‘Hunters’ 1×01 Review “The Beginning & The End”

There’s something about ‘Hunters’ that makes you keep watching. It’s not its clarity, because if there’s one thing I can unequivocally state after watching “The Beginning & The End” is that I have no earthly clue what’s going on or where this is going. It’s not the tone either – for the first episode is a dreary hour, filled with gore and little to no humor. It’s not even its characters, because, though you like a few of them, you don’t really love anyone, or feel especially connected. And yet, the first statement still holds true. I’m not sure why, but I want to know more.

Maybe it’s that the premise is just this side of batshit crazy. Maybe it’s that one of the leads is a badass POC, which is something television in general sorely lacks.  Or maybe that we live in a world where terrorism is no longer sci-fi, or that alien terrorists IS truly an original proposition, but I’m in. They’ve got me.

Now, let’s see if they can keep me.

Julian McMahon’s presence is a good omen in this regard. He plays the “villain” with a kind of gravitas that only an actor of his category can muster, and that makes him the standout of this episode. Britne Oldford, who most of us remember from The Flash, also deserves kudos for elevating an edgy, this side of insubordinate and secretive character into a real person who we never truly like, and yet don’t manage to hate.

If this show is going to fulfill its promise, it’s on both of them.

The rest of the cast comes and goes. Flynn is believable, but not entirely relatable. Abby is gone too soon to feel anything other than shock. Emme is very real, but she’s doesn’t have enough scenes with Abby or Flynn to make us care. The rest of the ETU is just there, no impact. I can’t even remember their names. And that’s the whole thing about this show, we’re not truly attached to anyone yet, but at least we’re intrigued. We’ve seen this before – but we really haven’t. And how many shows on TV can you say that about? Not many.

In the end, Hunters is a good idea, and yet not a good show, not yet. It’s exceptionally gory, at times unnecessarily so, extremely serious when it doesn’t always need to be, and it doesn’t spend enough time on the emotional attachments. Also, it takes ambiguity to the extreme. For a thirteen episode run, we’re going to need more explanations than what we’ve got so far about what the stakes are, or even about what these aliens can actually do? That’d be helpful.

Still, we’re giving this a chance – and we hope you do too. The idea is original enough, the badass female protagonist doesn’t hurt, and the main question it raises, the one about the true nature of hunters, and whether it’s really them or us who are doing the hunting, well, that’s good philosophical theme on which to base a show.

Now, let’s hope they can deliver answers.

So, what did you think about the Hunters premiere? Did you like the show? Did it hook you? Share with us in the comments below.

Hunters airs Mondays at 10/9c on SyFy.

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