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‘It Is Its Own Thing’: Anika Noni Rose Explains Why Critics Shouldn’t Compare ‘Them’ Anthology Series to ‘Get Out’ or ‘Us’

The anticipated premiere of the anthology series “Them” from writer-producers Lena Waithe and Little Marvin has finally arrived. 

The 10-episode series boasts a bone-chilling storyline about a Black family escaping the rural South during the 1950s for a chance at a better life in Los Angeles, but instead what they encounter is racism, violence and super-natural threats. While the series has the makings of captivating visuals, it was met with comparisons to filmmaker Jordan Peele’s Box Office hits “Get Out” and “Us.”

The anthology series “Them” kicked off April 9 with episode 1 of season 1, “Covenant.” (Photo: “Them” Amazon trailer/YouTube)

It is a comparison that “Them” cast member Anika Noni Rose says critics and fans shouldn’t be so quick to make.

“I don’t think we’ve really seen anything like this. As much as ‘Get Out’ was an entryway and a welcome. It is not ‘Get Out.’ It is not ’Us.’ It is not ‘Lovecraft Country,” Rose explained to The Grio.

While Peele’s films are rooted in fears and conversations the Black community has about white people, Rose says “Them” is akin to a retelling of American history.

“It is its own thing and it is so true to the time period and the genre of the ’50s and that sort of pulp genre. It’s also true to the truths of people’s journey, the Great Migration and thinking they were escaping terror and horror,” she added.

“Here are Black folks that are literally scrapping and scraping, driving impossible distances, in order to escape a certain kind of terror — only to be confronted with the exact same hatred and paranoia and rage that they were trying to leave behind,” Marvin explained to Variety.

Waithe says some viewers will indeed be triggered by the series.

“It’s not going to be an easy watch, but it will be unforgettable. These are exactly the kinds of things I want to be a part of — projects that won’t be forgotten,” Waithe told Vogue a week before the show’s April 9 premiere on Amazon Prime.

“It’s about not allowing the world to act as if we, as Black people, have to just be OK. There’s a reason why we’re not. Even though the show takes place in the 1950s, what happened then still affects us today,” she added.

Cultural critic Touré wrote on social, “It’s a really smart way of telling real Black history while reminding you how scary it was for Black people who tried to do things like integrate white neighborhoods or attend white schools. It’s superengrossing man. 🔥🔥🔥”

The series even garnered support from horror and sci-fi author Stephen King who tweeted, “Amazon Prime Video: THEM, starting tomorrow. The first episode scared the hell out of me, and I’m hard to scare. Bonus: If you’ve never seen a bunch of extremely creepy white ladies in 50s dresses, here’s your chance.”

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