Hulu's 'Harlots' got rave reviews and a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes last year, and season 2 premieres today

  • Hulu’s series “Harlots” was overshadowed by the popularity of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but it deserves your attention.
  • Critics loved season one, which has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • The series, set in 18th century London, follows a brothel owner and mother managing her business and her family.
  • The season two premiere is available on Hulu today.

In 2017, critics were gushing over Hulu’s “Harlots,” which has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

But not a lot of other people were talking about it, because it premiered around the same time as the first season of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which stole all the attention.

“Harlots” is a fun, clever drama set in the 18th century, based on historian Hallie Rubenhold’s “The Covent Garden Ladies.” It follows Margaret Wells, a mother of three, as she manages her daughters and her business – a brothel in London. The series stars some recognisable actors including Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”), Samantha Morton (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), and Jessica Brown Findlay (“Downton Abbey”). Wells fights for a better, more high-class life and uses her skills (and sometimes, her daughters) as a ruthless business woman to get it. At the same time, Wells and rival brothel owners combat religious activists demanding the closure of all brothels in London. In the United Kingdom, “Harlots” airs on ITV Encore.

While “Harlots” tackles some serious subject matter, it also has some spunk in its over-the-top modern filmmaking, music, and bright colours within the sets and costumes. It also doesn’t shy away from inserting comedic elements whenever possible.

Critics praised the show for its bold style and its female-centric story. “Shocking and fascinating, ‘Harlots’ will keep you watching not for the sex and nudity but for the women trying not to sell their souls along with their bodies,” the St. Louis-Dispatch wrote.

Despite the show’s stellar reviews, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which debuted on Hulu less than a month after “Harlots,” got the upper hand and all the Emmys.

Below, you can watch the trailer for season two of “Harlots,” which dropped its season two premiere today:

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