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Hakkesshu
Nov 3, 2009



Watched the first episode of this, and I think it deserves a thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvamPJp17Ds

Based on the novel by Matt Ruff, that I am not personally familiar with, Lovecraft Country is an HBO show about Atticus Freeman, a nerd who joined the military and returns home to find his father missing, in the titular Lovecraft Country. He goes on a road trip to the deep northeast with his uncle George and his friend Letitia to discover the truth, and on the way - very bad things happen, both natural and preternatural.

The show is produced by Jordan Peele and the showrunner is Misha Green. As you might expect, knowing anything about Lovecraft, racism is a key theme here. The original novel was written by a white guy (which is presumably how you get names like Atticus Freeman), and I don't know how the show compares, but from the outset it's clear that the producers know what they are doing, and so far the show is pretty promising.

They are definitely not shy about calling out Lovecraft himself - the first time they mention him by name they bring up his, er, poem, "On the Creation of N-Word," which is by far the worst thing he ever put to paper. It's hard to get a sense for where the season is going, not being familiar with the source material, but so far it seems to largely be a period piece with a helping of cosmic horror in the margins. Either way, I feel confident recommending it based on the first episode.

Hakkesshu fucked around with this message at 10:00 on Aug 18, 2020

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hamsystem
Nov 11, 2010

Fuzzy pickles!


That first episode was real loving good and extremely my poo poo. I can't wait for the rest of the season now. Probably one of my favorite first episodes of anything I've watched in the last few years.

DogsInSpace!
Sep 11, 2001

Mind Explode!
Out Come Dogs!




Fun Shoe

Hakkesshu posted:

They are definitely not shy about calling out Lovecraft himself - the first time they mention him by name they bring up his, er, poem, "On the Creation of N-Word," which is by far the worst thing he ever put to paper. It's hard to get a sense for where the season is going, not being familiar with the source material, but so far it seems to largely be a period piece with a helping of cosmic horror in the margins. Either way, I feel confident recommending it based on the first episode.

Saw the first episode and I'm in. Excellent acting (always like Courtney B Vance) and I like the real world "Green Book" touches although I wish it had waited just a bit more for the monster reveal. They didn't do anything wrong ... just my personal preference. Fairly tense and, aside from the intro and the end, reminded me of True Detective. Chicago and the backroads felt like two completely different worlds. Glad this brings up Sundown Towns as more people should know that was a thing in America.

I loved the way they handled Lovecraft and his racism. Between that speech and this one scene where the protagonist was talking about John Carter of Mars with another lady after the white people made them walk, but it fits:
"Stories are like people. Loving them doesn't make them perfect. You just try and cherish them, overlook their flaws"
"Yeah, but the flaws are still there."
"Yeah they are, but I love pulp stories. I love that heroes get to go on adventures in other worlds, defy insurmountable odds, defeat the monster, save the day" (I don't think he reads much Lovecraft but he might dig Conan).


Cool show. Also so it's said: Lovecraft was a talented nutjob but he was a racist kook even for his super racist time. Robert E Howard, a contemporary, even called commented on him being extreme (though Howard was from Texas he grew more tolerant as he met and talked with people not like him). Fear of the other and unknown were a large cornerstone of Lovecraft's work and combined with his prose really gives it a certain flavour that works even today, a century after. If it helps make it palatable for anyone, ol HP would probably really hate the casting and if they knock this out of the park then all the sweeter. I hope this goes well and I look forward to more.

That Italian Guy
Jul 25, 2012

Rocky uses Explosive Punch!
Paid by the Spines-for-Lowtax Committee.


Spoilers for the end of the 1st episode:
I'm not too familiar with the expanded Lovecraft universe and I have not read the book this is based on, but if they are using existing lore - and they are namedropping the shoggoths - I wonder if the creatures we see in the first episodes are the infamous "thousand young" belonging to Shub-Niggurath.

