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 series about a team of Nazi hunters starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman that is done in a heightened style that includes graphic violence. Profanity is abundant, including the f-word, "s--t," and "ass," as well as hate speech including racial epithets and many anti-semitic rants. Characters smoke and drink; and the main character begins the story as a drug dealer. Families with mature teens interested in historial fiction and questions of "what would happen if" can talk about the show's exploration of ethics and morals, specifically whether it's justifiable to kill people who themselves have performed acts of unspeakable evil.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In HUNTERS, Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman) is an aspiring weed dealer in late-70s New York City -- he's got a fiery temper but has trouble sticking up for himself. When his grandmother, his only surviving family member, is murdered in what looks like a home invasion, Jonah's amateurish investigation into her death leads him to a secret organization headed up by his grandmother's friend Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino) and the discovery that a cadre of Nazis have settled in New York and are plotting a resurgence.
Is it any good?
This series tries, but even with the star power of Pacino, it lacks the gravity required to really drive home the points it's trying to make. In the seventy-five years since the end of World War II, it's become relatively common to use Nazis as characters representing pure evil, including some of the most successful genre films of all time, like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Inglourious Basterds. So Hunters' use of Nazis as the ultimate villain isn't exactly fresh (though the resurgence of Nazism and white supremacist ideals in the United States in recent years might give it some added context).
But the show's comic book style approach -- the central character has a Spider-man-esque origin story and joins a superteam -- tends to undercut the show's historical context by depicting Nazis as simple run-of-the-mill bad guys, maybe even encouraging some viewers to root for them. Its depiction of Nazis is cartoonish to the point where the show may be making light of the actual historical atrocities that the characters are drawn from. What's missing in Hunters is precisely what makes Spielberg and Tarantino's films so great: no matter how broadly the Nazi characters are drawn, the atrocity of the war and the Holocaust are treated with the utmost gravity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the historical context of Hunters. Where and when does the story take place? What's important to know about the history of the characters? How does the show depict this history? Does the show seem to have a point of view about its characters? What is it?
In an episode, Jonah and his buddies are walking out of a screening of Star Wars and Jonah imagines the Star Wars story from Darth Vader's point of view. How does that moment relate to the story of Hunters? What are the moral and ethical questions raised by both this show and Jonah's reading of Star Wars?
What genre would you place Hunters into? What are some of its aesthetic and stylistic touches? Does its heightened style make the violence easier to see, or does it feel the same as a more realistic show?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love historical fiction
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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