I watched the entire show in the past few days. The first episodes sucked me in. I became more and more uncomfortable with the show as it went on, but kept watching until the end, which I found very disappointing and poorly written.
Here’s my opinion of Them. It’s “torture porn.” It’s a continuation of the same genre as Last House on the Left, Funny Games, and Hostel - a pure shock genre with very, very little to redeem it, in my opinion. The creator of Them seemed to relish in torturing the characters and…virtually nothing else. To me, the theme of racial struggle was just window dressing. I did not find it to be socially relevant or in any way a “take” on any timely racial issues of the day. I think that the show’s creators were, in fact, cynically hijacking these topical themes as a vehicle for their shock porn.
As is my common practice, after finishing a series or movie, I usually delve into the reviews and Reddit to see what other people thought. In this case, as I suspected, a hell of a lot of other people feel the same way.
I’ll add this disclaimer. I am a white guy. Them is a black show. I know there’s potential here for me to sound patronizing or dismissive of it because of the legacy of racism in this country. I hope, most sincerely, that my criticism of it isn’t taken this way. Racism, even in its most violent and disturbing forms, is an important issue that legitimately deserves to be explored by movies and shows. I do not believe this was an example of that. At all.