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The best British shows on Hulu right now

If you’re interested in British television programming, you’ll find plenty of it on Hulu. From dramas and comedies to procedurals and even reality shows, Hulu has something for every Anglophile, including both new and classic series. To help you get your British TV fix on, we’ve narrowed down the best British shows on Hulu right now, perfect to accompany your afternoon tea.

And as a reminder — Hulu is part of the Disney Bundle, which is a way you can get the basic Hulu subscription, Disney+, and ESPN+ for just $14 a month, which is a stellar deal.

Didn’t find what you were looking for on Hulu? Still hoping to find entertainment from across the pond? Try the best British shows streaming on Netflix.

Harlots (2017)
73 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Rosalind Eleazar, Danny Sapani, Roy Beck
Created by Moira Buffini
The name of the show says a lot, but it doesn’t say it all. In Harlots, Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) attempts to make a better life for her family by running a brothel in the 18th century, a particularly seedy time to be in the business. Wells faces two foes in running her business: a growing push for morality from the community and a rival who runs an elite brothel nearby. The series is not a comedy, but it approaches its subject manner in a campy fashion while drawing viewers into its deeply distressing world. The series wrapped up with its third season in 2019.
Love Island (2015)
Love Island
tv-ma 8 Seasons
Genre Reality
Cast Iain Stirling, Laura Whitmore, Gemma Owen
Created by Laura Woolf, Mike Spencer, Andy Cadman
Often-imitated, Love Island is one of Britain’s greatest reality television exports across the world. The show follows a group of contestants isolated from the world in a compound that’s constantly monitored, much like Big Brother. Islanders couple up to compete for the prize money, but they can often change partners during the show, creating a landscape ripe with drama and subterfuge. The show is not without its detractors, however, as some have criticized the portrayal of how the contestants treat one another in borderline abusive ways.
Upstairs Downstairs (2010)
Upstairs Downstairs
71 %
2 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard, Adrian Scarborough
Created by Heidi Thomas
Those looking for something akin to Downton Abbey could look here. This revival of a 1971 show takes place between the world wars as a housekeeper is brought in to be part of a renovation of a townhouse recently occupied by a young diplomat. The story details two worlds — the world of those in the upstairs world of luxury and those in the downstairs world, forced to overcome the obstacles to band together for the sake of the home. Jean Marsh reprises her role from the original, while the new iteration also stars Claire Foy.
Coronation Street (1960)
Coronation Street
tv-pg 63 Seasons
Genre Soap
Cast Simon Gregson, William Roache, Alan Halsall
Created by Tony Warren
One could start watching Coronation Street and stop watching anything else — that’s how many episodes there are. The long-running soap opera, which is ongoing, checks in at a staggering 63 seasons and more than 10,000 episodes. For those watching on Hulu, only a couple of the most recent seasons are available. But it’s easy to pick up on the action at any point as the soap opera takes a light look at a working-class community and the ins and outs of an ordinary British community.
Skins (2007)
66 %
tv-ma 7 Seasons
Genre Drama, Comedy
Cast Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel, Kaya Scodelario
Created by Bryan Elsley, Jamie Brittain
Before there was Euphoria or even a U.S. version of Skins, there was the British version of the show. It followed a group of teenagers dealing with some of life’s toughest challenges in a way that felt inventive and controversial at the time it aired. Topics such as gender, sexuality, and mental illness were explored in ways that felt important without feeling exploitative. It helped that a number of prominent actors passed through the show at some point, including Nicholas Hoult, Hannah Murray, Joe Dempsie, and Dev Patel.
Killing Eve (2018)
Killing Eve
75 %
tv-14 4 Seasons
Genre Crime, Drama
Cast Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw
Psychopathic assassins never looked so good. Killing Eve begins as a cat-and-mouse chase between Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer). As the series goes on, however, the two become obsessed and even infatuated with one another, causing danger for everyone around them. The first season is one of the best in television memory. The series wrapped this year after four seasons.
Banished (2015)
1 Season
Genre Drama
Cast Russell Tovey, MyAnna Buring, Nicholas Moss
Created by Jimmy McGovern
While Australia is a world-class country in the present, it wasn’t always that way. Britain originally used the distant continent as a penal colony to get rid of its undesirables. Banished takes place in the late 18th century at the very first British penal colony in that country. In an increasingly tense situation, Tommy Barrett (Julian Rhind-Tutt) and Elizabeth Quinn (MyAnna Buring) put their lives on the line for love, much to the ire of Governor Arthur Phillip (David Wenham). Meanwhile, James Freeman (Russell Tovey) makes a devil’s bargain to save his own life. But James’ respite from the hangman’s noose has a high price.
Dead Boss (2012)
Dead Boss
1 Season
Genre Comedy
Created by Sharon Horgan
It’s not uncommon for people to dislike their bosses, but someone took that to the extreme in Dead Boss. Poor Helen Stephens (Sharon Horgan) has taken the fall for murdering Eric Bridges, which includes a sentence of 12 years in prison. Helen is so secure in her innocence that she’s certain this misunderstanding will be fixed soon. But why are so many people in Helen’s life working to keep her behind bars? And why has her fiancé, Justin (Barnaby Kay), disappeared when he was the only one who could confirm Helen’s alibi?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
tv-pg 1 Season
Genre Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Simon Jones, David Dixon, Sandra Dickinson
Created by Douglas Adams
Did you know that the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42? Everyone is still working out the question in the first live-action adaptation of Douglas Adams’ absurdly funny sci-fi comedy The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Arthur Dent (Simon Jones) is lucky (or unlucky) to be the last human alive after Earth is destroyed by aliens. Arthur’s friend, Ford Prefect (David Dixon), is secretly an alien himself, and they escape Earth together only to find themselves tangled up in an increasingly silly series of misadventures in outer space.
Horrible Histories (2009)
Horrible Histories
9 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast John Eccleston
Created by Terry Deary
Even in its darkest moments, history can be quite funny. That’s the genesis for Horrible Histories, a series based upon the children’s books that take a comedic (and yet historically accurate) approach to some of the shared moments of humanity’s past. Comedians Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, Sarah Hadland, and Ben Willbond were largely faithful to the tone set by the books while starring in sketches that can be enjoyed by all ages.
In the Flesh (2013)
In the Flesh
tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Luke Newberry, Marie Critchley, Steve Cooper
Created by Dominic Mitchell
In the Flesh offers a new take on zombies by depicting a post-zombie world in which the undead have been partially restored to living status and reintegrated into society. Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) is one of the sufferers of Partially Deceased Syndrome who encounters rampant bigotry from the living. Even Kieren’s sister, Jemima “Jem” Walke (Harriet Cains), is devoted to hunting down the PDS. Simon Monroe (Emmett J Scanlan) and the Undead Liberation Army have a militant approach to anti-PDS activities. Kieren and Simon even develop a relationship with each other as their respective lives threaten to descend into greater violence and heartbreak.
Wasted (2016)
1 Season
Genre Comedy
Cast Danny Kirrane, Dylan Edwards, Gwyneth Keyworth
Created by James Lamont, Jon Foster
Often compared favorably to Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson’s sitcom Spaced, the later series Wasted stars Danny Kirrane as Morpheus — no, not Neo’s Matrix mentor, but the owner of Neston Berry’s Stoned Henge souvenir shop/tattoo parlor. The series opens when Kent (Dylan Edwards) returns to the small town after crashing and burning as a DJ in Bristol. Together, Kent, Morpheus, Kent’s ex-girlfriend Sarah (Rose Reynolds), and tattoo artist Allison (Gwyneth Keyworth), do their best the mitigate the boredom of the small town. For the most part, dealing with the banality involves ingesting mind-altering substances: legal and otherwise. Sean Bean, dressed as Ned Stark from Game of Thrones, is delightful as he appears as himself or, more accurately, as the Sean Bean spirit guide who occasionally manifests to speak to Morpheus. It’s weird and wonderful.

