The Last of Us is based on the critically acclaimed video game of the same name, developed by Naughty Dog. The series premiered on January 15th 2023, and drew 4.7 million viewers across HBO Max platforms, s HBO’s second-largest debut, behind only “House of the Dragon”.
The series takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed by a mass fungal infection of mutated Cordyceps, which sparked a global pandemic. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.
The Last of Us Trailer
The Last of Us – Main Cast
Pedro Pascal as Joel
Bella Ramsey as Ellie
Bella Ramsey as Ellie
- Merle Dandridge as Marlene
- Gabriel Luna as Tommy
- Anna Torv as Tess
- Nick Offerman as Bill
- Nico Parker as Sarah
Series 1 – Episode List
- “When you’re lost in the Darkness.” Aired on 15th January 2023
- “Infected” Aired on January 22nd 2023
- “Long, Long Time” Aired on January 29th 2023
- “Please hold my hand.” Aired on 5th February 2023
- “Endure and Survive.” Aired on 12th February 2023
- “Kin” Aired on February 19th 2023
- “Left Behind” Aired on February 26th 2023
- “When we are in need” Aired March 5th 2023
- “Look for the light” Aired March 12th, 2023
Check out the Last of us official podcast
Review of the Last of Us
I approached the series with mild trepidation when starting the Last of Us. After thoroughly enjoying the game, my main fear was that the series wouldn’t do the game justice. Luckily I was incorrect, and I must admit that this is one of the best, maybe the best, game franchises to show/movie ever made.
Visually the show is stunning. From set design to make-up, everything was spot-on. The need for zombie and monster flicks to be set entirely in dark and dingy surroundings is over. Thank the Lord. The Last of Us shines a light on the presentation of horror, survival and zombie in an apocalyptic world where daytime exists. This theme was present throughout the game and shone through within the series.
The storyline is brilliant, but most of the hard work was done in 2013 in the game creation. This was one of my main fears. That the show was going to try too hard and either over-complicate the storyline adding too much detail or sub-stories to pad out the run time or dull it down and fill it with action. Neither of these scenarios existed. With some elaboration on the plot and character development set out in the game or DLC, the story flowed beautifully in line with the game.
The main cut scenes of the game were brilliantly translated into live-action, especially in the early episodes. The casting of Bella Ramsey as Ellie was an absolute highlight, and her performance was nailed on, capturing the snarky personality of Ellie, whose character slowly develops a father-daughter-like bond between Ellie and Joel. Pedro Pascal delivered a strong performance of Joel throughout.
I only have one complaint, and it is a nitpicky one. The show did well at including the weapons, as seen in the original gameplay. I just was to see the bow and arrow get more attention! Apart from that, I thoroughly enjoyed the show.
There is no need to play the game to watch the show; if you have played the game, this is a must-watch to see an example of how the transition to live-action should be done.
HBO announced early on that they had renewed the show for a second instalment. Let’s hope there is not a two-year wait to see it!
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Fun fact on the last of us before you go!
Ashley Johnson, the original voice actor of Ellie in the Video game, makes her Last of Us return to play Anna, Ellie’s mother in the show, and that’s right, there’s an and. Troy Baker, the original voice of Joel in the game, returns as the cannibal James in the episode “When We Are in Need”.
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