Lovecraft Country is revisionist history with a fantastical twist. Familiar and unfamiliar American truth explored through a new lens. One of horror and imagination. Placing supernatural monsters in the center of terrible human acts and taking us for an adrenaline filled ride you won’t soon forget.
An African American war vet sets out on the road of Jim Crow Era America in search of his father. The search soon becomes more than he and his companions anticipated as they unknowingly find themselves in the center of H.P. Lovecraft‘s most horrifying imaginings. The series has been beautifully adapted by creator Misha Green from the acclaimed book of the same name written by Matt Ruff and is executive produced by JJ Abrams & Jordan Peele.
I wanted to do a check-in as we get closer to the end of the season. Seven episode down, so much discovered and yet it feels like we’re still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Week to week we are all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting in anticipation. For those that have seen it you know what I’m talking about, but for those who haven’t I’m gonna tell you why this should be the most talked about show this year.
The show opens and gives you a small taste of what you can expect to see moving forward. It then introduces characters and establishes the world we are in. The colors are vivid and sharp, depicting the 1950s through a clean and vibrant lens whilst not shying away from when we are. A country where prejudice is running amuck and segregation is life, lynching is common, and hatred is expected.
We’ve all heard “You have to get passed the first couple of episodes before the show gets good!”. We’ve all internally rolled our eyes at that statement while saying “Really? I guess maybe I’ll try to perhaps just maybe try to give it another shot… maybe”. Well, you don’t have to worry about that in Lovecraft Country! The first episode pulls you in and holds you, taking you on a rolercoaster ride until the last frame. I actually would argue that the first episode is the best out of the first half of the season. So much tension, excitement, world building and character development in an hour. Misha and the team also manage to space the stand-out episodes in a way that keeps the audience engaged and entertained, planning their weeks around that Sunday night premier of the latest episode.
We also get some incredible performances from Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett, as well as some of the other cast members but these two blow you away. Majors received a lot of attention from his performance in The Last Black Man in San Francisco as well as in Spike Lee‘s Da 5 Bloods. In this he elevates even further and shows what an incredible young actor he is. Smollett is a rising star herself delivering, powerful moments throughout but where she shines, along with Majors, is in her more nuanced moments. Letting us in on these beautifully intminate moments in one scene and then turning around and grabbing a bat to start whailing on racism as only a victim of it can. Later in the season we also get a career high performance from Jamie Chung in one of the best episodes of the series. You will notice the show thrives in diversity and that’s something that should be celebrated.
The writing is strong, though not perfect. I’ll praise their ability to take us back-in-time for an episode and show us much needed exposition. Few shows do that well and I tend to detest it more than most but they do it quite well here. I will, however, express my concerns with a common issue I see with Abrams produced shows. One I see this show possibly falling into. I worry about the show getting too convoluted for its own good. I know it’s based on a novel which, admittedly, I have not read but I’m hoping that Misha and the team arent writing themselves into a corner they can’t get themselves out of. The audience is riding ths train but eventually they might start piecing things together and realize they don’t seem to fit right. Perhaps I worry too soon. Many that know me wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case though maybe it’s still PTSD from the last season of Fringe. I recognize it hasn’t been that long but I’m beginning to miss the “simplicity” of the first six episodes. Simplicity within the context of the world, of course.
All in all, the show is astounding but not without flaws. None of the reasons I have listed are the ones why this should be the most talked about show this year. I said I would tell you why it should be and I’ll keep my word. It’s because of what it is saying and the era it is portraying. In a time where people are trying to forget history. The history of the world. The history of America. This show takes that history and delivers it in the form of a pill that’s a bit easire to swallow for some. Only a bit. Depicting a world of monsters and men… really of monsters and monsters… and everyone else. It should be discussed because we need to continue being reminded of where we came from and where we need to make sure we aren’t going. We need to be talking about this show so it gets on every screen in the world, lest we forget.
Strange to say it but… you almost wish this was true, don’t you. Monsters, not humans, responsible for some of these horrible acts. Then we would have something to point a finger to. Something else to blame. You almost wish… almost but… alas.
Born in Puerto Rico but raised in a combination of the island, Boston and upstate New York. This guy’s accent shifts depending on his mood, as does his sense of style. If you don’t understand him sometimes, don’t feel bad, neither do we.
Having studied film in Florida, with a focus on writing and directing, and having worked on many projects of all sizes and scope, Raul has a well rounded understanding of cinema. He is also a huge fan of American Football and believes Tom Brady to be the indisputable G.O.A.T.