Little Marvin is the creator of Amazon's amazing series, "THEM" which is effectively a horror. Marvin's online presence is humble, however, the Emory's are highly visible on social media and on the tips of every tongue that has screened the series.
Story is important and the writers of THEM know how to tell a story. We are introduced to the Emory Family: Henry (father), Luck (mother), Ruby eldest daughter, Gracie (youngest daughter), and Sergeant (the family dog) as they are in route from NC to CA by way of their royal blue Studebaker with a wooden hitch trailer attached to it. The Emory’s are en route to upward economic mobility and a new home in a new subdivision in the suburbs. Though it feels like the suburbs were not designed for their comfort and the new neighbors strengthen that vibe through a series of unwelcoming acts.
I made notes at the close of each episode as if there was going to be a pop quiz at the end of the screening, but it wasn't. That's too bad because the notes are detailed fire but what I can do is share a few that made me pause and remark, "that was going on back then, too?" That's never a good remark to make when analyzing a new horror tale. New is denoted.
In episode 2 (Written by David Matthews & Little Marvin | Directed by Nelson Cragg) we learn that Henry is an Engineer by profession and his Jewish supervisor is void of racial relativity and underestimates Emory at every social and professional level. However, when Emory informs Berks that his family dog has died, (withholding specifics that his new neighbors killed him) his supervisor became emotional and began to recall the passing of his own dog. Insensitive sensitivity is still a problem.
In episode 3 (Written by Francine Volpe | Directed by Daniel Stamm) Lucky Emory goes into her suburban backyard to retrieve the hanging bed linen to find a neighborhood adolescent boy urinating on them. She yells for him to stop when the lad zips his fly and begins to run off. Mrs. Emory chases him, and halfway out of her backyard the lad stops picks up a stick and waves it at Emory as if she were a dog as he commands, "Git. Git." Lucky snatches the stick from the child, he runs and she gives chase. The two only stop when the child reaches his front yard and embraces his mother. You can imagine how bad the visual was of a grown Black woman chasing an adolescent white child down a suburban street. The optics... If a viewer didn't know any better that particular scene implied that Black people may be equivalent to a dog. Who says "git-git" to a person? Kudos to the director. The vision is clear.
Episode 5 (Little Marvin and Dominic Orlando | Directed by Janicza Bravo) The series serves up a flashback where we meet the couple's third child and only son, Chester. Chester meets his end in a pillowcase that is being helicoptered by intruders in their rural NC farm home. Problems pending in neighborhoods that African Americans work hard to reside in for no better reason than to realize the American Dream is a common theme. Oftentimes, members of the Black community are marginalized and ultimately limited in their inspiration because of the color of their skin.
"THEM" is well composed of a base of truth and produced with a strong call to action for, well, at the very least all Americans. I recommend this series for mass individual examination and then to work towards collective proactive calibration. This will be key if we intend to reclaim global status quo.
Credits are always crucial and almost always roll faster than most viewers can read and decipher. We think that it's key that you know who labored to birth "THEM" into reel life:
Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, Writer - Episode 4
Craig William Macneill, Director - Episode 6 & 9
Christina Ham, Writer - Episode 6
Ti West, Director - Episode 7
If you have not consumed the view, do yourself a favor and screen it soon. Qui-Me is standing by for Season 2.