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Television

The Best Jewish TV Shows to Watch on Hulu

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Hulu has been knocking it out of the park lately, with amazing original programming like The Great, a gorgeous, highly fictionalized show about Catherine the Great (I’m obsessed but it’s not Jewish at all), and the Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington-led drama Little Fires Everywhere (truly a dream cast, but again, not Jewish).

While Netflix used to be my primary go-to for binge-worthy TV, that is no longer the case. Despite its sometimes annoying interface — please, Hulu, I just want easy access to what I’m already watching when I open the Hulu app! — the streaming platform is just chock full of incredible TV and movies — and a lot of them Jewish (or at least, Jew-ish).

So yes, you’ve guessed it, just ahead of a locked-down long weekend, we’ve compiled some of the best Jewish Hulu shows and movies for you to stream.

Comedies

Dave

This new FX/Hulu show stars Jewish rapper Dave Burd, AKA Lil Dicky — and if you’re guessing at the origin of the monicker, you are correct (and it’s a subject that comes up a lot). The show premiered in March 2020 is a total smash; it has already been renewed for a second season. It’s also very, very Jewish, featuring the comedian’s Jewish parents and so many Semitic references. While it is not for the squeamish, it’s a unique, funny, and delightfully musical show that deserves all its success.

Difficult People

Why was Difficult People canceled?! I honestly don’t know and I think I’ll never get over it. This show features my all-time favorite Jewish comedic duo, Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner, playing two commercially unsuccessful but delightfully confident New York comedians and actors. Their kvetchiness is to live for, and their love for each other is palpable. We need Klausner and Eichner back together on TV, stat.

Better Things

Pamela Adlon stars as a divorced Jewish mom of three daughters in this wonderfully human and smart show that gets at the pains and the joys of single parenting. As Rebecca Bodenheimer wrote for Kveller, “for moms going out of their minds right now with quarantine fatigue, you couldn’t ask for a better form of entertainment than Better Things.” Agreed!

Casual

Casual is one of the most brilliant shows ever made about sex, relationships, and growing up as an already-adult. It stars amazing comedian Michaela Watkins and was created by Zander Lehmann and directed by Jason Reitman — all three very talented members of the tribe. Watkins plays Valerie, a newly divorced mom of a teen who is moving in with her emotionally stunted brother, a dating app creator.

What We Do In The Shadows

Is there anything Jewish about the content of this show? Aside from being co-written by our favorite Jewish dad, Taika Waititi, not so much — though it has a host of fabulous Jewish guest stars, like Beanie Feldstein and Nick Kroll. But What We Do In the Shadows is an excellent vampire comedy film that was turned into an even more incredible TV comedy. I honestly don’t know how that’s even possible, but it happened! This show is truly one of the most enjoyable, smart, and laugh-out-loud funny shows streaming right now and I’d be doing all of you a disservice if I didn’t include it in this list.

Broad City

Can you believe it’s been over a year since Broad City ended its five-season run? We miss Abbi (Jacobson) and Ilana (Glazer), and we especially miss Susie Essman as Ilana’s delightful Jewish mom in this lovely, sexy, empowering stoner comedy that is now a classic.

Brooklyn 99

Is Brooklyn 99 the best police comedy ever made? With the possible exception of the Israeli cop show HaShoter HaTov, I’d argue that the binge-worthy sitcom totally is. Starring dreamy Jewish dad Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, a gifted Jewish detective who is still haunted by the bar mitzvah season of his youth. Trust me when I tell you this is the feel-good comedy we need right now.

Younger

This show about a mom pretending she is younger than she is to get a job in the publishing industry is a distracting, colorful binge! It’s also full of Jewish moments, as well as a diverse set of Jewish personalities. “It’s refreshing to see such diverse Jewish characters get significant screen time on an otherwise ‘unaffiliated’ show: the Orthodox lesbian, the stereotypical overachieving Jewish med student, the jappy ‘pansexual’ you feel like you know,” writes Haley Longman.

Dramas

Mrs. America

The show about the fight to ratify the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) is about some seriously amazing Jewish women we all need to remember: Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Betty Freidan, as well as lawyer and film producer Brenda Feigen. It’s marvelously acted and impeccably made.

Juda

Juda is an Israeli vampire show that is 100 percent worth watching. Starring Israeli comedian Tzion Baruch as Juda, a petty criminal turned vampire, it’s the Jewish supernatural show we’ve all been dreaming of.

False Flag

Five Israelis wake up one morning and find out they’re implicated in a high-profile kidnapping of the Iranian Minister of Defense. They all deny it, but what is truth and what is fiction? That’s the concept behind this Israeli show that will truly keep you at the edge of your seat.

Normal People

You may raise your eyebrows at the appearance of this hot new series about a teenage romance set in Ireland in this article. There is nothing Jewish about the incredible book by Sally Rooney upon which the show is based (aside from a few mentions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), and there is nothing Jewish about this sexy, lyrical show. Nothing, that is, apart from its Jewish Irish director, Lenny Abrahamson, one of the very few famous Irish Jews (aside from James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, of course). And I do believe that gives me a good enough excuse to add this thirsty and entrancing show to the list.

Happy viewing!

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