The Last of Us: Does it live up to the hype?


Photo from IMDb.

As someone who doesn’t play video games, but loves watching TV shows, I will be the first to say “The Last of Us” is a great video game-to-show adaptation. The show can be watched on HBO Max. The Last of Us made its debut on Jan. 15, 2023, quickly booming on social media with episodes being released weekly.

The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic drama and thriller. It takes place 20 years after a pandemic drastically changed society, infecting humans with a fungus that leaves them zombie-like. The world’s survivors are killing each other for food, weapons and power. Joel (Pedro Pascal) is a survivor, and he is hired to smuggle a 14 year-old girl, Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to try and create a potential cure for the pandemic. Though the smuggling starts as a small job, it is transformed into a brutal journey.

The creators and actors of the show brought one of the most popular video games to life. The design, and cinematography are all pleasing to high expectations today. The show captures the real world aspect and the tone and atmosphere of the game and enhances it. Growing up, watching my dad playing his favorite game I can say the show dives even deeper into the video game world and honors the video game.

Despite the show’s many strengths, Bella Ramsey didn’t feel like the right fit for Ellie. Ramesy does look like Ellie, and follows the same authentic style as the game version, I don’t believe she was the perfect actor for the role. Ramsey has starred in hit shows such as Game of Thrones, and His Dark Materials. Her acting is good, but I just don’t think she fits the role of Ellie considering she doesn’t sound like Ellie from the video game, or offer the same personality. Ellie is hostile in the show when fighting enemies. I don’t think this part of her character was adapted as perfectly as other parts.

The Last of Us the show certainly outweighs the iffy personality of Ellie in the game by deepening Ellie’s character in other ways. The show explores interesting relationships between characters, such as Ellie and Joel, and Ellie and Riley. The exploration of these relationships adds another unique factor to the show. Even though it’s post-apocalyptic and eerie, the tragic bonds between every character is another reason why the show leaves such a mark on its viewers.

The very first episode of the series runs for about an hour and a half, and it really sets the stage for the following episodes. With all the popularity The Last of Us has gotten, it was expected that another season would be announced. HBO officially renewed the show for another season, and people are already starting to predict where the show is heading. Hopefully season two can live up to the already high expectations.