant battle cry of resistance and a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit, which in itself makes for worthy viewing.” — Indiewire

Status: Current (Season 3 coming July 10)