Lovecraft Country (Spoilers SHOW ONLY - no book spoilers)

edited August 18 in Other TV
Who else watched the first episode? I'm really liking it so far - excellent blend of supernatural horror and the all to real horror of being a black person in the US in the 50's. I read the book and liked it a lot, so maybe I was pre-disposed to like this. 

I assume this is gonna be 10 episodes, right? Cause I could have sworn in the book they didn't get to that mansion until like 1/2 way through the book and they're already there at the end of episode 1, but I could be misremembering. 
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Comments

  • Just to be clear this thread includes book spoilers? I haven't read the book - so will stay away if so!
  • No, at least that's not what I meant. Let me change the title. The only "spoiler" was a very light one for the end of episode 1, in that they make it to a mansion. I was just comparing to the book where that comes much later in the plot IIRC. 
  • I haven’t read it in awhile but it seems like they got to the mansion well before halfway through. Could be wrong. Loved the episode. “You need to shoot him”.
  • I haven’t read it in awhile but it seems like they got to the mansion well before halfway through. Could be wrong. Loved the episode. “You need to shoot him”.
    I'm probably just remembering wrong then. 
  • I’ll put a very general book spoiler in spoiler mode 

    Not all the stories In the book deal with the same set of characters. The TV show may remix the timetable and cast of characters participating. 


  • This was a great surprise that I didn't know was coming, and didn't really know anything about. A great mix of interesting characters, period piece stuff, and mystery/action/horror.

    Very much looking forwarder to the rest of the season!
    sassyfontaine
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    The first episode was really good, I knew there was going to be some lovecrafty stuff but I kind of forgot about it with so much focus on the family and the green book road trips. Was not expecting the vampires at that moment.
    MoonMan13
  • I want to see more of the first 2 minutes!! World war 2 soldiers battling UFOs and Cthulhu. 


  • lengmolengmo RTP, NC
    Did episode two wrap up the Ardam storyline?  Is episode three going to be the same characters but a different horror (besides the continuing horror of racism)?
  • MoonMan13MoonMan13 Northern Kentucky
    I have to rewatch ep2, but did anyone else sit in bafflement throughout? Not to claim I always 'get' every show, or episode of every show but something about this was very difficult for me to grasp, engage with, follow, and understand. IDK maybe I should hold off until I see it again - but my gut said this was like a whole season of material crammed into a single episode.
    jbryant27
  • rhcooprhcoop Knoxville, Tn
    MoonMan13 said:
    I have to rewatch ep2, but did anyone else sit in bafflement throughout? Not to claim I always 'get' every show, or episode of every show but something about this was very difficult for me to grasp, engage with, follow, and understand. IDK maybe I should hold off until I see it again - but my gut said this was like a whole season of material crammed into a single episode.
    It was a mess IMO.  I was fully dialed in after how good the pilot was, but this definitely moved around too much and was just very confusing as to what they were trying to say.  I get the way this story was a lot like a OG Lovecraft short story with a quick ending and the survivors are confused about what happened, but I think they tried to do too much or just didn't explain enough on what that cult was after.  

    I was really pumped about this show, but after that follow up I'm worried it will be just a series of marginally connected anthology stories that will be ok, but confusing as to what they are trying to do. 
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    The first episode took its time and introduced the characters and all these interesting dynamics, and then they just fast forward through some kind of vampire cult house thing where it feels like none of that other stuff really mattered except the missing dad. Weird show so far.
    rhcoopneilfgks
  • I'm surprised that there's a lot of negativity about the second episode actually. I think the second episode showed the show will be more akin to something like the leftovers, focusing on family dynamics and the mood/feeling from the characters and not trying to explain what's going on. I think the goal of the show seems to be to make you question what's going on and be uncomfortable with everything to make you feel what these characters would have been feeling going through the south. I think the magic stuff was... ridiculous and weird but I think the end of the episode showed what the story was grounded in by showing a gorgeous and gut wrenching scene of Tic's dad holding his dead brother. 

