April 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Hunters “Van Glooten’s Day 1972 Butter Sculptor Of The Year”

Season Two, Episode One

Well, this is a potentially welcome thing:  the return for a second (and final!) season of Amazon Prime’s Hunters, a somewhat bizarre show about a kid who gets involved with Nazi hunters in the late 70s that featured Al Pacino as the leader who happened to be…well, that might be telling if you skipped season one.

And for this first episode, I gotta know one thing:  what the hell happened?

Hunters in its first season was sometimes a gonzo nuts show that wasn’t afraid to toss a musical number or a fake PSA into the works for one reason or another.  It had a tone that threw me off at first before I basically figured it was just kinda weird and left it at that.  It wasn’t a show to be taken completely seriously.  It was pulp TV at its finest, or at least as the sort of show that could drop a musical number into a series about Nazi hunters in the 70s that ended with one of the Hunters captured by Eva Braun and Adolph Hitler, their leader revealed to have secretly been a Nazi the whole time looking for repentance, and the rest of the Hunters opting to go to Europe and keep the hunt going while FBI Agent Millie Morris does more or less the same thing the legal way.

Naturally, I was thrown off by how…non-pulpy this first episode back is.  Aside from Jennifer Jason Leigh’s interrogation (and eventual eye removal) of a shop owner while she also hunts Hitler, most of the Hunters are nowhere to be seen.  Yes, we still have Lena Olin’s Eva.  Udo Kier is playing the elderly Hitler.  I can’t disapprove of that.  And killing off Pacino doesn’t mean his Meyer Offerman was written out of the show as he seems to be having his own adventures five years earlier.

So, where are the Hunters?  Morris is doing her thing until she does something drastic.  Joe seems to be working for Hitler now.  And the rest…well, they aren’t anywhere to be seen.  Their plot picks up two years after season one ended with Jonah working alone from the looks of things in Paris, hunting down the rather pathetic Biff Simpson, and in what universe should we fear a man named “Biff”?  He doesn’t last long as Jonah finds him at his favorite Parisian brothel and puts a bullet between his eyes after learning about the whole Hitler-is-still-alive thing.

Oh, and Jonah is engaged to a lovely English girl who thinks his name is Sam.

So, what happened to the others?  Why isn’t Jonah working with them anymore?  Do they still even talk to each other?  Clearly the series is setting up this first episode of the second and final season as a way to establish some mysteries.  The series was gone for a long time, so having the characters all scattered across the playing field, so to speak, is not a bad way to go.  I don’t mind that.  What I do mind is how utterly conventional this opening episode, even with its multiple timeline structure, felt.  Leigh’s Chava Apfelbaum’s putting a pair of human eyeballs into a butter statue after her interrogation wasn’t quite enough for me to see Hunters being the show I expect it to be.

That said, I haven’t seen this show in a while, so maybe its more my expectations have changed as opposed to the series itself.  I’ll just have to wait and see.

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