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Hulu’s latest epic TV show achieves rare 100% Rotten Tomatoes score

Incredible new show needs to be seen to be believed.

Hulu’s latest epic TV show achieves rare 100% Rotten Tomatoes score
Andrew Williams
29 February 2024

Hulu has just released a contender for its best TV show in 2024.

It’s Shogun, a visual and storytelling epic set in 1600s Japan. The series currently sits at a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, after 47 critic reviews.

This is a rare feat that marks out Shogun as an early contender for the best TV show of the year.

Shogun is based on a 1975 novel by James Clavell, the story of a British sailor (Cosmo Jarvis) who washes up on the shores of Japan during a pivotal period in the country’s politics. And that means plenty of samurai roaming the land — a job that was pretty tough, as we found out when we spent a day training as one.

In the show, civil War is breaking out in Japan, allowing for some epic battle scenes in this 10-episode series.

We’re not sure how much US network FX spent on Shogun, but you can certainly see a lot of cash up on the screen. But the strength of the series is that it’s not just a pricey-looking show. Anything but.

“Shōgun is television at its best, using its budget to create a gorgeous, immersive world but never letting spectacle detract from its emphasis on complex character arcs,” says IGN’s 10/10 review.

This is not the first time Clavell’s book has been adapted. It was made into a TV show released in 1980, a classic in its own right.

Hulu’s latest epic TV show achieves rare 100% Rotten Tomatoes score

However, some reviews say this new version even eclipses that original.

“This Shōgun has many hearts and many points of view, rather than fixating on the simplistic stranger in a strange land story from the Eighties. It’s terrific,” says Rolling Stone.

In the 1980s version, the British sailor was a stand-in for the average viewer to an extent, the Japanese language used to highlight how out of this depth he is.

The 2024 version lets the view widen after its beginnings, rather than being too focused on this white chap interloper — a figure who certainly isn’t as in fashion as he was in the 1980s.

It’s far more in tune with today’s sensibilities, and by no means in a bad way. “For all its brutality, the series retains the original’s romance without sliding into its predecessor’s cultural fetishism. Quite the opposite: It may inspire a yearning to learn more about this history,” says Salon’s review.

Shogun is shaping up to be an unmissable show. The first two episodes are streaming on Hulu now (Disney+ in the UK and other countries), while the the other eight drop one a week until April 23.