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Series / Hunters

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Hunters is a 2020 television series, created by David Weil, starring Logan Lerman and Al Pacino and produced/distributed by Prime Video.

The show is about the exploits of a group of Nazi hunters in New York City in 1977, headed by Meyer Offerman (Pacino), a wealthy businessman and Holocaust survivor. Lerman stars as Jonah, a young Jewish man who, upon witnessing the murder of his grandmother, is introduced into this world and the role she played in it.

It was renewed for a second season.

Dark Horse Comics released a short Prequel comic, Hunters: Eye for Eye, Tooth for Tooth.


Hunters contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – Linguistics: Jonah calls his grandmother “safta,” apparently from the Hebrew savta meaning grandma; however, Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe didn’t use that word; they used the Yiddish bubbe.
  • Big Bad: The Colonel, a.k.a. Eva Braun.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The TV series, on several occasions, uses Anvilicious advertisements and PSAs to ram home truths about anti-Semitism, Nazis, and the US Government's collaboration with same as part of Operation Paperclip. It's clear that these spots are aimed directly at the audience of "Hunters".
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Murray and Mindy re-encounter the Nazi who killed their son, he does not remember doing so.
  • Bullying the Dragon: As Tobias learns the hard way, constantly mocking a deranged psycho with a chip on his shoulder like Travis is not a good idea.
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  • Celebrity Paradox: During the bank heist, Lonny screams "Attica! Attica!"—a reference to a famous moment in Dog Day Afternoon when those words were uttered by a bank robber played by... Hunters star Al Pacino. In addition, the film also featured Mindy's actress Carol Kane as a bank employee.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Most of the Hunters.
    • Ruth lost her parents in the ghetto and her sister in the camps, and as well as enduring the trauma of the camps, she was forced to watch The Wolf torment the man she loved. After the war, she married and had a child, only to lose them both (to the Korean War and childbirth, respectively).
    • Meyer not only survived the horrors of the camps, but he was singled out for torment by The Wolf (due to Meyer's love for Ruth), including physical torture and being forced to kill eleven of his fellow prisoners. It is said by Ruth that this act "killed Meyer's soul", and it is apparently the cause of his and Ruth's 30-year estrangement. The "real" Meyer, that is.
    • Murray and Mindy, in addition to their imprisonment and separation, were forced to watch as their young son was killed by an SS officer.
    • Joe served three tours in Vietnam and as such, deals with a great deal of trauma and PTSD. In addition to that, due to his age and ethnicity, it is more than likely that he was imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp during the war.
    • Harriet was a Jewish child sent to England on the Kindertransport and subsequently raised in a Catholic orphanage, where she was forced to assimilate and punished if she did not use her assigned Christian name.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Nazis trying to rebuild the Third Reich in America. It has many ties to the US government.
  • Downer Ending: Season 1 ends on a really downer note. Sure, The Hunters manage to destroy the Nazi factory poisoning corn syrup but almost the major villains escape scot free. Biff escapes from Morris’ custody and flees the country while The Colonel survives her near fatal crash and is living in South America with an alive & well Hitler. Travis is arrested and in prison but is actually enjoying his time behind bars since he has won the respect of his fellow prisoners. The Hunters aren’t in good shape either. Jonah kills “Meyer” after discovering he was The Wolf the whole time, Joe is kidnapped and taken to South America while Mindy was Put on a Bus. The only positive takeaway is the fact Jonah will step up as the new leader.
  • Groin Attack : When Harriet and Lonny capture and extract information from the plant manager of Schidler Corp.
  • Informed Attribute: Jonah is supposed to be some kind of analytical genius, and makes a point of telling the Hunters that they need someone with his skills.
  • Karma Houdini: The various Nazis who escaped to America after the war, or in some cases, were permitted in by the American government. Hitler and Eva Braun are revealed to be this as well in the first season finale. Biff escapes Morris' custody and flees the country
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Delivering vengeance to the aforementioned Nazis is the general mission of the Hunters and the general premise of the show.