    I guess I really like it because as a white dude it gives me a sense of what African American people in cities might have thought the south was like and the terrors it brings. And I really liked the fact that these people are scarier than the actual monsters that exist. Totally get that it's moving super crazily and is jumping all over the place but maybe looking at it more as a character drama about Black family dynamics and their relationship with racism in this time period. Hope this helps some of you watch and I hope the next couple episodes focus more on Tic and his dad instead of crazy magic! 
    Andrew
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    sjsparks said:
    I'm surprised that there's a lot of negativity about the second episode actually. I think the second episode showed the show will be more akin to something like the leftovers, focusing on family dynamics and the mood/feeling from the characters and not trying to explain what's going on.

    I don't think the issue is that they aren't explaining the plot enough, it's more that it feels unfocused and there's a lot of whiplash. I think Sean Collins said it well in his recap:

    There’s a herky-jerky, stop-start rhythm to the storytelling that makes it hard to stay on board for more than a few scenes in a row. Take the memory-loss subplot, for example, in which George and Leti’s recollections of the monster massacre from the night before are magically erased. First they’re acting so happy with their lush new surroundings that the audience is left wondering if they’d forgotten about the monsters. Then you find out that yes, they have, which explains that. Then you find out their memories are being erased via a spell. Then the monsters show up again and George and Leti (obviously) believe they’re real. Then their memory gets wiped again. Then it gets restored and they freak out. And somewhere in there we find out that the car that was totaled during the battle the night before has been returned largely intact, which doesn’t square with the erased memory bit at all.


    MoonMan13rhcoop
  • lengmolengmo RTP, NC
    The car being totaled and then being largely restored does square with "magic" though.
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    lengmo said:
    The car being totaled and then being largely restored does square with "magic" though.

    Right, not saying its a plot hole or anything, it's just a confusing way to tell the story.
  •  I don't think the issue is that they aren't explaining the plot enough, it's more that it feels unfocused and there's a lot of whiplash.

    Yeah I do agree that it's all over the place and rules are being added and dropped and changed and we don't really have stable ground to stand on. I'll take Sean Collins' example and try to explain why I like it, however I do think all his points are very valid. If you look at how the memories are controlled and pop back in when convenient to the plot, my argument would be that this group of "wizards and witches" is controlling their memory to make them easy to control and restrain. It's only when Tic starts getting on them that they explain or change around the rules of the magic, because they think he's important (this does stretch credulity but I'm okay going with it for an episode). In general I think these rules being introduced, taken away, and changed are a way for you to feel incredibly off balance and I think the whiplash being felt is by design. Maybe I'm giving the show too much credit (very possible) but I think this feeling is mirroring how this black group feels about this very white and uncertain south. I will say if this continues and ends where it's very shaking and we're still being whipped around I won't like it, but for a few episodes I think it would be suitable if you take the opinion that the show is telling the story by the POV of Tic's group. 

    Maybe I'm rooting for this show too much but I think some scenes are really incredible and the family dynamic should be really interesting. I'm hoping the whipping around stops when they get back to Chicago though so viewership stays strong and the story can focus more on Tic and his dad. 

    bizmarkiefaderMoonMan13
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited August 24
    I thought Get Out was brilliant, and Us was sloppy (narratively), and so I was waiting for Peele's show/season to complete before watching it. It sounds like it's capitalizing on the current zeitgeist (of people craving the feeling of BIPOC's plight — if you can't fix it, find entertainment in it) but lacks in storytelling fundamentals. I'm old-fashioned and think it's possible to do both of those things well — although one is much, much harder. Like others have said, maybe it'll turn around.
    cdrive
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    Second episode lost a step i thought. The mansion set really didn’t come out great. It was very obviously a set at times and also very obviously cgi at others and I found both a bit distracting. Too clean and also too well lit, almost like a 90s Star Trek set. Am I being too picky there?

