On March 8, Amazon Prime unveiled a sneak preview at the series along with a discussion with creator, Little Marvin.
Them is a new, terror anthology exploring the meaning of fear in America. Created by Little Marvin and executive produced by Lena Waithe, The first season, entitled Covenant, centers around a Black family who moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood during the period known as The Great Migration. Amazon stated in a press release, “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.
While the narrative may be fictional, the series exemplifies the black experience in America in the ’50s. Marvin spoke about this greatly stating, “It’s no secret that public spaces have been weaponized against black folks since the dawn of this country.” Additionally, he found modern inspiration for the story from personal experiences, and the stories of Black families terrorized often by the police. Marvin further explained how we often refer to home as a safe space, but what happens when that safe space turns on you too? “Them” answers this question as the Emory family navigate their new lives in Compton. “While we made the show, we had a question that we would ask ourselves every day, which was what terrifies you more that sound down in the basement that you can’t explain, or that neighbor at the end of the block who’s been staring at your house every single day, and in my experience anyway, it’s that neighbor, ” said Marvin.
The Emory family arrives in Compton haunted by a devastating tragedy, and that tragedy has left sort of cracks and fissures within each of the family members. But as the sort of campaign of terror begins to boil up around their home, those cracks get breached by something rather dark and malevolent, and sort of preys upon their deepest, most unspoken fears and anxieties and rage centers. So what I would say as though the show absolutely has a supernatural and infernal component, it’s deeply rooted in the emotional and psychological lives of the Emory family. It’s an emotional roller coaster.
“Them” premieres at South by Southwest on March 18, followed by a moderated conversation with Jada Pinkett Smith. The series will be available globally on Amazon Prime on April 9.