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Hulu Free Trial Verdict: One Week Into Streaming - Is It Worth It?

Hulu Home Screen Parasite Song Kang-ho Ki Taek Choi Woo-sik Ki Woo Abominable Yi Everest The Great Nicholas Hoult Peter Elle Fanning Catherine Bob's Burgers Love Island Sons of Anarchy
Hulu

Hulu has come a long way since this user originally subscribed almost a decade ago in 2013. For the past few months, Hulu has felt ubiquitous. Every TV show or movie I wanted to see seemed to be on it. So, with that in mind, I decided to make the pain-free investment of a 30-day free trial for the commercial-free second-tier. Is Hulu worth it? Here’s a review after Week 1.

When breaking down how anything stands up, a list of pros and cons is always a great place to start. For this look at Hulu, let’s glimpse the streamer through this critical set of eyes. Find out if the pros of Hulu outweigh the cons below.

Pro: Interface

First off, Hulu having a Roku app and a button on Roku’s controller is a huge plus. The interface is easy to follow and use. The forward, rewind, pause, and clear screen option are fluid features. Hulu also has a dedicated “expiring” section of your queue so you can keep up with what needs to get watched sooner than later.

Con: The Layout

Browsing Hulu’s library is a little less user-friendly as you must scroll up to get back to the top menu. This entails watching all of the rows you have browsed (no matter how plentiful) scroll up like a slot machine. Peacock uses a similar set-up, and neither works well for vertigo sufferers. It could induce an attack.

Pro: The Content

Hulu has the recently released “Deep Water” starring the amazing Ana de Armas and the Oscar-winning “Parasite.” So, it is tough not to get hooked while window shopping. “Parasite” is one of the movies yours truly has been dying to watch since Hulu nabbed the streamlining rights after its awards sweep. Bong Joon Ho’s masterwork is in itself worth a Hulu subscription to watch.

Con: Lack of International Content

While Hulu has “Parasite,” it lacks a strong spine of international content. Where Netflix has heavily invested in backing the worldwide market, Hulu appears far less inclined. Nor does it feature audio dubbing, in case you prefer that option. There are so many extraordinary non-English films that it is surprising Hulu ignores them.

Pro: Tons of Thrillers

What it lacks in international content, Hulu makes a substantive counter offer in thrillers. Personal thirst for quality entries in this genre can never be quenched. (Netflix should take notes.) Hulu understands this desire and has a rich supply of thrillers to choose from, albeit mostly modern. There is no need to nitpick, though.

Con: Few Older Movies

At least, this seems to be the case one week into the Hulu free trial. It is painful to say that the streamer does not have a large library of “classics” or a lot from the 90s, for that matter. Hulu’s focus seems to be mostly geared from 2000 forward. Dabbling a little further back in time would be fine and it is key to note that Netflix has a similar issue. Hence, Hulu does not deserve to be singled out for it.

Pro: Plenty of Nicolas Cage

What does every movie fan need more of in their life? If you answered “more Nicolas Cage” movies, you nailed the pop quiz question. Peacock has more “classic” Cage, while Hulu supplies the modern marvel as he goes all-out in some entertaining recent fare. Now, we just need to see who ends up streaming Cage’s “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” If it ends up being added to Hulu post-free trial, Hulu may earn a paying subscriber.

Pro: The Free Trial

Many streamers will not give you a free trial and if they do many will only do 7 days. Hulu is one of the few that will give you 30 days, and as it demonstrates, a free trial is a powerful thing. One week in, it is clear that you need to jump on it while you can. Hulu allows you to know what you are missing, and a month is a fair amount of time to explore a streamer.

What I Enjoyed Watching In Week 1

“Parasite”

I finally got to see it! In “Parasite,” the class war is brought to an unwitting couple’s lavish household. If you found yourself riveted by “The Housemaid,” this cerebral tale of suspense will undoubtedly stimulate you. Led by a stunning acting ensemble, director Bong Joon Ho’s work is a rarity in that it takes one viewing to know you have witnessed a masterpiece.

“Then Came You”

Kathie Lee Gifford wrote and stars in this beguiling romantic comedy about a widow (Gifford) traveling around the world. She does not anticipate striking up a bond with a widower (Craig Ferguson) who runs the inn at her first destination in Scotland. Gifford’s script and on-screen sparkle with Ferguson help this movie shine.

“One Shot”

Action-thriller starring Scott Atkins and “Twilight” alum Ashley Greene. Atkins plays the leader of an elite NAVY Seal team tasked with extracting a high-stakes prisoner at a black site. Strong performances by Atkins, Waleed Elgadi as a suspected terrorist, and Andrei Maniata as Adamat, a recruit tasked with the unthinkable – cement the film’s stakes.

Week 1 - Verdict

Hulu’s intuitive set-up and content options provide persuasive reasons to keep it around. For now, movies remain its most compelling aspect. TV shows such as “Only Murders in the Building,” “The Girl from Plainville,” and “Candy” remain its greatest personal curiosities as far as dramas are concerned. 

A chance to watch “20/20” and re-watch “One Tree Hill” and “Smallville” also provides nostalgic reasons to stay tuned. Oh, and Hulu will be the streaming destination for FX’s upcoming thriller “The Old Man,” starring Jeff Bridges. Suffice it to say. There are many reasons to stay if money were no object. Verdict: Way more pros than cons.

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