I don't think it's ever described, and most media just use some kind of tentacular swarm to represent Shub-Niggurath, but I was GIS'ing and I found this image that seems close enough to the creature's we've seen:

spookygonk
Apr 3, 2005
Does not give a damn


hamsystem posted:

That first episode was real loving good and extremely my poo poo. I can't wait for the rest of the season now. Probably one of my favorite first episodes of anything I've watched in the last few years.

Yeah that was great television. Extremely tense stuff.

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



First episode was great. I'm already very into this show.

The intro dream sequence in particular is so awesome at introducing a lot of core concepts for the story: Atticus is a veteran who views himself as a genre fiction hero; he aspires to be a John Carter type who fights aliens and gets with a Space Princess in the end; but the Hero's Journey expectations he has of a prevailing hero become meaningless when they slam against HP Lovecraft. Not even Jackie Robinson can overcome an immortal Elder God, conflating cosmic horror with white supremacy and systemic racism in the first 2 minutes. It's so goddamn solid.

Not to mention other fun details, like at the end of the episode where the racist cops are attacked and become infected with shoggoth monster contagion, and one of them is visibly morphing into a grotesque monster, and the other cop is still aiming his gun at some scared unarmed black people. In case True Detective was too subtle about how the white patriarchal power structure in America is essentially just a predatory cult of Cthulhu worshippers.

Pedro De Heredia
May 30, 2006


Hakkesshu posted:

They are definitely not shy about calling out Lovecraft himself

hp lovecraft sir your canceled

DogsInSpace!
Sep 11, 2001

Mind Explode!
Out Come Dogs!




Fun Shoe

Xealot posted:

First episode was great. I'm already very into this show.

The intro dream sequence in particular is so awesome at introducing a lot of core concepts for the story: Atticus is a veteran who views himself as a genre fiction hero; he aspires to be a John Carter type who fights aliens and gets with a Space Princess in the end; but the Hero's Journey expectations he has of a prevailing hero become meaningless when they slam against HP Lovecraft. Not even Jackie Robinson can overcome an immortal Elder God, conflating cosmic horror with white supremacy and systemic racism in the first 2 minutes. It's so goddamn solid.
Nice read and I agree. Love the season preview which looks like they will heavily feature this theme.

Xealot posted:

Not to mention other fun details, like at the end of the episode where the racist cops are attacked and become infected with shoggoth monster contagion, and one of them is visibly morphing into a grotesque monster, and the other cop is still aiming his gun at some scared unarmed black people. In case True Detective was too subtle about how the white patriarchal power structure in America is essentially just a predatory cult of Cthulhu worshippers.
Hah yeah... of course it is a cop so that is kind of their default stance. Let us not forget if it wasn't the scion of Shub-Niggurath (good eye Italian) those same cops were taking them out to shoot them and bury them in the woods anyway. They weren't going for a gentle questioning.


Pedro De Heredia posted:

hp lovecraft sir your canceled

As one of the MANY people Lovecraft would have hated I can say that life already cancelled the dude hard, but there is still something to his writing. Even his lesser known non Cthulhu stuff like "the Outsider" or the "Quest of Iranon" there is still plenty of gold there. But make no mistake.... he hated lots of people. Also been known a loooooong time. There was a hilarious racist HP Lovecraft cameo in an issue of Planetary like 20 years ago

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



I read the book this summer when I heard this TV adaptation was coming out. The book is a set of short stories bound together by common characters, and I can see how its structure would lend itself to a TV version.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it

Starks
Sep 24, 2006



I must have missed something...how did they know the Sheriff's name?

Edit: never mind. For some reason I thought that the place they were talking about at the dinner table was different from the one they actually went to.

Starks fucked around with this message at 01:10 on Aug 18, 2020

TheAardvark
Mar 3, 2019



ketchup vs catsup posted:

I read the book this summer when I heard this TV adaptation was coming out. The book is a set of short stories bound together by common characters, and I can see how its structure would lend itself to a TV version.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it

I'm pretty excited if so. That seems like a great premise for a TV show and the budget seems to be here to make it good. If they base it all off short stories then there shouldn't be any of the filler stuff like the walking dead faces.

a kitten
Aug 5, 2006



Fallen Rib

Loved that first episode, as it was wrapping up I wasn't sure what it might be going forward from there, but then the last few minutes and the preview made me very interested in seeing what comes

Mr Apollo
Jan 1, 2013


That was a great episode. My favorite part was definitely when Letitia 's George and Atticus and George grabs a handful of candies on his way out.

