Halt! Cthulhu goes there? (L to R): Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), Atticus (Jonathan Majors) and Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) in HBOs Lovecraft Country.

(L to R): Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), Atticus (Jonathan Majors) and Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) in HBOs Lovecraft Country.

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Its sure to be compared to Watchmen, provided both its popular HBO Sunday night berth and its determination to see race in America through the prism of science fiction, Lovecraft Country is lighter in tone, and far pulpier in perceptiveness, than Lindelofs relatively grand, sweeping impressive. For every fun, if extremely anachronistic, component– needle-drops like Rihannas “Bitch Better Have My Money,” state, or stomach muscles like Majors– Lovecraft Country is always careful to re-center itself on its characters, and their hemmed-in status as Black ladies and men in 1950s America. That H.P. Lovecraft– troubled, creative, racist– need to influence a book and a series that focuses Black characters, and that specifically utilizes his own creations to flesh out the inner lives he denied them in his own work, was not something he might have imagined.

Here is a list of things that the HBO series Lovecraft Country, premiering Sunday, August 16th, has in typical with the 2018 film Green Book: 1. And here is a brief, incomplete list of the things that Lovecraft Country prominently features that Green Book absolutely does not: 1. (The Shoggoths of Lovecraft Country are shaped more like Pit-bulls than protoplasm, though theyve got that entire creepy-eyes thing covered.).

Eli Joshua Ade/ HBO.

Here is a list of things that the HBO series Lovecraft Country, premiering Sunday, August 16th, has in typical with the 2018 movie Green Book: 1. Lovecraft Country is only the newest in a series of motion pictures, tv series and books to engage with Americas biggest moral, economic, social and psychological injury– the legacy of slavery– by method of the fantastic. Its sure to be compared to Watchmen, given both its popular HBO Sunday night berth and its decision to see race in America through the prism of science fiction, Lovecraft Country is lighter in tone, and far pulpier in sensibility, than Lindelofs relatively grand, sweeping impressive.

Eli Joshua Ade/ HBO.

Lovecraft Country is just the latest in a series of movies, television series and novels to engage with Americas biggest moral, financial, mental and social injury– the tradition of slavery– by way of the fantastic. That was H.P. Lovecrafts entire schtick. Its that accurate affinity– slavery as abject, ungraspable, soul-devouring horror– that author Matt Ruffs 2016 novel, upon which the HBO series is based, skillfully explored.

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(L to R): Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), Atticus (Jonathan Majors) and Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) in HBOs Lovecraft Country.

Halt! Cthulhu goes there? (L to R): Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), Atticus (Jonathan Majors) and Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) in HBOs Lovecraft Country.

Eli Joshua Ade/ HBO.

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