Review: ‘Hunters’ (2020)

Just binge-watched the first season of Hunters, the bizarre Amazon Prime original about a covert group of Jews in 1970s’ New York city tracking down and killing Nazis who were integrated by the US government into American society under Operation Paperclip. It’s obvious how this premise could be presented through 10 hours of grit and moral dilemma but instead we get 10 hours of grit mixed with satire and melodrama – a combination that only brings a certain journalist’s words in 2013, delivered as a comment on a prominent newspaper’s suddenly disagreeable design, to mind: “pastiche and mishmash”.

I’m not sure what Hunters is trying to be, beyond a vessel for Al Pacino as its protagonist and patriarch, because its story is weak and the violence is neither realistic nor displays purpose; the only exception that everyone seems to be able to agree on, with good reason, is Jerrika Hinton as Agent Morris. But worst of all, the show gives more than ample screen-time for neo-Nazi characters to air their newly sharpened anti-Semitic and supremacist points of view.

Hunters seems to believe that such views are instantaneously and automatically disqualified by their implicit absurdity whereas the opposite is true. We live today in a world where conspiracy theories have moved from the fringes of society to the centre. So beyond the first time the Nazis are allowed to spew their bile, the show resembles porn for the sufficiently misguided bigot looking for a new language and new methods to assert his dominance. Makes you want to skip forward in cringe. Even the concentration camp scenes are awfully close to being voyeuristic.