Watch: Little Marvin and Lena Waithe's Anthology Series Explores the Terrorism From Them and the American Dream

Them (2021)
Them (2021)
Screenshot: Amazon Prime Video/YouTube

Black folks have never fully trusted “them”—and history has given us every reason not to.

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This spring, Amazon Prime Video is debuting an interesting limited series further exploring the terror of America. It’s aptly called, Them.

More info about Them, via Amazon Prime Video’s press release sent to The Root:

From Little Marvin and Lena Waithe, Them is a limited anthology series that explores terror in America. The first season, 1950s-set Covenant, centers a Black family who moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood during the period known as The Great Migration. The family’s idyllic home becomes ground zero where malevolent forces, next-door and otherworldly, threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them.

Them stars Deborah Ayorinde, Melody Hurd, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Alison Pill, and Ashley Thomas.

The series is created and executive produced by Little Marvin along with executive producers Lena Waithe, Don Kurt, Miri Yoon, David Matthews, and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment. Them is a co-production from Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios.

On Monday, The Root attended a trailer premiere event with remarks from Little Marvin following the debut.

THEM – Official Teaser / Amazon Prime Video (YouTube)

Upon first viewing, I immediately thought the trailer was a mixture between Jordan Peele’s Us and Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country (a tonal combination that would blend smoothly given Peele’s producer involvement in Lovecraft). I also probably said “no, no, no, no, no, no!” a bunch of times in fear.

Them is not described as a horror anthology series, but a terror anthology series—this is intentional, per Little Marvin.

“I started writing the show a few summers back during a time where it felt like every morning I was waking up to the same thing,” Little Marvin said. “I’d go to my phone, I’d look through my social media feeds, my news feeds, and I would see iPhone video after iPhone video of Black folks—women, men, children and families—being terrorized in some way, either by the police or with the threat of the police...watched, harassed, surveilled. It got me thinking a lot about my own experiences personally with that gaze, but also a history of that gaze and the terror of navigating this country in Black skin.”

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Little Marvin also touched on the concept of the American Dream, noting that it has been more like an American “nightmare” for Black folks, despite the way it has been advertised to us as this noble goal.

“It’s no secret that public spaces have been weaponized against Black folks since the dawn of this country,” Little Marvin continued. “But, what I hadn’t seen told in a story was that tension between the public and the private. Most private and safe spaces, [such as] the home, the world outside might be crazy, but in here [at home] we’d have each other. My journey really began with a single question: What happens when that safe space turns on you, too?”

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Them will premiere April 9 on Amazon Prime Video.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

DISCUSSION

sle1570
Gameface doesn`t play nice with others

It looks like I will have something to watch come April 9th. I have needed something to replace my Lovecraft Country fix and this looks like just the thing to do it. You go Amazon