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The Best Classic TV Shows to Watch on Hulu Right Now

Your to-be-watched pile just got even bigger

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Amanda Bell

These days, there are plenty of bingeable TV shows available to stream, and the streaming services are continuing to drop new titles at an increasingly dizzying speed (just look at the heaping list of titles that have been added this month). 

But if you've got the bandwidth to take a break from new shows and delve into some of the more vintage programs available on streaming, Hulu's got a whole boatload of classic TV shows that are still worth the watch (and will help make you a star on virtual trivia night). Plus, as reboot and revival fever continues to spread, watching these shows now could give you a leg up on next year's slate of freshmen series, which will likely include a massive amount of sequels, spin-offs, and remakes of classic shows.

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Lucille Ball

CBS/Photofest

I Love Lucy

You've got some 'splainin to do if you've never watched an episode of I Love Lucy. The series defined television during its six-season run and rendered its title star, Lucille Ball, an icon forevermore. Some of the situations Lucy tends to get herself into throughout the show may be a little outdated -- from her buying too many fancy hats to Lucy and Ethel's infamously squishy trip to the vineyard -- but you'll get a kick out of her hilarious hijinks all the same.

The Brady Bunch

The Brady Bunch

Here's the story of a lovely show... The Brady Bunch may have had a few cultural revivals by way of those hokey mid-'90s movies and the ubiquitous usefulness of that "Sure Jan" GIF, but there's nothing quite like the original. Shows about blended families might not be so atypical anymore -- Step by Step, The Fosters, and Modern Family are a few recent examples -- but The Brady Bunch holds up all the same.

Mary Tyler Moore, The Mary Tyler Moore Show

CBS Photo Archive, Getty Images

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

There's a reason The Mary Tyler Moore Show was such an awards season favorite -- it's good. Unlike many of its contemporaries, the show was celebrated for the genuine narrative arcs experienced by its characters, and that was especially true when it came to the titular character, whose unending gumption and can-do spirit still render her #goals.

Taxi

Everett Collection

Taxi

It may have been a simple sitcom about a team of drivers and their dispatcher at its core, but Taxi also managed to sneak a lot of important storytelling into the picture. With an array of unique characters, an eye towards the bigger picture well outside of the station, and some very sharp humor, Taxi is a real ride.

The Twilight Zone

CBS Photo Archive, CBS via Getty Images

The Twilight Zone

Jordan Peele's The Twilight Zone reboot breathed new life into the series at CBS All Access, but there's still no substitution for the original series. Just as Black Mirror now captures the eeriness of modern technology, The Twilight Zone managed to make otherwise ordinary situations very, very scary, from plastic surgeons with a very different concept of beauty to a blinded book-o-phile stuck in a maelstrom of destruction. The show may have a vintage look now, but it's just as effective at crawling under your skin and staying there as it ever was.

Cheers

Paramount Television/Everett Collection

Cheers

You don't need to imbibe any spirits to enjoy the company of this Boston bar crew and their favorite regular customers. And while they might not actually know your name, you'll definitely be glad you came to watch Cheers. (Bonus: Its celebrated spin-off Frasier is also available on Hulu.)

The Golden Girls

NBC, NBC via Getty Images

The Golden Girls

If you haven't already enjoyed the sassy splendor of the silver-haired quartet in The Golden Girls, you are in for a treat (and you'll no doubt thank us for being a friend in recommending it later). The series centers on four women who are definitely young at heart and have decided to spend their twilight years tearing up the town together in Miami. Chances are, you'll be calling up your bestie to firm up plans to grow old together after watching.

Queen Latifah, Kim Fields, Erika Alexander, and Kim Coles, Living Single

Deborah Feingold/Corbis via Getty Images

Living Single

Before there was Friends, there was this popular sitcom about a New York magazine editor and her pals navigating young life in New York. The comedy series won multiple NAACP Image Awards.

Nicholas Turturro, Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz, NYPD Blue

ABC Photo Archives, ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

NYPD Blue

Before gritty crime dramas would become standard fare for the small screen, NYPD Blue arrived as an edgy and provocative series that would garner massive acclaim. There's a reason ABC is eyeing a sequel series for the paragon police procedural -- it's still great.

Lost in Space

Getty Images

Lost in Space

Whether you're a fan of Netflix's Lost in Space reboot or not, the original soars. The sci-fi series offered a timely twist on the 19th century novel The Swiss Family Robinson, taking its starring family into space instead of a shipwreck, and between all the cool costumes and creative catch phrases, the show is out of this world.

Hill Street Blues

Hill Street Blues

The show that really revolutionized the modern cop show concept was Hill Street Blues, an ensemble drama that utilized creative camerawork, complex character dynamics, and effective musical accompaniment to underscore the gravity of its characters' circumstances and the cases they were assigned to. The show was celebrated for its willingness to address some very tough topics, many of which continue to be incredibly relevant in today's social landscape.

Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley, Saved By the Bell

Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank

Saved By the Bell

Before Peacock's revival of this '90s teen favorite comes along, you might want to revisit the original Bayside High kids in all their preppy glory. Not only does Hulu have all five seasons of the original series, but they've also got The College Years, Hawaiian Style, and Wedding in Las Vegas in their streaming library as well. Zoinks!

Seinfeld

NBC/Getty Images

Seinfeld

It might be make you feel a bit old to see Seinfeld on a classic TV show list, but since it premiered over three decades ago, that's exactly what it is. This sitcom about nothing was an instant hit during its run on NBC and is still a go-to favorite for anyone who believes in the spirit of Festivus.