Can't wait for the rest of the season.

Grem
Mar 29, 2004

It's how her species communicates!

God drat that was a good first episode. Cool poo poo in the beginning and end, heavy stuff in the middle. Loved every second.

I do worry how much of this show is going to be dream sequences. Just a nagging feeling that what was in the previews may not be real.

radlum
May 13, 2013


Loved the first episode; both the intro and the final scenes were amazing. However, did I miss something with that phone call that Atticus made? I didn't get what he was doing

Mr Apollo
Jan 1, 2013


I missed the final line of the conversation, but he was calling South Korea and a women answered. Maybe it was someone he had a relationship of some kind with during the war?

Starks
Sep 24, 2006



radlum posted:

Loved the first episode; both the intro and the final scenes were amazing. However, did I miss something with that phone call that Atticus made? I didn't get what he was doing

I think he’s a Korean War vet and he was calling his ex or something

a kitten
Aug 5, 2006



Fallen Rib

I think it's outright stated that he's a Korean War vet and it seems likely that she would be someone he has (or had) a relationship with, but the scene has some extra flavors added since he a) called Korea, but didn't actually talk to her, and b) she seemed extra concerned that he had gone home. Both of those things could have perfectly mundane explanations, but the second part makes me wonder if the two of them had a pretty good idea he was heading into some weird poo poo if he did make that trip.

EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006

COWABUNGA DUDES!



The last line she said on the phone before he hung up was “you shouldn’t have”.

Good first episode, fighting white dudes and monsters seems exhausting work.

Preem Palver
Jul 5, 2007


I'm digging it. Some minor changes from the book but so far it's all stuff that serves to make it work better for a visual format.

Do have a small quibble with the OP though- they went to Massachusetts, not the Deep South. While things were generally worse in the South, it's not as if sundown towns, segregation, and lynching stopped at the mason-dixon line. It wasn't as prevalent in major Northern cities, but suburbs, small towns, and rural areas across the US were all pretty terrible for minorities. I'm not in any way defending the South, but it usually takes the lions share of the blame despite the rest of the US only being slightly less likely to murder, sterilize, or deny basic rights, liberties, and services to black people.

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


Starks posted:

I think he’s a Korean War vet and he was calling his ex or something

Oh thank god I was super confused about the time period.

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



a kitten posted:

I think it's outright stated that he's a Korean War vet and it seems likely that she would be someone he has (or had) a relationship with

This was my assumption, as well. The Princess of Mars figure in his dream was Jamie Chung, a reasonably famous actress, so I’m guessing she’s who that was.

Which says some weird poo poo about whatever that relationship was, that he literally associates this Korean woman with an exotic space princess from a pulp sci-fi adventure novel.

Starks
Sep 24, 2006



a kitten posted:

I think it's outright stated that he's a Korean War vet and it seems likely that she would be someone he has (or had) a relationship with, but the scene has some extra flavors added since he a) called Korea, but didn't actually talk to her, and b) she seemed extra concerned that he had gone home. Both of those things could have perfectly mundane explanations, but the second part makes me wonder if the two of them had a pretty good idea he was heading into some weird poo poo if he did make that trip.

Oh that’s a good catch. They did say he was a vet but I didn’t hear them say which war.

Also I think that the woman on the phone is the one in the opening sequence. Pretty small cameo for Jamie Chung otherwise...

Edit: beaten by mere seconds !

davidspackage
May 16, 2007



Exciting Lemon

Really liked it. Making a Lovecraft mythos show but having it star black heroes is a great way of dealing with the stain of Lovecraft's racism, I had never actually heard of that poem he wrote. Wow.

The one thing I disliked was how clearly those CG monsters were shown, as they looked kind of boring. Would've perhaps been better to obscure them more, show little shadowed glimpses.

