Ah, the eternal weekend question: what to watch? Sure, there are classic, long-running shows that you know you ought to get to some day. But even more tempting are shorter series that you can either catch up with or totally finish in just a few days. To give you some ideas, we've trolled Hulu for the best shows you can watch from beginning to end this weekend. From exquisitely painful romantic dramas to the goofiest vampire comedy ever made, these quick bites will leave you satisfied. Read on for our recommendations, and for another list that might suit you, check out 13 Netflix Shows You Can Watch From Start to Finish This Weekend.
Top of the Lake
Not quite an anthology series, Top of the Lake kind of feels like one. The crime drama from The Piano filmmaker Jane Campion stars Elisabeth Moss as a detective who investigates sexual assaults. Each of its two seasons follows Det. Robin Griffin as she digs into a case and features some stunning (if brutally filmed) scenery courtesy of its New Zealand and Australia filming locations. Top of the Lake isn't based on real events, but for some shows that are, check out The Best True Crime Shows on Netflix You Can Finish in a Weekend.
Filmed during lockdown, Staged features Good Omens costars and friends David Tennant and Michael Sheen as "themselves," doing what the rest of us did in quarantine: trying to stay connected and sane. (Plus working from home, which for them involves virtually rehearsing a play.) Hulu has both easily binge-able and cameo-laden seasons, which will be especially hilarious to anyone experiencing serious Zoom fatigue.
One of the few pluses to there being such long hiatuses between seasons of Donald Glover's critical darling is that you're never too far behind to start Atlanta. The events of the series begin when Glover's character Earn returns to his Southern hometown after dropping out of college and pitches himself as a manager to his cousin, a depressed local rapper who goes by Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry). Recent Oscar-nominee Lakeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz round out the cast as Paper Boi's existential best friend and Earn's sometimes girlfriend and mother of his child, respectively. For more recs, check out 14 TV Shows You Can Watch on HBO Max From Start to Finish This Weekend.
This limited series adaptation of Sally Rooney's beloved novel of the same name is the perfect angsty weekend binge. Starring relative newcomers Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones, the series chronicles the on-again, off-again romance of two students who struggle to communicate how much they mean to each other, despite their paths crossing over and over.
Most of us would rather forget our awkward middle school years, which makes them fertile ground for comedy. In this series, stars and co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play tween versions of themselves navigating crushes, mortifying moments, and the most cringe-worthy parts of puberty in the early '00s.
The silver lining to this space Western being canceled way too soon is that it's not that hard to finish Firefly in one sitting. While even a dedicated fanbase couldn't get the Joss Whedon series back on TV, the demand did result in a feature film sequel, Serenity, which is streaming on Peacock. For more recommendations sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Instead of restarting the nine-season American adaptation of this workplace comedy for the dozenth time, treat yourself to the original version of The Office. The British series leans even harder into the crushing awkwardness of daily life but has some big emotional payoffs (especially with Tim and Dawn, the proto-Jim and Pam) to even things out. With two six-episode seasons and a two-part finale Christmas special, you can easily fit it all in on your days off. And if you're a fan of the U.S. version, check out The Major Mistake in the First Episode of "The Office" You Never Noticed.
If you're in the mood for something really wholesome and soothing, get into Making It, the maker competition series hosted by Parks and Recreation costars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Crafters and artists who work in different materials take on themed challenges, putting their own signature spin on mailboxes, Halloween costumes, terrariums, and more.
Don't Trust the B**** in Apt 23
Looking for something a little bit more irreverent? Don't Trust the B**** in Apt 23 stars Krysten Ritter as a cynical party girl who ends up befriending her conscientious new roommate (Dreama Walker), despite her continual efforts to drive her to move out. And there's extra appeal for Dawson's Creek fans, since James Van Der Beek plays a hilariously self-centered version of himself. And for more shows that may break you out of your rut, These TV Shows Are Scientifically Proven to Cure Your Boredom.
Pride and Prejudice
To many, the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice is the definitive adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Across six episodes, it's certainly more comprehensive than any two-hour film version can be. And Colin Firth's take on Mr. Darcy, particularly a certain lake scene, is responsible for launching an entire fandom and giving more than one generation a set of sky-high expectations for suitors.
A struggling group of actors and other misfits pay the bills by working a variety of L.A. catering gigs in the cult classic comedy Party Down. It was canceled after Season 2, but the cast (Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Lizzy Caplan, and Megan Mullally, just to name a few) and the show's sharp satire make it worth the watch.
The socially conscious sci-fi show Timeless follows a computer programmer (Malcolm Barrett), a history professor (Abigail Spencer), and a soldier (Matt Lanter) as they chase a fugitive through time. Along the way, they end up in actual historical situations, with the show focusing on telling the stories of real people forgotten by textbooks—usually women and people of color. Fans were so devastated by the show's cancellation that the producers were granted a finale movie to wrap everything up. And for endings that are still being debated, here are The Most Hated TV Finales of All Time.
Ramy Youssef scored a Golden Globe for playing the eponymous character in this loosely autobiographical comedy series about a young American Muslim reconciling the culture he was born into with the millennial experience. It's already been renewed for a third season, so now's the time to catch up.
What We Do in the Shadows
A continuation/spinoff of the independent comedy movie of the same name, What We Do in the Shadows is a faux docuseries about a group of vampires trying to live discreetly (but also conquer the world) on Staten Island. Silly and surprisingly moving, this is a marathon that goes down easy, like a fresh pint of O+. For the series that had everyone talking last year, check out The Best TV Show of 2020, According to Critics.
The Stephen King universe is expanded in this horror/drama inspired by his work. Castle Rock tells two separate but interlocking stories across its two seasons, and there's plenty to enjoy/be terrified of even if you're not a dedicated enough King fan to catch all of the Easter eggs. (There are a lot.) And if you're a horror fan, check out The Best Horror Film of 2020, According to Critics.
Zoë Kravitz takes the lead in this gender-swapped adaptation of the novel and film High Fidelity, about a record store owner grappling with her "top five" past heartbreaks. Despite being canceled after one season, it's a must-watch for the music-obsessed and/or the recently broken up with.
Another for the spinoff/continuation genre, Love, Victor is the series follow-up to the movie Love, Simon. Just like that movie (and the novel it's based on, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda), this coming-of-age dramedy centers on a high school student who's coming to better understand his sexuality. This show is also set to return for a second season, so you'll want to catch up with all the Creekwood High drama now. And if you love a good love story, check out The 18 Best Romantic Comedies on Netflix Right Now.