'Lovecraft Country' Confronts Lovecraftian Horrors And The Horrors Of Racism [Comic-Con 2020]

Lovecraft Country looks like one of the year's must-see shows – an HBO horror series that blends Lovecraftian horrors with the horrors of Jim Crow America. The main cast of the series came together virtually at Comic-Con 2020 today to talk about the highly-anticipated series, which hits HBO next month. While everyone was on guard to not give away spoilers, the thing that came up the most in the panel is how the show details events in the past that are still, unfortunately, relevant today. 

Lovecraft Country follows "Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) across 1950s Jim Crow America as they overcome the racist terrors and terrifying monsters ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft novel." For Comic-Con 2020, cast members Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, Michael Kenneth Williams, Aunjanue Ellis, Wunmi Mosaku, Abbey Lee, and Courtney B. Vance virtually came together to talk about the upcoming series – while also trying very, very hard to avoid spoilers. Again, and again, and again, the panelists were forced to stop short of giving away too many details, falling back on prefacing their statements with, "Without giving away spoilers–."

Here's what they could say, though: Jurnee Smollett calls Lovecraft Country a "family drama," while Courtney B. Vance adds that Lovecraft Country is about how things that were going on in the 1950s era of the show are still happening today. Lovecraft Country is a predominantly Black show and deals directly with racism, which makes it almost impossible to separate from the current moment we find ourselves in.

There was a discussion of a scene involving racist cops in a "sundown town" – towns of the era where Black people had to get out of sight before it got dark or else they would be fair game to be hunted and killed. Discussing this scene eventually lead Vance to give a powerful statement about how sick and tired Black people are right now of an endless cycle of racism. It was the highlight of the panel, and I urge you to watch it above, as recapping it doesn't do it justice.

Elsewhere in the panel, Smollett spoke about how Lovecraft Country explores themes set in the past, that resonate today, particularly involving structural racism and systemic racism, especially involving the police. The theme of generational trauma resonates through the series. Beyond that, there was much talk of the set of Lovecraft Country being like a family, and how showrunner Misha Green helped foster that with the world she created here.

In the end, the best reason for watching Lovecraft Country, according to Courtney B. Vance, is that the series is "so different, and so engaging, especially in this time period we're living in now."

The panel ended with a clip from the show where Majors, Smollett and Williams find a secret passageway in a museum. It throws off serious National Treasure vibes, and I say that as a compliment.

Lovecraft Country premieres on HBO August 16, 2020.