Love’s labours are never lost on Korean television creatives, who stand ever ready to reinterpret the entertainment world’s hardest-working four-letter word. Was it Love? (Netflix, series one now streaming) is another rewarding excursion into the world of that slippery emotion, enjoyed and endured here by diligent single mother and movie aficionado Noh Ae-jeong (Song Ji-hyo), who, despite a succession of crushing setbacks, has never relinquished her dream of becoming a film producer. Having scraped by with a string of dead-end jobs, indefatigable Ae-jeong edges closer to her goal by becoming a film-company book-keeper, only to find her delinquent boss has fled and left her with a seemingly unpayable debt now being called in by a gangland moneylender. But wait! Ae-jeong, it seems, has the power to inspire devotion in a whole bunch of old flames, each prepared to help in her hour of need. So which of the four, possibly five, likely lads will she choose this time round? More pertinently, does she need any of them anyway – even those now film-world famous? It’s a rocky road to happiness, but the point is never to abandon your dearest ambitions, because you just can’t tell where an old, scribbled movie contract, liberally stained with food, might take you. In HBO’s Lovecraft Country, the horror of racism is real Arriving with perfect timing, considering international efforts to rid the world of that other virus, racism , Lovecraft Country is an intoxicating brew of horror, history, action, clashing cultures and the occult, all guaranteed to galvanise and terrify in equal measure. Seldom can gospel, soul and rock ’n’ roll have teamed up with fantasy and supernatural terrors to such exhilarating effect. Thanks to entrenched Jim Crow laws, which mandated segregation of black and white in public places, the United States was still riven by apartheid in the 1950s, which is when Lovecraft Country takes up the story of Atticus Freeman. A bookish black veteran of the Korean war, Atticus (Jonathan Majors) embarks on a road trip with his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) and childhood friend – and potential love interest – Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) through a divided nation to find his missing father. But the country they cross is metaphorical as well as geographical, which opens the door to ghouls of all persuasions. You can make their acquaintance weekly from 9am on August 17 on HBO Go (or HBO at 10pm). Anything with “Lovecraft” in the title can only be a pointer towards otherworldly horror novelist H.P. Lovecraft, and so it proves. Book-in-pocket Atticus is a fan, and the 10-episode first series soon veers off into dimension-bending weirdness, with our plucky band pitted against vicious monsters springing out of the ground, gore-spattered spirits, Midwich Cuckoos-inspired Aryans and a sinister, overgrown schoolboys’ club casting spells from inside hooded robes. Trump says the Confederate flag is a proud symbol of US south Yet the most implacable enemies ranged against the three travellers are earthly: brutal, sadistic racists free to victimise, maim and kill with impunity according to skin colour. And to burn crosses, obviously. While the Lovecraftian ogres and mutants are allegorical, those in uniform or polo shirts remain all too familiar from today’s news. Which brings us to the murky question of Lovecraft’s racist streak, something critics often roll into his more general belief that civilisation was under constant threat from barbarism of human or supernatural origin. Both points provide a framework for Matt Ruff’s ingenious novel, Lovecraft Country , which in turn lends itself to the formidable production talents of J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele. Scary monsters, super creeps … whatever form they take, they walk among us.