Pan Dulce
Jan 4, 2011

Beautiful cinnamon roll too good for this world, too pure



That episode was so good! Really hones in on the "The real monster is racism, not the Lovecraft horrors, but those are thrown in too."

Alehkhs
Oct 6, 2010

The Sorrow of Poets


Show is good.

https://i.imgur.com/J2HeGE9.mp4

https://i.imgur.com/ZTaM5C7.mp4

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


davidspackage posted:

Really liked it. Making a Lovecraft mythos show but having it star black heroes is a great way of dealing with the stain of Lovecraft's racism, I had never actually heard of that poem he wrote. Wow.

The one thing I disliked was how clearly those CG monsters were shown, as they looked kind of boring. Would've perhaps been better to obscure them more, show little shadowed glimpses.

What's weird is the cgi monsters looked great in the dream sequence. But in the woods, yeesh. But I can easily forgive it just on a pragmatic level; that poo poo's expensive. The days of practical monsters are long dead, gramps. It's something I wrestle with often

isaboo
Nov 10, 2002

I can destroy you


Loved every second of the first episode.

And wow, what a cast. Everyone is great.

That Italian Guy
Jul 25, 2012

Rocky uses Explosive Punch!
Paid by the Spines-for-Lowtax Committee.


Xealot posted:

This was my assumption, as well. The Princess of Mars figure in his dream was Jamie Chung, a reasonably famous actress, so I’m guessing she’s who that was.

Which says some weird poo poo about whatever that relationship was, that he literally associates this Korean woman with an exotic space princess from a pulp sci-fi adventure novel.

As Xealot noted, most of the intro sequence is allegoric. A black gi having a successful relationship with a South Korean woman in 1928 is perceived by our protagonist as probable as meeting and falling in love with a literal alien princess. Plus exoticism, but given the phone call, we know there is something that went bad there.

bloom
Feb 25, 2017

YOSPOS


The cgi monsters in the woods looked awful but otherwise I liked the first episode. It was more action-oriented than I expected from a Lovecraftian story but then I didn't even know this was based on a book by another author so maybe that's how it is.

Curious to see where this goes.

davidspackage
May 16, 2007



Exciting Lemon

I was not aware of the concept of sundown towns and thought the cops might be a bit exaggerated, but reading up on the subject sobered that up right quick. loving hell.

That Italian Guy
Jul 25, 2012

Rocky uses Explosive Punch!
Paid by the Spines-for-Lowtax Committee.


bloom posted:

The cgi monsters in the woods looked awful but otherwise I liked the first episode. It was more action-oriented than I expected from a Lovecraftian story but then I didn't even know this was based on a book by another author so maybe that's how it is.

Curious to see where this goes.

Yeah, I think the disconnect is to look at this like something Lovecraft would wrote, instead of something someone who likes Lovecraft, but also pulp in general would wrote. The dream intro sequence and the initial dialogue all reference John Carter of Mars. I always thought that if a modern author had written The Shadow over Innsmouth, its inhabitants would look and behave a lot like the classic human villains from Stephen King's best novels, and I think this is going to be more of a mashup of Green book+IT+Evil Dead than Green Book+Lovecraft.

Hakkesshu
Nov 3, 2009



Preem Palver posted:

I'm digging it. Some minor changes from the book but so far it's all stuff that serves to make it work better for a visual format.

Do have a small quibble with the OP though- they went to Massachusetts, not the Deep South. While things were generally worse in the South, it's not as if sundown towns, segregation, and lynching stopped at the mason-dixon line. It wasn't as prevalent in major Northern cities, but suburbs, small towns, and rural areas across the US were all pretty terrible for minorities. I'm not in any way defending the South, but it usually takes the lions share of the blame despite the rest of the US only being slightly less likely to murder, sterilize, or deny basic rights, liberties, and services to black people.

You are correct, I somehow missed that they were going to Massachusetts and just assumed it was the south because it's visually coded like the south. My bad.

