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In ‘Them’, a black family is haunted by real-life monsters


Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television, which co-produced the series, agreed and Amazon signed a global deal in 2019 with Little Marvin, which included the green light for the first two seasons of “Them,” an anthology series. (The objective for Season 2 has not been announced.)

The world was, in many ways, very different when Little Marvin and I met in January 2020, but the main topic of this conversation – the racial history of Southern California – is, if at all. well, more appropriate now. At a beer garden in Silver Lake, he spoke about the black houses set on fire in the postwar years, the racial epithet displayed on Nat King Cole’s lawn. He discussed the importance of using unorthodox instruments, like gender horror, to resonate a story about race.

“Sometimes these stories tend to get trapped in amber,” he said. The more conventional stories of the segregation era were often “very calm,” he added, “and you don’t understand what it would really mean to feel the impact.” Horror, he hoped, would help open that amber.

Weeks later, the coronavirus interrupted the filming of “Them”, barely an episode and a half barely finished. Still, there was a lot to edit, and Little Marvin got to work. Then in May, George Floyd was killed in custody in Minneapolis, sparking global outrage after video of a white officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

The murder of Floyd, and the others since, and the protests that raged throughout the summer, made no difference to Little Marvin’s approach to the material as his team wrapped up production, he said. he said during a video call last month. There were essential truths underlying the events of the past summer that he had lived his entire life. “But it absolutely validated the need,” he said of the end of the series.

“I started writing it summers ago, and at a time when every morning I would wake up and grab my phone and see black people being terrified of the police,” he said. “So the fact that we ended up in this place years later, for me, it just says that the trip was valid and that what we are exploring is necessary.



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