Television

The Strange & Terrifying Brilliance of Lovecraft Country

When I heard HBO would start airing a new Black character-driven horror TV series developed by Misha Green, Jordan Peele, and J.J. Abrams, I only had one reaction. “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY”; or in this case, my eyeballs and attention. If there is one thing you can count on from Green, Peele, and Abrams it’s that their work will be at times confusing and oftentimes brilliant, but unforgettable none the less. After watching season one, episode one of Lovecraft Country, I must admit they did not disappoint.

Lovecraft CountryLovecraft Country season one, episode one: Sundown introduces us to the main characters Atticus Freeman, George Freeman, and Letitia Lewis. The three set out on a road trip across the segregated South to a town in Massachusetts in search of the recently missing father of Atticus. Awesome music, clothing, and 1950’s/60’s era vehicles all backed with top-notch acting make for an interesting episode overall. This feels like something that will develop into an important journey into the Black Experience and the ugliness of confronting racism. To assume that is all there is to this show proves to be a huge mistake on my part because out of nowhere it happens! What is it that happens? MONSTERS! 

You read me right; MONSTERS. But these aren’t your average Monsters; no. That would be too easy and predictable. These are the type of monsters that make you reevaluate what in the world you’re watching. Imagine taking two dust mites and making them both as big as elephants; then combining them to make one big nasty dust mite looking creature. Disturbed me so much when they appeared I had to look around the room because I thought I heard something. I already know what you’re thinking too. 

You’re probably thinking “Duke are you scared?” Well, let me tell you something; NO! I absolutely am not scared. You know what I am, though? I’m TERRIFIED! What in the world are these monsters aka double elephant-sized dust mites and why are they in this show? I’m not going to get too deep into what happened because you need to watch for yourself but I’ll tell you right now there is everything from these monsters, car chases, one-armed human flesh-eating racist cops and a whole lot more. Whatever you assume Lovecraft Country is after the first 30minutes of watching, KEEP WATCHING. This show is all over the place in the best ways. 

Sidenote: Letitia is played by the uber-talented actor Jurnee Smollett. Who told Jurnee to go from a little talented child actor that was stealing every scene she was in on Full House to this grown woman actor who’s stealing every scene she’s in on Lovecraft Country? Who authorized this thespian to get grown? I need to speak to the manager and voice my concerns here. Shouldn’t we get a memo when child actors become adult actors? What the heck is going on in the world? 

Anyway. Check out Lovecraft Country on HBO; Sundays at 8 PM EST. Watch this space because each week I’ll be giving my non-spoiler assessment of each episode this season. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go check on whatever that sound is in the room. Gotta make sure it’s not an elephant dust mite monster! 

E. Duke Bennett is the host of the “Tell Us The Truth” Podcast & the “Duke Loves Rasslin” Podcast. Hit him up on Facebook or Twitter @DukeLovesRasslin & @TellUsTheTruth for more pontification on Great TV, pro wrestling, breaking down systemic racism, and on who authorized child actors like Jurnee Smollett to grow up.

 

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