The Aliens (2016)
The Aliens
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Michael Socha, Michaela Coel, Jim Howick
Created by Fintan Ryan
In the 1950s, aliens crash-landed in the Atlantic Ocean not far from Britain. To the keen disappointment of anyone expecting the new arrivals to have green skin, antennae, or any kind of ridged foreheads, the new arrivals looked exactly like the rest of us. To welcome the extraterrestrials, humanity did something predictable — built walls. In the BBC’s The Aliens, Michael Socha plays Lewis, a border control officer managing which aliens can and can’t mingle with Earthlings. In spite of his anti-alien paranoia, Lewis begins to fall for Lilyhot (Michaela Coel), an alien crook. His attraction leads to some unsurprising complications, helping to push forward the plot of this poignant satire that reflects a more real-world suffering from ignorance-bred fear.

Line of Duty (2012)
Line of Duty
tv-ma 6 Seasons
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery
Cast Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar
Created by Jed Mercurio
When Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) refuses to help cover up an illegal shooting, he’s transferred somewhere he can do the most good — Anti-Corruption Unit 12, investigating misconduct within the police force. Arnott is partnered with Detective Constable Vicky McClue (Kate Fleming), and the pair investigate what at first appear to be different cases with no obvious connections. But soon, Line of Duty transforms from a police procedural to a thriller as the heroes discover that all the corruption they’ve been looking into leads to the same source. Along with a suspenseful, binge-worthy story, Line of Duty boasts a whole host of U.K. screen-acting heavyweights like Lennie James (The Walking Dead), Thandie Newton (Westworld), and Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire).

