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Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country

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  • Premiered: 
    August 16, 2020
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: HBO
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the book (Lovecraft Country) by Matt Ruff 
  • Subject Matter:
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Plot Synopsis

Based on the Matt Ruff's novel of the same name, LOVECRAFT COUNTRY is a 10-episode drama series that follows Atticus Freeman as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia and his uncle George on a road trip from Chicago across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father Montrose. Their search-and-rescue turns into a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and monstrous creatures that could be ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft paperback. The first five episodes include:

"Sundown" (Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 9pm): Veteran and pulp-fiction aficionado Atticus Freeman travels from the Jim Crow South to his South Side of Chicago hometown in search of his missing father Montrose. After recruiting his uncle George and childhood friend Letitia to join him, the trio sets out for "Ardham," MA, where they think Montrose may have gone looking for insight into Atticus' late mother's ancestry. As they journey across the Midwest, Tic, Leti, and George encounter dangers lurking at every turn, especially after sundown. Teleplay by Misha Green; directed by Yann Demange.

"Whitey's on the Moon" (Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 9pm): Inexplicably recovered from their terrifying night, Leti and George luxuriate in their new surroundings, while Atticus grows suspicious of their Ardham Lodge hosts -- Christina Braithwhite and her elusive father Samuel -- who unveil cryptic plans for Atticus' role in their upcoming "Sons of Adam" ceremony. Later, after Tic, Leti, and George stumble upon a clue that could lead them to Montrose, each takes an unwelcome walk down memory lane. Teleplay by Misha Green; directed by Daniel Sackheim.

"Holy Ghost" (Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 9pm): Hoping to mend her relationship with her sister Ruby, Leti turns a ramshackle Victorian on Chicago's North Side into a boarding house -- an endeavor that stokes neighborhood racism and awakens dormant spirits stuck in the house. Meanwhile, Atticus remains burdened by a guilty conscience as George's wife Hippolyta presses him for the full story of what happened in Ardham. Teleplay by Misha Green; directed by Daniel Sackheim.

"A History of Violence" (Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 9pm): After Christina mysteriously shows up at her doorstep, Leti confronts Atticus about his plan to surreptitiously return to Florida. Later, in search of missing pages to a crucial text, Leti, Tic, and Montrose head to Boston, with Hippolyta and Diana along for the ride. Back in Chicago, a handsome stranger nurses Ruby's disappointment over a squandered job opportunity. Teleplay by Misha Green; Story by Wes Taylor; directed by Victoria Mahoney.

"Strange Case" (Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 9pm): After making a devil's bargain with William, Ruby steps into the charmed shoes of a white woman, but her transformation only fortifies her resentment of the racial divide. A betrayal by Montrose unleashes Atticus' pent up rage, leaving Leti deeply disturbed and sending Montrose into the comforting arms of his secret lover. Teleplay by Misha Green and Jonathan Kidd & Sonya Winton; directed by Cheryl Dunye.
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On Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 9pm ET/PT, HBO premiered "Full Circle," the season finale of LOVECRAFT COUNTRY. After uncovering the origins of the Book of Names, the gang heads back to Ardham to cast the ultimate spell.

One day later -- on Monday, October 19 -- at 10pm ET/7pm PT, HBO closes out their Lovecraft Country: Sanctum Social VR experience by transporting invited guests into Music of the Cosmos on YouTube Live. The final event is a virtual reality concert given by Janelle Monae, eight-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, leading film and TV actress and record producer, who will be giving fans an out of this world performance, and her first ever performance in virtual reality.

"I'm so excited to partner with HBO and The Mill to pioneer the future of concert experiences in Sanctum," said Janelle Monae. "I always strive for innovation, and this project gives me the special opportunity to celebrate Lovecraft Country, a show I'm a huge fan of, and connect with fans in a completely new way using virtual reality. This is the perfect platform to explore the impact of music and movement in a new dimension designed to celebrate Black art, stories and voices."

The musical experience re-imagines the future of performances and live events, featuring a virtual environment that is interactive and directly impacted by the artist's physical performance. Ahead of Monae's set, guests will be invited into The Reliquary, a mystery room hosted by LOVECRAFT COUNTRY'S Michael Kenneth Williams, that will be littered with artifacts from throughout the show and virtual experience -- each with an accompanying audio snippet narrated by Williams.

"As long-standing fans we couldn't be more thrilled to be partnering with Janelle Monae on this uniquely immersive virtual reality concert experience," said Dana Flax, VP of Program Marketing at HBO. "Through her art and her activism, Janelle embodies the spirit of innovation, justice and Black joy that makes her the perfect artist to help us send off Lovecraft Country's first season."

Each event has been simultaneously run on the social VR platform VRChat, which allows guests to talk and interact with each other in real time within the environment, and streamed to the world via YouTube Live. Fans on the YouTube Live stream are also able to interact in real-time, solving riddles to trigger spells that directly impact the experience.

"Our third and final event Music of the Cosmos ends Lovecraft Country: Sanctum with a celebration of the series. Inspired by the '50s Chicago block party featured in the first episode of LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, the final experience takes you to a block party set in a virtual world," said Aline Ridolfi, Lovecraft Experience Director. "Using techniques like projection mapping and dynamic, interactive set design, the concert will see Janelle control the space with her performance. All aspects of the environment from the choreography and set design, to the lighting, will interact in a way that wouldn't be possible within a traditional concert set-up."

Lovecraft Country: Sanctum was developed as a Social VR space to expand the possibilities of what the future of theatre, games, art installations, concerts, and live events can be. Developed in partnership with Black artists, previous Lovecraft Sanctum events featured an Afrofuturist art show by David Alabo, Devan Shimoyama and Adeyemi Adegbesan, a theatrical performance inspired by the words of James Baldwin, adapted by LOVECRAFT COUNTRY writer Shannon Houston, and performed by star Jurnee Smollett, and voiceover performances by the series' Jonathan Majors, Courtney B. Vance and Michael Kenneth Williams.

Cast

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by afemme
  • Produced by Bad Robot Productions
  • Produced by Monkeypaw Productions
  • In association with Warner Bros. Television