Lovecraft Country: Does the series live up to the hype so far?

Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett-Bell in Lovecraft Country - Photograph by Elizabeth Morris/HBO
Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett-Bell in Lovecraft Country - Photograph by Elizabeth Morris/HBO /

HBO’s newest series, Lovecraft Country has promise and a killer premise.  But does it live up to the hype? We take a brief look at the first two episodes.

We are all familiar with  H.P. Lovecraft’s worlds of monsters and secrets. With a plethora of films and works dedicated to the classic horror author is it possible to approach the source material in a fresh and unique manner?

As it turns out, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Jordan Peele’s latest offering on HBO, Lovecraft Country, takes myths from the pages of the popular writer’s novels and applies them to the segregated 1950’s United States.

With Episode Three set to air this Sunday, we decided to ask the question, “Is this highly anticipated series living up to its hype?” Let’s review…

Episode 1: Sundown

In Episode One, we meet Atticus Freeman, a veteran who has returned home to Chicago. His father, Montrose has disappeared and a mysterious letter arrives inviting him to Lovecraft Country.  Atticus decides to join forces with his Uncle George and childhood friend, Leti to go in search of his missing father.

This particular show starts off more like a mystery, full of social commentary that reflects today’s strife. One criticism that we have heard from various sources is that the pace of the story is slow, and it is.

However, we need it to be slow because we only have a short amount of time to really get to know and understand these characters before things get weird. As our mystery starts to unfold, we also get a feel for the time and world that Lovecraft Country is a part of.

With a backdrop of racial tension, the strength in “Sundown” lies in metaphor. Comparing real life monsters to Lovecraft’s true supernatural creatures is a stroke of genius that we loved. As Atticus and crew discover monsters are indeed a part of reality, we plunge further into a world worthy of Cthulhu.

Episode 2: Whitey’s on the Moon

Picking up exactly where “Sundown” left off, Atticus, George and Leti have escaped some Lovecraft steeped vampire creatures and found themselves at the steps of a mansion. At this juncture, the show starts to delve into science fiction horror.

Atticus is very leery of the occupants of the mansion, Christina (Abbey Lee) and her father, Samuel Braithwhite (Tony Goldwyn). Despite the fact that outwardly, they appear to be genial hosts, there is something lurking beneath the surface that Atticus doesn’t trust. While the trio are accepting the pair’s hospitality, they find a clue that could put them on the path to locating Montrose.

The Verdict

Perhaps the series isn’t the horror filled hayride certain genre fans want it to be. However, we have enjoyed these first two episodes immensely.

When combining so many different elements into one narrative its important to find balance and Lovecraft Country does this perfectly. It is a feast of wonderful storytelling and in our opinion, it does indeed live up to the hype.

Next. JORDAN PEELE. dark

Lovecraft Country airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO. 

Let us know if you are enjoying the series in the comments.