This Way Up (2019)
This Way Up
81 %
2 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Aisling Bea, Sharon Horgan
Created by Aisling Bea
What do you do after a “teeny weeny” nervous breakdown? Well, in the dramedy This Way Up, Áine (Aisling Bea) does everything she can to put her life back together. In the wake of everything collapsing around her, Áine must relearn how to navigate romance, work, and family. Premiering on both BBC 4 and Hulu in 2019, This Way Up tackles the subject of mental health in a refreshingly light and funny way, without neglecting the more heartbreaking aspects of Áine’s struggles.
Absolutely Fabulous (1992)
Absolutely Fabulous
81 %
tv-14 6 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha
Created by Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders
Are you convinced that fashion-obsessed drug addicts are underrepresented in popular culture? Then it might be time to check out the classic British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. Creator Jennifer Saunders stars as the heavy-drinking and fad-chasing Eddy, joined by Joanna Lumley as Patsy — a woman whose self-destructive tendencies put Eddy’s to shame. Together, the pair inevitably and hilariously stumble into one crisis after another, always saved from the fire by Eddy’s cynical daughter, Saffy (Julia Sawalha).

Blackadder (1983)
tv-pg 4 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson
Created by Richard Curtis, Rowan Atkinson, Ben Elton
The different series making up the pseudo-historical sitcom Blackadder over the span of five centuries — from the end of the Middle Ages to World War I — have Rowan Atkinson’s Edmund in common. Sometimes a coward, sometimes a schemer, and sometimes a womanizer, Edmund is devilishly funny in every century, helping to make Blackadder one of the most beloved British sitcoms. Along with Atkinson, fans of British comedy greats Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie should make sure to keep their eye out for younger versions of the actors.

Luther (2010)
75 %
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery
Cast Idris Elba, Dermot Crowley, Hermione Norris
Created by Neil Cross
While in the States, Idris Elba may be best known for being Thor’s sidekick Heimdall, but in the U.K., he’s better known as John Luther, a volatile and unconventional detective who — among other things — can confidently put “goes to murderers for counsel” and “covering up crimes” on his resume. Intensely brilliant but at times cripplingly passionate, Luther is easily one of the most magnetic and fascinating detectives on TV in any nation.
Misfits (2009)
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Comedy
Cast Joseph Gilgun, Karla Crome, Nathan McMullen
Created by Howard Overman
What would young offenders do with superpowers? One possible answer can be found in the British sci-fi dramedy Misfits. In the middle of doing community service, five delinquents — including Umbrella Academy‘s Robert Sheehan and Iwan Rheon of Game of Thrones — encounter a bizarre electrical storm. After lightning strikes that should leave them dead, they instead find they’ve been given superhuman abilities that match their personalities or situations. For example, the regretful Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), desperate to make up for past mistakes, can manipulate the flow of time. Meanwhile, Simon (Rheon), who feels unseen, can soon literally become invisible. Misfits offers a perfect blend of drama and comedy while exploring how superpowers could truly change someone’s life.
My Mad Fat Diary (2013)
My Mad Fat Diary
3 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Sharon Rooney, Nico Mirallegro, Jodie Comer
Created by Rae Earl
Author Rae Earl kept a diary chronicling her mental health issues as well as the harrowing experience of being a teenage girl bigger than many other teenage girls. Those diaries were published in 2007 and later used to create the powerful teenage dramedy My Mad Fat Diary. Sharon Rooney plays the author right after a four-month stint at a psychiatric hospital as she tries to rebuild her life while at the same time desperate to hide what’s been going on. My Mad Fat Diary offers a touching portrayal that feels real while still making you laugh.
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Pride and Prejudice
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Drama
Cast Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle, Susannah Harker
There’s no shortage of adaptations of Jane Austen’s 19th-century novel Pride and Prejudice, but this mini-series released in the mid-’90s set a standard to which every subsequent treatment strives to meet. Jennifer Ehle stars as Austen’s tenacious protagonist Lizzy while Colin Firth fills the shoes of her love interest, Mr. Darcy, a man who women tend to swoon over until he opens his mouth. If you haven’t seen this Pride and Prejudice, it’s time to correct that (then you can watch the one with the zombies).
The Office (2001)
The Office
97 %
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis
Created by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
It’s impossible to escape comparisons between the U.S. version of The Office and the British sitcom that was its inspiration, and any fan of the former owes it to themselves to give the latter a watch. Instead of Steve Carell’s Michael Scott, Ricky Gervais invented the role of David Brent, a manager even more inappropriate and inept than his stateside echo, while Mackenzie Crook plays his righthand man Gareth who is obsessed with the authority he doesn’t really have. While the American answer to The Office quickly changed course from the original in order to make characters like Michael Scott and Dwight more likable, the original keeps the laughter while not shying away from the utter jerks Brent and Gareth prove to be.
Zomboat! (2019)
1 Season
Genre Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Leah Brotherhead, Cara Theobold, Ryan McKen
Created by William Hartley, Adam Miller
How do you survive a zombie apocalypse? By following Gilligan’s example (at least before the crash). That’s the idea our heroes get in Zomboat!, a hilarious series in which two women and two men decide the only way to escape the end of the world is to take a canal boat that barely moves faster than the hungry zombies on land. Surprisingly upbeat, scary, and as funny as the apocalypse could possibly be, Zomboat! is mandatory viewing for any zombie fan or any comedy fan who doesn’t mind their humor when it gets a little bloody.

Editors' Recommendations

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