January 27, 2023
From a Certain Point of View: The Last of Us on HBO Max

Annlyel explores HBO Max’s The Last of Us without prior knowledge of the games. Does the series hold up without the backstory?

A decade ago a game that I periodically heard about because it was so good called The Last of Us came out. I’m an avid gamer but I never got around to playing it. I enjoy playing games such as the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Mortal Kombat X, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and most recently, Destiny 2 and Overwatch. I vaguely knew that The Last of Us was a zombie apocalypse game, which it is. What I didn’t realize was just how good the story actually was.

The Last of Us

PEDRO PASCAL

When I heard HBO was making a series starring Pedro Pascal I was intrigued. But as someone who has watched too many failed game adaptations (specifically Warcraft which was, in a word, devastating) I didn’t dare have hope that this HBO adaptation of the famous game would beat the game-adaptation curse.

I’d been keeping away from trailers to avoid spoilers so I could go into the series as dark as possible. But it was after the critics watched the show that I really got excited. They painted a picture that the series would be enjoyable for fans of the game and casual viewers who knew nothing about the story. That was an instant hook for me. It’s sometimes hard to engage in a story that’s written in a way where you have to know all of the plot details/spoilers to be interested.

The Last of Us

SERIES PREMIERE

When I watched the series premiere on Monday morning I found myself instantly sucked in. I’ve seen a bunch of apocalypse movies, but only one apocalyptic zombie film has managed to move me. The Korean film Train to Busan. What began as a simple zombie flick evolved into something that I didn’t expect. The story’s intensely harrowing scenarios paired with the emotionally charged character-building for the cast of unforgettable characters were brilliant. Thus entrancing me on a two-plus hour rollercoaster ride that concluded with me in tears.

The Last of Us follows that perfect template of horror and great character development in a powerful way. I expected to be screaming at my screen because of the story’s obvious intensity. But what I didn’t expect was to be in tears in the first forty minutes. Once that happened, I realized that this would be a series I would follow diligently every week.

The Last of Us

LOOKING AHEAD

As someone who doesn’t know a single spoiler or where this story is headed, I can’t wait to embark on this journey, I’m thrilled to join this fandom. And I genuinely believe this could be one of the best series this year.

The Last of Us is streaming on HBO Max in the United States now. UK fans can catch the series exclusively on Sky Atlantic.

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