Edit:

I want to shout out how good the montage juxtaposed with the James Baldwin speech was

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tek9h3a5wQ

There's a part where they drive away from the gas station and there's a huge Aunt Jemima sign there and reminder that they didn't change their fuckin racist rear end brand until literally this year

Hakkesshu fucked around with this message at 10:09 on Aug 18, 2020

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

First episode was good, I would have preferred a bit more Lovecraft and monsters, but perhaps that will come in later episodes.

One thing that confused me When they are being chased by the truck, that white woman parks her car in front of it in order to stop it chasing them. But the truck starts flipping over several meters before hitting her car. I can't tell if they messed up the effects for that, or if it really just flipped over for some mystical reason

Hakkesshu
Nov 3, 2009



Oasx posted:

First episode was good, I would have preferred a bit more Lovecraft and monsters, but perhaps that will come in later episodes.

One thing that confused me When they are being chased by the truck, that white woman parks her car in front of it in order to stop it chasing them. But the truck starts flipping over several meters before hitting her car. I can't tell if they messed up the effects for that, or if it really just flipped over for some mystical reason



Yeah the flip is caused by nothing visible. I'm assuming this was intentional, but we'll see?

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Them super Aryan characters do appear to have some abilities

That Italian Guy
Jul 25, 2012

Rocky uses Explosive Punch!
Paid by the Spines-for-Lowtax Committee.


Escobarbarian posted:

Them super Aryan characters do appear to have some abilities

Yeah I'm sure it's not a coincedence that they kinda look like the kids from Village of the Damned:

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Loved the first episode, I never knew about Sundown Towns and goddamn what a horrific and monstrous concept that this was just an accepted thing in the not-too distant past.

Also I loving adore Uncle George, please don't hurt him!

Drunkboxer
Jun 30, 2007


davidspackage posted:

Really liked it. Making a Lovecraft mythos show but having it star black heroes is a great way of dealing with the stain of Lovecraft's racism, I had never actually heard of that poem he wrote. Wow.

The one thing I disliked was how clearly those CG monsters were shown, as they looked kind of boring. Would've perhaps been better to obscure them more, show little shadowed glimpses.

bloom posted:

The cgi monsters in the woods looked awful but otherwise I liked the first episode. It was more action-oriented than I expected from a Lovecraftian story but then I didn't even know this was based on a book by another author so maybe that's how it is.

Curious to see where this goes.


That Italian Guy posted:

Yeah, I think the disconnect is to look at this like something Lovecraft would wrote, instead of something someone who likes Lovecraft, but also pulp in general would wrote. The dream intro sequence and the initial dialogue all reference John Carter of Mars. I always thought that if a modern author had written The Shadow over Innsmouth, its inhabitants would look and behave a lot like the classic human villains from Stephen King's best novels, and I think this is going to be more of a mashup of Green book+IT+Evil Dead than Green Book+Lovecraft.


I have no idea where the show will take it but one thing to make clear is that the book was not really in the Lovecraft Mythos at all. If I remember correctly, only the first story (which was the basis of this episode) felt explicitly Lovecrafty. The other stories have other genre author influences. Like That Italian Guy said there's already been Burroughs references and the book felt pretty Steven Kingy at times. I also remember thinking how some stories reminded me of Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke. It's like a big genre mashup.

I wish I could remember the book better because I having a hard to telling what are changes and what are things I straight up forgot. I guess it doesn't matter in the end but it's going to nag at me.

Jerusalem posted:

Loved the first episode, I never knew about Sundown Towns and goddamn what a horrific and monstrous concept that this was just an accepted thing in the not-too distant past.

Also I loving adore Uncle George, please don't hurt him!

Not-too-distant is right, when I moved to Texas I remember people telling me about how hosed up Vidor was (and probably still is).

Drunkboxer fucked around with this message at 13:06 on Aug 18, 2020

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banned from Starbucks
Jul 18, 2004






The cop that chased them to the train tracks was one of the ones in the woods/cabin? I thought he stopped at the tracks? Did he radio the other cops ahead and then join them? Was kinda confusing how they edited that part. Is that how he knew his name?

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