Lovecraft Country: Final Thoughts and Discussion (spoilers)

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
(WARNING: SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE SHOW!)

I was laid up for a while, and just got around to finishing Lovecraft Country. And after the final episode, I have to say, I have mixed emotions.

I should start by saying that I am a fan of H. P. Lovecraft's cosmic horror. And I thought that the way that the show specifically tackled the interplay of race & fandom in light of the history of America was brilliant. I really enjoyed it.

And there were individual episodes that I am still thinking about. Strange Case (the body swap episode). Meet Me in Daegu (Korea). Jig-a-Bobo (Diana is chased by two malevolent spirits). Rewind 1921 (Tulsa). Holy Ghost (what's in the basement?). Not to mention some great and unexpected touches (the nods to afro-futurism in I Am).

There were individual great episodes. The acting, writing, and cinematography were all top notch. And yet, the finale left me cold. It was rushed and unearned in so many ways. It's hard to explain, and I am still thinking about it one week after watching it ... but the individual parts of the show were much greater than the sum of their parts. That's not to say that the serialized nature of the show didn't pay off; for example, the whole Tic & Montrose relationship paid off in an exquisite, and for me, unexpected fashion in the Tulsa episode, and included a callback to the very first episode's opening (with Jackie Robinson).

But so much about the finale felt unearned. The Korean episode was a highlight of the show; but the presence of Ji-Ah felt unearned and shoehorned into the rest of the show. The off-screen killing of Ruby was both completely expected (body swapping) and also made the finale feel inexplicable. Diana's killing of Christina was just ... off.

Eh. I still loved the show, but was not impressed with the last episode.
 

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BookTenTiger

He / Him
I fully agree!

I fell in love with the series on Episode 1, and there were so many PARTS of the series I thought were fantastic. I loved the spoken word soundtrack, the characters, the acting, the settings...

But the whole series felt rushed! They could have taken the first four episodes and stretched it out into an entire season. The series needed more time with its characters and more time establishing the rules of its world.
 

payn

Legend
I liked the entire series up to the finale. The finale was just too predictable and I feel like it betrayed the themes of the series. Still very excellent television. Unlike Watchmen though, I feel like I got everything I needed out of a single series of Lovecraft Country.
 

Aaron L

Hero
I really, really wanted to like it. I got 5 episodes in before I just lost interest. For one thing, there didn't seem to be anything actually Lovecraftian about it, just generic horror themes. I was looking for vast cosmic horror and I'm afraid I just didn't feel any. Apalling human horror, certainly, but nothing cosmic.

I didn't hate it, I just lost interest.

And why were the shoggoths dog-things rather than giant glowing blobs? I didn't even recognize what they were supposed to be until they were called off by the whistle in the first episode, and then I realized that must somehow be the show's version of shoggoths.

"Tekeli-li!"
 

GreyLord

Legend
I really, really wanted to like it. I got 5 episodes in before I just lost interest. For one thing, there didn't seem to be anything actually Lovecraftian about it, just generic horror themes. I was looking for vast cosmic horror and I'm afraid I just didn't feel any. Apalling human horror, certainly, but nothing cosmic.

I didn't hate it, I just lost interest.

And why were the shoggoths dog-things rather than giant glowing blobs? I didn't even recognize what they were supposed to be until they were called off by the whistle in the first episode, and then I realized that must somehow be the show's version of shoggoths.

"Tekeli-li!"
I don't have HBO so I don't have access to this series, but from what I've heard I want to see it if it becomes available otherwise.

If you like Lovecraft ideas in a modern setting...see The Color out of Space. Now that felt like Lovecraft to me. It's also supposed to be the first in a trilogy of Lovecraft movies, of which I eagerly await more.

Trailer from Youtube in case one is interested...

Color out of Space Trailer
 

Aaron L

Hero
My brother has an HBO Go(?) account that he let me use to watch it.

Yeah I've had several friends tell me that Colour is good, and I need to watch it. I am the goto Lovecraft guy in our groyp, the one who runs Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green and always injects some Lovecraftian themes into the D&D campaigns he runs.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I think that the (relative) lack of conversation about the show, here, as compared to in general, indicates something I've been thinking about.

It was much more successful in terms of a general audience (the middlebrow ... what used to be called the "New Yorker" types) than it was with the geek community. Which is unfortunate.
 

Herschel

Adventurer
I liked it, but I think the last episode had no idea what it was supposed to be. Was it opening the story world, opening an extension of the current story, or wrapping up an enclosed story?

I thought the final scene would be revealing an elder evil or something similar to open the story even more. As it stood, it could end or continue from there within the same group/story, but didn't seem to expand the world in a way I thought it could. Sure, they could do a second season mostly unrelated to the first, but I don't think there would be any sense of continuity.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I think that the (relative) lack of conversation about the show, here, as compared to in general, indicates something I've been thinking about.

It was much more successful in terms of a general audience (the middlebrow ... what used to be called the "New Yorker" types) than it was with the geek community. Which is unfortunate.
I would watch it, but I just don't want to pay for so many streaming services. Paying for so many channels was what caused me to fall away from any semblance of cable TV. Now it is happening with streaming as well. I already pay for 3 services, and frankly that is enough. If I can come by a friends account to watch it or it is main available otherwise, I may check it out.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I would watch it, but I just don't want to pay for so many streaming services. Paying for so many channels was what caused me to fall away from any semblance of cable TV. Now it is happening with streaming as well. I already pay for 3 services, and frankly that is enough. If I can come by a friends account to watch it or it is main available otherwise, I may check it out.

Well, that is a constant problem!

At this point, I have Netflix (since I have had it since it was just a DVD-by-mail service), Prime (because I have it for shipping, so why not), and HBO Max (because I've had HBO for a while since it has the best shows, and adding the whole Max just increased the library with DC and Adult Swim and Criterion, so awesome!).

But then there's Hulu and Dinsey+.

So to have some semblance of coverage, for just the major streaming services (this isn't even counting niche services ...), I'd need an additional two subscriptions.

I have to say that HBO Max, quality-wise, is worth it.
 

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