Hulu

Website review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Hulu Website Poster Image
Free TV and movies online; some have iffy content.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 13 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive messages

Varies from show to show. Parents really need to preview shows to know what to expect.

Violence

Streamed shows feature violence, such as on Cops, Murder One, and Prison Break, but also there are also a lot of shows (like Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?) that are fine.

Sex

Several shows are sexually oriented, like The Family Guy, The Girls Next Door, and Dr. Steve-O.

Language

Feature films include profanity and some cable TV shows also include crude humor and language. Some are OK.

Consumerism

Commercials appear before each program.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Drinking, smoking, and limited drug use scattered throughout some of the shows.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some of the free TV shows and movies streaming on this site may not be appropriate for kids. Although a lot of the content on the classic sitcoms, network dramas, and cable reality shows are fine for tweens, there are some programs, such as Prison Break, The Girls Next Door, and Saturday Night Live, that have violence, sex, and other inappropriate content that even some teens shouldn't be seeing. And, making the selection process difficult for parents, the site doesn't include a rating system or even the most basic MPAA and TV ratings. It also lacks a listing system of what type of bad stuff may be included in a show. User information, such as other websites visited and social media info is collected and shared with third party companies.  Hulu recently added an opt-out feature for personal info, but users are automatically opted-in, and must go through multiple steps to remove all personal info from collection.

User Reviews

Adult Written byluciano-a April 9, 2008
Parent of a 4 year old Written bycasey012205 August 15, 2009
Kid, 11 years old January 16, 2011

why did so many people say it for older kids?

there's no account or downloading needed to watch shows (the shows are the ones you should be worring about)im 11 years old and i go on this.i watch the si...
Teen, 14 years old Written by<flyboy> April 9, 2008

My Favorite TV Watching Site

I watched all of the Arrested Development episodes and all of the Office episodes on this time and was pleased by the limited commercial breaks and great qualit...

What's it about?

HULU.COM, the video library joint venture between NBC and FOX, hosts a slew of TV shows, movies, and interview clips available for free online. You can watch everything from tween-friendly classics like Who's the Boss? and The A-Team to newer shows such as The Office (not for tweens) and Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (fine for tweens). There are also a growing number of full-length feature films to watch.

Is it any good?

Hulu.com is such a great place for entertainment it's hard to believe it's free. There are commercials, usually for about 2 minutes, before the show starts, but less than you have to sit through during a traditional TV program. The site's organization is very intuitive and there are nice features like full-screen and "lower lights" that add to the viewing enjoyment. As the site becomes more popular, the review section will probably become a top resource for what to watch. Who needs cable, when you have Hulu?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which TV shows are appropriate for kids to watch and which ones aren't? What themes make a show good for all ages? What storylines should be reserved only for older teens and adults?

  • Talk about how old and new TV shows differ. Are the story lines and characters in these classic shows similar to today's shows? How?

Website details

  • Genre: Creating
  • Pricing structure: Free

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