A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hunters is a sci-fi/action series where a secret government organization pursues a growing threat of alien terrorism. It's violent and graphic, including blood-soaked fighting scenes rife with shoot-outs, stabbings, and explosions. Kidnappings, self-harm, and drug abuse also occur. Death and dismemberment are front and center, and sometimes the story takes a backseat to the action. Even the most noble of the show's cast has complex ethics, matching the dark tone of the series.
What's the story?
The government first became aware of HUNTERS -- that is, alien terrorists -- in 2009. In response, they formed the Exo-Terrorism Unit (ETU), a secret organization that battles the increasingly dangerous alien threat. FBI agent and former soldier Flynn Caroll (Nathan Phillips) finds himself recruited to ETU after his wife, Abby (Laura Gordon), is abducted by a Hunter. The special-ops force needs all the help they can get as the aliens look just like humans and are quickly infiltrating Earth. ETU isn't immune: Regan, an effective if emotional soldier, is hiding some suspiciously Hunter-like abilities.
Is it any good?
This show is a lot like 24 with aliens -- and feels a lot like it enjoys the pain (both physical and mental) of the characters a bit too much. Commander Truss Jackson (Lewis Fitz-Gerald) tells Flynn that ETU "deals with the kind of terrorists other agencies aren't equipped to handle," but the show doesn't do a great job of demonstrating what exactly makes them so effective. Mostly, they use the kind of violence and force consistent with wartime and homeland security narratives -- but the show seems to revel in the violence and high body count by lingering on shots of dismemberment and death.
Tweens and teens will be interested in the series because it's like a cross between Call of Duty and the The X-Files. The action scenes come fast and furious, but younger viewers will need lots of guidance in processing the extreme means taken by ETU. The show does little to justify its methods beyond a basic "aliens bad, alien terrorists double-bad" paint-by-numbers approach.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about terrorism and media coverage. How does the way news stories depict military operations influence how TV and movies address these topics?
Families can talk about war and how it affects people. How does it influence the characters on this show?
Families can talk about shows that feature aliens who suffer extreme violence. Is violence more prominently featured when its victims are fantastical or supernatural creatures, and is that OK?
Themes & Topics
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