  • Laughably Evil: Biff Simpson's Villain Opening Scene is quite chilling, but with his fake folksy all-American accent and being played by Dylan Baker makes him come off as quite humorous while not undermining he's also a Nazi monster.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It hasn't been clearly established whether certain characters are merely imagining having conversations with their dead loves ones, if they're having legitimate hallucinations of said loved ones, or if they're being visited by spirits/ghosts/otherworldly entities.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: The show averts this by having female Nazis among the antagonists, from unimportant Mooks all the way up to the Big Bad herself (at least until it's revealed that Hitler is still alive), that are no less likely to be killed by the hunters than male Nazis. This reaches its height in the first season's climax, where the hunters destroy the factory that's a front for the Nazis' plan to commit genocide against American racial minorities by overheating vats of virus-laced corn syrup, and both male and female Nazi factory personnel, including the female company CEO, are shown getting horribly burned by the scalding hot syrup shortly before the factory is blown up. Very much Truth in Television, as the show is about escaped Nazis in America, and there were millions of women directly involved in the Third Reich, many of whom didn't adhere to the Reich's official Stay in the Kitchen policies and most escaped justice after the war.
  • Mood Whiplash: A very serious problem for the show. For one side, it behaves like a black humoured Naziexplotation show, with ridiculously over the top antics (like the human chessboard). On the other side, you have dramatic subplots ala Schindler's list, like Murray and Mindy's story, Ruth, some of the backstoried, etc. Both are so off tone with the other, that instead of complementing, they confuse each other and the viewer. Not helping is the show's attempts to bring up serious moral dilemmas when every single Nazi is a one dimensional monster with practically no human or redeemable qualities (and jumping from real life atrocities to things like a human chessboard or a plot to kill 12 million Americans) which could make a more realistic and interesting show, given the protagonists are all morally grey antiheroes.
  • Nazi Hunter: The show's main premise.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Whoever built the corn syrup-poisoning plant had the bright idea of building an emergency bunker right underneath the floor with the vats and machinery. And not only that, but have the bunker's air vents being simple slots that directly connect the ceiling with the chemical floor above. The result: scorching corn syrup leaking directly onto the bunker's occupants.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: After a scene depicting government officials debating whether or not to bring Nazi scientists to the States, there is a subtitle stating "yes, this actually happened".
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The woman at Ruth's funeral who chides Jonah for sitting shiva, stating that only "immediate family" are allowed to do so. Both Jonah and Meyer (publicly and privately, respectively) call her on it.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Several examples.
    • Ruth lost Naomi, her daughter, in childbirth.
    • Murray and Mindy lost Aaron, their eldest son, when he was shot by an SS officer.
    • Biff Simpson is a self-inflicted example.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: All the Nazis, naturally.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: You can honestly cut out all of Biff’s scenes and nothing would change. His plot has little to absolutely nothing to do with the main story and he never even encounters Hunters. Heck, the Hunters aren’t even aware of him.
  • R-Rated Opening: One of the very first scenes in the series is Biff Simpson slaughtering his entire family after being exposed as a Nazi, with graphic blood spurts to boot.
  • The Reveal: The man believed to be Meyer is actually The Wolf, a Nazi surgeon who killed the real Meyer Offerman and stole his identity.
  • Ship Tease: Between Jonah and his childhood friend, Carol.
    • Joe and Roxy have a considerable amount of this as well.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Narrowly averted in the penultimate episode, when Travis stabs Lonny. Though he is badly injured, he is not killed.
  • Spot the Imposter: After Meyer kills the Wolf, Jonah realizes he's not reciting the prayer he had promised Ruth he would say when he got his revenge. This leads Jonah to realize Meyer is the Wolf.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: A Double Subverted example. Jonah is said to physically resemble Meyer, his grandfather. While this is initially a Subverted Trope, since the "Meyer" living in the present day is an impostor, flashbacks featuring the real Meyer show that this is more or less true (see Separated-at-Birth Casting in the trivia tab).
  • Wham Shot: The reveal of an aged Hitler, still alive and living with Eva Braun in South America in the first season finale.