18 Hulu Shows to Watch When You’re Multitasking

In a perfect world, TV time would be “me” time. Until then, keep one eye on these shows while you still get a few things done.

Look, I will spend hours in front of the TV as happy as a clam who really, really loves TV. But sometimes I feel that it’s, if not strictly necessary, at least prudent to do something else while I’m sitting there, lest my family and home go neglected.


Not every task works with every show, however! Luckily Hulu’s got perfect pairings for whatever excuse—uh, I mean task—you want to tackle.

Working out
I’d need more than two hands to count how many moms in my friend circle have confessed to joining the gym so they can watch Hulu on a tablet while working up a sweat on the elliptical or treadmill, blissfully undisturbed by the needs of their children. For those fierce cardio warriors, I recommend the guiltiest pleasure you can find: The Real Housewives of Atlanta (season 7 is my favorite), or your Bravo show of choice.

If you’re working out at home—say, doing sets of burpees or lunges during each commercial break—you need a show that’s so compelling you’ll want to watch an episode every day, to really build a good habit. The must-watch drama Queen Sugar, produced by Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, easily fills that bill.

Stretching is working out’s more TV-friendly cousin, and you don’t even have to go to the gym. I like to look up stretching exercises on my phone or tablet, then do them at a very leisurely pace while watching Hulu on my TV.

Stretching makes it easier to pay attention to the twists and turns of a show like Fargo…or just get wrapped up in House Hunters: International and daydream about doing these stretches on the wraparound deck of my dream house in the tropics.

Doing laundry
Laundry is the classic watching-TV task, but the trick to get more Hulu time in is to take it sloooow. Fold everything, even the underwear. Get the kids to help and then refold everything they folded. Break out the iron, even for the sheets. It’ll take forever and you’ll get so much TV, I mean laundry, done.

This is the perfect chance to dive into a classic long-running series you’re nostalgic for, or maybe you missed the first time around, like Beverly Hills 90210 or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Or just binge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and think how lucky they were to get to wear the same outfit every single day.

Crochet something, or knit something, or just sew up holes and iron on patches. You could break out the adult coloring books for a creative way to destress, but crafts that can be donated or given as gifts are a bonus—you’re helping others while you watch TV!

Get the creative juices flowing with the calming sounds of Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting, or knit a blanket for a dystopian future while you watch Hulu’s haunting series The Handmaid’s Tale.

Baking or cooking
Take your laptop or tablet into the kitchen and whip up a big batch of something—hopefully a recipe you already know pretty well so you won’t get all distracted and mess it up. Soup, pasta sauce, and chili are especially forgiving.

Don’t watch a cooking show unless you’re trying to make what they’re making. Instead, watch something light and fluffy, like Property Brothers or The Gong Show or my personal favorite, Community.

Catching up on email or letters
Send thank you cards! Get a jump on holiday cards! (It’s never too early to address the envelopes, right?) Send a letter to an old friend out of the blue! Everyone will think you’re an incredibly thoughtful person—which you are!—and have no idea that part of your motivation was to watch another hour of guilt-free TV.

Golden Girls and Felicity always get me in the mood to say hi to old friends. But contemporary tearjerker This Is Us could do the trick, too!

Sorting and purging
Got a filing cabinet with a bunch of old junk in it? Go through those folders one page at a time in front of the TV. Got five copies of every contact on your laptop? Plop down on the couch and see if you can get it sorted out. You can even pull the junk drawer out of your kitchen cabinet and pick through that, with a trash bag ready to accept whatever doesn’t need to be in there.

Warning: If you dare to watch Hoarders while doing this, you might throw out…well, everything. Maybe keeping it lighter with a comedy like Difficult People or Bob’s Burgers is a better idea.


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