    So far I feel like the show excels when it tackles racism and family issues but the horror aspects feel clumsy. I’m hoping now that they’ve gotten the mansion out of the way it settles into a rhythm.
    sjsparks
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited August 25
    This show put a finale in the pilot follow up. That’s pretty impressive. I’m ready to see how they go episode 3, 4, 5 after that.  There is a lap bar locked on your thighs. If you feel uneasy baby just grip the bar! Peele isn’t here for your pre-conceptions! 
    Marci
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Just FYI, because the media seems to be giving Peele (and to a lesser extent, Abrams) all the attention, but he is not the show runner. Misha Green - a Black woman - is. It’s unfortunate that on one of the rare occasions a woman of colour has an opportunity to helm a major TV production, she keeps being overlooked for the bigger male names attached as Executive Producers. 
    cdriveAlkaid13BrieannesjsparksMarciasmallcatjtmy92ray_x03sassyfontaine
  • edited August 25
    I agree this episode felt rushed (or at least felt like there was a lot crammed in), but it didn't feel so chock-full that it was hard to follow IMO. I was honestly surprised it didn't just end at the gunshot to black moment, though. That would have been a great episode break, and given the rest of the headlong rush to the end more time to breathe.

    Still very much enjoying my time with this, though. Definitely saw some of the CG bleeding through. 
  • MoonMan13MoonMan13 Northern Kentucky
    Widely agree with all the feedback here after second viewing.
    I think, really, at the bottom of it I was distracted by pacing and some of the magical elements feeling a bit corny compared to the first episode and generally what I expect from HBO.
    Definitely the initial feedback had nothing to do with understanding the use of supernatural to create an empathic response in the audience - just that the way the story was presented visually and edited seemed to take me away from that message.
  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA
    Okay, some disorganized thoughts...

    1.  I got the impression the memory loss was directly linked to the whistles, with Tic being immune because of his bloodline?
    2.  What was that scene where Christina Braithwhite delivered a baby shoggoth all about?  It had no relevance to the plot of the episode other than to establish them as guard dogs.  There was another scene where that was explicitly stated, so I don't see how it was useful.  Maybe it will be relevant later?
    3.  Some of the transitions were confusing.  Maybe I missed a beat, but it seemed they cut from Tic, Leti, and George pulling stones out of the basement of the silo--- straight to Montrose (Tic's dad) punching his way out of the ground with Tic and crew walking up behind him on the surface.  
    4.  Montrose is exactly the asshole Tic remembered.
    5.  The black wisps that appear to turn everyone to stone in the ritual (save Tic) seems to emanate from the ring that Christina put on his finger. 
    6.  They've established that the Braithwhite manor is one of many houses belonging to this cult.  I don't think they're gonna be returning to Chicago, or if they do I imagine it will be short lived.
    7.  How fucked up was the voyeur party of hallucinations?  Was that Tic's mom George was dancing with?  The Korean woman who attacks Tic is played by the same actor from the opening scene of episode 1 which seemed to be a dream Tic was having.  (She decends from the space ship.)
    8.  Poor George.  He's the Ned Stark of Lovecraft Country.
  • George was dancing with his wife.

    I think the black stuff came from the ring that Christina Braithwhite gave Tic because it's clear she didn't agree with what her dad was doing, so I thought she put her own spell on it to protect Tic and kill her dad. I was kind of surprised we didn't see her at the end of the episode though. 
  • jtmy92jtmy92 Independence, MO
    asmallcat said:
    George was dancing with his wife.

    I think the black stuff came from the ring that Christina Braithwhite gave Tic because it's clear she didn't agree with what her dad was doing, so I thought she put her own spell on it to protect Tic and kill her dad. I was kind of surprised we didn't see her at the end of the episode though. 
    I don't think that was his wife. I think that she was Tic's mom Dora which plays into the conversation George and Montrose have later in the episode about who is actually Tic's father. 
    CretanBullrhcoop
  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA
    edited August 26
    asmallcat said:
    George was dancing with his wife.

