By Ifeyinwa Nwachukwu
The conclusion of season one of the series Lovecraft Country premiered last Sunday—and there is much to say about it. The show follows the story of Tic, an African American war vet who is obsessed with fantasy, and in particular, the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
The show begins with Tic returning to his home in Chicago after receiving a strange letter from his father who has recently gone missing. Accompanied by his uncle and his childhood friend, Leti, Tic tracks down his father to a small town in Massachusetts. There, Tic learns much about his family’s dark history and finds himself involved in the machinations of an ancient magical order. The rest of the series follows his attempts to decode the mystery of his past and learn how to protect himself and his family from the Order.
Overall, I enjoyed the concept of the show. I think that the intersection between horror,
fantasy and history was a fascinating idea to explore, especially through the lens of Black
protagonists. The series contends with the issue surrounding the racist views of the horror
fiction genre’s most esteemed innovator’s, HP Lovecraft, and the Black characters; love of the genre and Lovecraft’s works themselves. In his works, Black people are often coded to be the monsters that terrorize the protagonists. In Lovecraft country however, the show inverts this idea by combining the horror of existence for African Americans living under Jim Crow in the 60s with the monsters and magic wielded by white characters against the Black protagonists.
The show defies conventions of the horror genre by making heroes of a group of people that it has often both demonized and excluded.
While I did like the concept of the show, its delivery was not my favorite. Like many
television shows, pacing was an issue with this one. In addition, the show’s multiple plotlines
may have taken away from the development of the central conflict. There were episodes that
had very little to do with tic’s central storyline, however these episodes, in my opinion, were
oftentimes far better. I wish they would have either developed these other storylines further or would have connected them to the main plot in a more substantive way. Overall I think the show was an interesting watch, the acting was great and it was always surprising.