20 best Hulu original series ranked, from worst to first

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Harlots / Image by Hulu

4. Harlots

Harlots was a Hulu original series that was made in co-production with ITV Encore in the United Kingdom. This was a historical drama that aired for two seasons, from 2017-18.

The show was inspired by the novel The Covent Harden Ladies by Hallie Rubenhold.

The story takes place in 1763 in London with many women making a lot of money selling sex, with the choices either to make money as a prostitute or to use sex to marry into money.

Samantha Morton (Minority Report) stars as Margaret Wells, a cruel businesswoman who runs a brothel, while Lesley Manville (All About My Mother) stars as Lydia, a former prostitute for Margaret who now runs her own high-class brothel.

Margaret is fighting to improve her life and fortune in her brothel while Lydia caters to the rich and powerful in London. At the same time, the religious crusaders set out to try to close down all brothels and get law enforcement to help them in brutal raids.

The series has aired for two seasons and should have a third on the way, with 16 episodes to binge watch so far. The most interesting thing to note is that Harlots is written, directed and produced by women — so this is in no way exploitive.

Unlike shows that use sex to titillate, on Harlots, Hulu uses the series to show how women can establish power over men and sex is simply used as a weapon.