The premise entails a Black household transferring into the Los Angeles neighborhood of Compton in 1953 — a interval referred to as the Nice Migration, as African People fled the South — taking over residence in an all-White neighborhood that’s overtly aghast at their arrival.
Main the mob is Betty (Alison Capsule), whose internal turmoil belies her outward Stepford spouse look, smiling by means of gritted enamel on the suggestion the ladies ought to “depart this to the boys.”
“That is the way it begins. The way it modifications. With one household,” she says.
As for that household, the dad, Henry Emory (Ashley Thomas), has job as an engineer, however one which requires swallowing a gradual eating regimen of racism from his condescending boss. Henry’s spouse, Fortunate (Deborah Ayorinde), brings a horrible previous together with her from North Carolina, a grim interlude that may finally be revealed in grotesque (too grotesque, presumably, for some) element, explaining the impetus behind the transfer west.
Nor are their younger daughters, impressively performed by Shahadi Wright Joseph and Emily Hurd, spared the ordeal because the episodes progress, mixing supernatural thrives with extra mundane horrors.
“Them” maintains a way of dread with eerie music and disturbing photos, however the macabre part to what’s occurring coexists considerably awkwardly with points surrounding segregation, corruption and monetary exploitation.
Juggling that stew of fabric, the sequence manages to be bracing and uncomfortable and nonetheless really feel uneven. That is a byproduct, maybe, of using the limited-series format versus a film, as the person episodes transfer briskly sufficient (a number of run lower than 40 minutes), however the general story feels stretched out within the center, then rushed on the finish.
The central forged is extraordinarily good, and there are many nifty interval beats, like Henry shopping for a black-and-white TV and sitting down to observe “Father Is aware of Greatest,” the proper image of carefree ’50s suburbia.
“Them” carves out its personal place in that continuum, presenting an unflinching view of hatred and worry, with violence as a brutal consequence. But the online impact underscores the problem of marriage ceremony sobering actuality and horror conventions, in a approach that is intriguing however lower than absolutely satisfying.
“Them” premieres April 9 on Amazon.