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Lovecraft Country (Spoilers for Episode 1)

BookTenTiger

Adventurer
Did anyone else watch this last night?

I thought it was fantastic! I'm a big fan of the book, and I think so far it's an amazing interpretation.

SPOILERS BELOW






The scene in the diner reminded me that systems of oppression and racism are, in their nature, very Lovecraftian. Lovecraft himself was a raging racist, but he really captured this sense of huge, ungraspable malicious forces at work that invade mundane aspects of life. I mean, what greater conspiracy is there than an actual government created laws that oppress and incentivise violence towards a group of people?

I thought the characters were all wonderfully realized and brought to life. The characters were, in my opinion, one of the stronger parts of the book, and even in this first episode they did a lot of building up of the three current main characters, as well as hints of depths of the current side characters (Hyppolyta at the telescope, for example).

Now one of the biggest changes from the book was the monster in the woods.

I remember in the book the monster was never fully described (very appropriate for a Lovecraft monster), but it was either invisible or a part of the woods itself.

In this episode, the monsters were multi-eyed vampiric predators. They looked incredible, and I loved their gibbering.

The monster attack really ratcheted up the mistrust between the main characters and the sheriff's posse. I liked that there was no point of all the characters suddenly getting along because of a common enemy. The racist authority figures stayed racist and fearful as they lost control of the situation.

My only critique of the episode was the very last scene. The characters suddenly walk from the cabin through a covered bridge to Ardham, and we know that because there's a big Chiron on the screen. But I was unsure if the characters knew they were in Ardham, and why they felt compelled to go to the front door of this mansion. I mean, having read the book I understand, but as a viewer I would have liked more clarity on what the characters knew at that point.

Anyways, fantastic episode, fantastic show, can't wait to see what happens next.

What did you all think?
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So, I haven't watched it yet. And, thanks to your warning, I managed to not read the spoilers.

If you intend a spoilerific discussion, that's totally fine - but please put it in the title of the thread.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yes, likely to be watching it tonight (we have an online group that gathers on Sunday, so we didn't see it yet).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I don’t have HBO, sooo...

Tangentially, I noticed that Raphael Saadiq is one of the show’s music writers, so that’s a plus!
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I used to have HBO, but, then, they and ROKU apparently can't come to an agreement.......It is possible I can watch it on the Xfinity app on the Roku, I haven't tried yet....and I'm not watching tv on my computer these days. But, as soon as I do, I'll be watching this!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Side note: given the show’s plotline and all the people involved in its production, it is highly likely that this series will avoid the common trope that no minority characters will see the final reel.

(OTOH, it is Lovecraftian horror, so no guarantees... ;) )
 

BookTenTiger

Adventurer
Side note: given the show’s plotline and all the people involved in its production, it is highly likely that this series will avoid the common trope that no minority characters will see the final reel.

(OTOH, it is Lovecraftian horror, so no guarantees... ;) )

Interesting story:

The author of the book is also a TV writer, and originally wanted to produce this as a show. It just came out better as a novel (for him, anyways). The author is a white man, and did a lot of research and talked with a lot of people of color when writing his book. I think he did his due diligence in the book, and was able to respectfully write about people he doesn't share a racial identity with.

However, I think it's immediately clear in the show that they have creators of color. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's just something much more authentic about the show so far.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I used to have HBO, but, then, they and ROKU apparently can't come to an agreement

So, this is where HBO is confusing. There used to be three different services. Now, there's two. There's HBO, and HBO Max. There's no agreement for HBO Max, that has twice the content. But you can get Lovecraft Country on just the HBO app. I know, because I watched it on my Roku HBO app tonight...
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
So, this is where HBO is confusing. There used to be three different services. Now, there's two. There's HBO, and HBO Max. There's no agreement for HBO Max, that has twice the content. But you can get Lovecraft Country on just the HBO app. I know, because I watched it on my Roku HBO app tonight...
Interesting.... I'll see if I can get that working! Thanks.
 

carrot

Explorer
Yeah - that was a really interesting show. It certainly felt authentic - I must admit I hadn't appreciated the levels of racism prevalent in the Southern States, so that was definitely an eye opener. I agree - the monsters were fantastic - you could feel the sanity checks failing :devilish:
I struggled to follow a lot of the dialogue though - it was partly cos it was very quiet and partially the accents (normally quite good with them). Still that was a minor quibble really. All in all I'm looking forward to the next one.
 



BookTenTiger

Adventurer
Yeah - that was a really interesting show. It certainly felt authentic - I must admit I hadn't appreciated the levels of racism prevalent in the Southern States, so that was definitely an eye opener. I agree - the monsters were fantastic - you could feel the sanity checks failing :devilish:
I struggled to follow a lot of the dialogue though - it was partly cos it was very quiet and partially the accents (normally quite good with them). Still that was a minor quibble really. All in all I'm looking forward to the next one.

We noticed that the dialogue was difficult to follow too! We thought it was some kind of levels on our projector.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
We noticed that the dialogue was difficult to follow too! We thought it was some kind of levels on our projector.

There are two things going on, I think. One is that there was a bit of an audio balance problem between the action scenes and dialog - if your volume is set well for the action scenes, dialog was a little quiet (at least for me, who has fans on for cooling in the summertime)

Another is that they seem to be using period appropriate language and accent for African Americans of the time and region, which has a bit of a drawl many of us are perhaps not used to, making it a bit harder to follow.
 
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Just finished watching the first episode last night and it was a great start. I've not read the book yet, but will likely do so. I've enjoyed other books that have addressed Lovecraft's virulent hatreds, like Ballad of Black Tom and Winter Tide.

I dug all the little pulp references, like Tic reading A Princess of Mars, too.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I watched it and had the same problems others had -- the audio mixing made it really hard to hear what people were saying. I thought it was my TV, but from this thread, I guess not.
 



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