    I think the black stuff came from the ring that Christina Braithwhite gave Tic because it's clear she didn't agree with what her dad was doing, so I thought she put her own spell on it to protect Tic and kill her dad. I was kind of surprised we didn't see her at the end of the episode though. 
    I'm certain that wasn't his wife.
    George's wife "Hippolyta" is played by Aunjanue Ellis.
    George calls the lady he dances with "Dora." The role is credited to Erica Tazel. (Rachel Brooks from Justified!)
    rhcoop
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited August 26
    I really liked the first episode a lot.  I think they did a lot of work, in creative ways, to introduce the characters and tell us who they are through all kinds of indirect ways (e it says something about Tic that when he came home he came in through the fire-escape, Leti's sister informs us of what type of person Leti is through all kinds of inference etc.  The tension of the world-building was great.  First Tic and the other black lady on the bus were denied a ride when the bus broke down, that was de rigueur for them.  Then we see the inner city, where despite the social conditions of the time that was a happy neighbourhood...people were partying and Leti expressed hope/optimism about begin able to get a job in a white part of town.  And the tension builds from there...the knowledge that 3 black people couldn't be in a car on their own, the realization of what happened at the restaurant, getting chased by the 'rednecks', the confrontation with the cop, trying to get out of the county before sunset etc  So much really solid work was done in really interesting ways to tell us who these people were and what world they lived in.

    ...and then in E2, none of it mattered.  They didn't necessarily act out of character, but the character traits that were established in E1 were just abandoned.  The rich world that they created in E1 was replaced by a new world, one that was totally isolated from the one that they worked so hard to establish.  What they introduced in place of character and world was...convoluted and rushed, nothing was established - things just happened, mostly without context.  It was a jarring departure from the first episode.

    Something that I haven't seen anyone comment on...what's with the out timeline music?  There was a modern-sounding hip-hop song in E1, and in E2 they played The Jefferson's theme song and then later something that sounded like Marilyn Manson.  It's not the first show or movie to use out of timeline music, but it was so pronounced that it makes me wonder if it's meant to be an audible clue to the nature of the world that the show takes place in,...
    bizmarkiefader
  • asmallcat said:
    George was dancing with his wife.

    I think the black stuff came from the ring that Christina Braithwhite gave Tic because it's clear she didn't agree with what her dad was doing, so I thought she put her own spell on it to protect Tic and kill her dad. I was kind of surprised we didn't see her at the end of the episode though. 
    I'm certain that wasn't his wife.
    George's wife "Hippolyta" is played by Aunjanue Ellis.
    George calls the lady he dances with "Dora." The role is credited to Erica Tazel. (Rachel Brooks from Justified!)
    Oh shit thanks guys. I just assumed it was his wife because the scene read as romantic to me and him dying at the end of the episode would make the scene even more bittersweet, and his wife was in, what, 3 minutes of the first episode so I didn't remember what she looked like.

    I guess the implication is that both George and Montrose were in love with Tic's mom (as strengthened by the "he might not be your son" line). 
    jtmy92Marci
  • asmallcat said:
    asmallcat said:
    George was dancing with his wife.

    I think the black stuff came from the ring that Christina Braithwhite gave Tic because it's clear she didn't agree with what her dad was doing, so I thought she put her own spell on it to protect Tic and kill her dad. I was kind of surprised we didn't see her at the end of the episode though. 
    I'm certain that wasn't his wife.
    George's wife "Hippolyta" is played by Aunjanue Ellis.
    George calls the lady he dances with "Dora." The role is credited to Erica Tazel. (Rachel Brooks from Justified!)

    I guess the implication is that both George and Montrose were in love with Tic's mom (as strengthened by the "he might not be your son" line). 
    Those fantasy/dream sequences were their nightmares.  To the viewer, his 'nightmare' didn't look bad at all (compared to a snake-rape and violent fight with a Korean soldier), but when you realize that he had an affair with his brother's wife and there are doubts about who Tic's father is, and consider the life-long tense relationship that Tic had with his 'father' you begin to understand the weight of the guilt that he's been living with.
    asmallcatMarciMoonMan13JasNic
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