Amazon’s ‘Hunters’ tiptoes the line between right and wrong

My thoughts on Amazon’s new show, ‘Hunters’.

Parker Hopkins, Digital Editor-in-Chief

On Feb. 21, 2020, Amazon Studios introduced the new show “Hunters”. After watching most of it in one sitting, I wanted to share my thoughts on it. Warning: this article will contain spoilers for season one of “Hunters”.

The show follows Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman), a young Jewish man who lives in Brooklyn in 1977. Following the death of his grandmother, Jonah meets Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino), who is an old friend of Ruth’s, and the man who saved her life during the Holocaust. Desperate for revenge for his grandmother’s death, Jonah hunts down her murderer, one of many Nazis recruited to America following World War II. After a near death experience, Meyer takes Jonah to meet the Hunters, a group of people who work together to hunt down the Nazis secretly living in America.

One of the show’s executive producers is Jordan Peele, known for film such as “Get Out” and “Us”. It makes sense that Peele would fund this show, as “Get Out” centers on race, and the difficulties people face based on their culture and background. “Hunters” centers around many of the same themes, in addition to family, history, and guilt.

The show’s script was very well-written and thought-out. It manages to combine topics that are incredibly serious with comedy in order to make a show that keeps the audience interested and on the edge of their seat.

The writers included both predictable and unpredictable twists in the plot. However, predictable doesn’t mean bad. Most of the plot-twists that I saw coming were still brilliantly crafted to add more to the show as a whole. A good plot twist isn’t meant to completely shock viewers, it’s meant to show that things aren’t always as they seem, and to give viewers the satisfaction of figuring it our beforehand.

One of the main themes through the show is processing and dealing with guilt. Mostly this is shown through Jonah, who has to deal with survivor’s guilt and the guilt of aiding in the deaths of others. Jonah frequently sees hallucinations of his grandmother, and later his friends, as he struggles with the fact that he could’ve done something to prevent their deaths. He also struggles to overcome the emotions he feels after causing the deaths of some of the Nazis the group was hunting. It was interesting to see the struggle between right and wrong that Jonah showcased, as he tried to convince himself that what happened was for the good of many people. I also found it very refreshing that the writers allowed Jonah to show so much emotion, as many shows shy away from allowing their characters, especially male ones, to have real emotions. This made the show much more realistic, and made Jonah a much more likable and relateable character.

The script makes frequent use of flashbacks throughout the episodes. While there are many shows that use this technique, a lot of them don’t use it as well as they could. That isn’t the case for “Hunters”. Due to the numerous references to the Holocaust and histories of each character, the flashbacks work wonderfully to give an idea of what was done to the people put in concentration camps. This also adds a lot of emotion to the show, as it shows the brutality of the Nazis and the terrible things that those imprisoned has to go through.

The show allows viewers who aren’t familiar with Jewish culture to learn more about their traditions and practices. Most notably, there is a scene that shows a wedding between two characters, full of culture and history. The scene also showcases the difficulty in moving on from the past and from those lost during trying times, as father-of-the-bride Murray (Saul Rubinek) struggles to let his daughter go while dealing with memories of losing his son go during the war.

“Hunters” is a magnificent show, and a realistic view on what happened in the Holocaust. It tiptoes the line between right and wrong, while still garnering sympathy for the characters. Many messages can be taken from this show, and it helps serve as a reminder to the atrocities committed and a memorial to the millions lost in the Holocaust.

Season one of “Hunters” can be watched on Amazon Prime.