Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Bravery is valued, both in face of racial injustice and magical obstacles, as is loyalty. But strategy and teamwork sometimes take a back seat to hate and macabre violence.
Positive Role Models
Characters portray strong bonds between family and friends, as well as other positive traits: bravery, loyalty, perseverance. Main characters believe and trust each other and risk their lives to protect one another. The Freeman family runs a business that provides Black Americans with information about how to travel safely. Many White characters, including law enforcement, are violent and threatening. Some characters betray allies and family members.
Almost all main characters are Black, and Black women especially are strong, moral elements in the story. Minor character Yahima is an Indigenous Awawak two-spirit person, and Ji-ah is a Korean woman. The series highlights trials for Black Americans in the 1950s, including segregation, violent treatment by police, and sundown towns. Racist slurs (the "N" word), imagery, and tragedies like the Tulsa race massacre are hard to watch but important in the narrative. Queer practices like drag are celebrated, and two gay relationships are loving, though complicated. But gay people are called "f--got," joked about, threatened. Religions like Vodou make brief appearances, as does disability (one character is dyslexic, another becomes disabled).
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Extremely violent imagery throughout: cadavers, blood, guts, gruesome ghosts, medical procedures, etc. Monsters hunt and graphically attack humans, resulting in lots of blood and gore. Characters are threatened with guns and shot at, some fights lead to death. Other violent situations like car chases, war, house fires, and grisly deaths (hanging, stabbing, throats or heads cut, etc.). A man tries to assault a woman and is murdered in a sexually violent way. Black characters are frequently harassed, threatened for their race. Racist tragedies like Emmett Till's murder and the Tulsa race massacre are depicted, as are upsetting topics like enslavement and physical and sexual violence against children.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
People talk about sex, and several couples kiss and have graphic sex with partial nudity shown (buttocks, breasts). Historical paintings contain nudity, and fully naked bodies are shown in nonsexual ways.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"F--k," "s--t," other profanity: "ass," "bastard," "hell," "goddamn," "son of a bitch," "bulls--t." Racial slurs, including the "N" word and other bigoted taunts, are frequently directed at Black and Asian characters. Homophobic and sexist terms like "f--got," "sissy," "c--t," "whore," and "bitch." Characters flip the bird. Because of the 1950s setting, terms such as "Colored" and "Negro" are used often.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol in social situations and occasionally smoke.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lovecraft Country is a 1950s-set horror-drama series that's heavily focused on the subject of racism. Featuring a primarily Black cast, the story features family and friends with strong bonds, as well as other positive traits: bravery, loyalty, and perseverance. The show portrays the widespread bigotry Black people faced during the '50s. Racial slurs, including the "N" word, are used, and White characters -- including police officers -- frequently harass, taunt, and torment the main characters. Racist tragedies like Emmett Till's murder and the Tulsa race massacre are depicted, as are segregation practices and sundown towns. There's gun violence, including Black characters being shot at because of their race, as well as plenty of violent imagery, death, blood, and gore. The latter is most prominent when grotesque monsters or spirits graphically attack people. Nudity (breasts, butts) and sexual acts are also shown. Frequent profanity includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "hell," and "ass," and characters flip the bird. Other language includes racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs. Characters drink and smoke in social situations.
Is It Any Good?
While it certainly includes its fair share of macabre mysteries and things that go bump in the night, HBO's pulpy serial is so much more than a gore-soaked frightfest. Given its title, you could be excused for expecting Lovecraft Country to be a straight-up horror series inspired by author H.P. Lovecraft's macabre tales. For starters, the show subverts expectations at nearly every turn, frequently nudging you to the edge of your seat ... only to pull the rug out from beneath your chair. Most notably, it thoughtfully explores the hate in the notoriously racist author's heart as much as the monsters that spawned from his mind. Its 1950s setting pulls no punches in laying bare the bigotry that plagued the era, unflinchingly portraying the ugliness that Black people faced just for existing, including the Tulsa race massacre and the murder of Emmett Till.
Of course, it's the layered, nuanced performances delivered by Lovecraft Country's cast that make these injustices feel far scarier than any creatures or spirits their characters encounter. Atticus, Letitia, and Montrose are the main characters, but supporting characters like Ruby, Hippolyta, Ji-Ah, and Dee are fleshed out more in one episode than most characters are in some series' entire runs. Viewers spend so much time getting to know these core characters, cringing at every hate-filled human encounter they endure along their journey, that it's easy to forget about the slow-burn genre scares building in the background. By the time multi-eyed beasts or wronged spirits begin tearing limbs off the villains/racist cops, you might be questioning what you signed up for ... before eagerly queuing up the next episode.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.