‘The Last of Us’ show lives up to high expectations


Mailie Trotta

Photograph of the media art from “The Last of Us” video game, recently made into a series.

Mailie Trotta, Features Editor

When people think of the video game “The Last of Us” made by Naughty Dog, many become nostalgic and reminisce about the game that will be a decade old this year. It has been some time since the game was released, so I’m sure no one was expecting the show “The Last of Us” produced by Greg Spence and Cecil O’Connor on HBO Max to be released this past January. 

The show gradually gained watchers until it exploded, however, ensuring it would be renewed for a second season by just the second episode. The show itself covers the story of a man named Joel (Pedro Pascal) who finds himself connecting with a teenage girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they travel across the wasteland of an America ravaged by an apocalypse. They bond over their experiences and hardships while fighting just to stay alive. 

The show not only captures the game incredibly well, but adds onto it, giving you a whole new experience in a brand new format. Many say it followed the game storyline great, and I agree. The show included all of the important parts and even gave additional screen time to characters who had practically none in the game. 

Watching this show keeps you on the edge of your seat but also hits all of your emotions making you go from heartbroken to exhilarated. In episode 3, for example, we learn more about the character Frank (Murray Barlett) and his relationship with Bill (Nick Offerman), which in the game was never explicitly stated. In fact, in the game, Frank was already dead and Bill’s story was somewhat different. This episode creates a whole new story and wraps it up in just one hour, leaving you with a feeling of sadness but contentedness as you move to episode 4.  

The same kind of backstory within the larger plot happens in episode 5 when we meet two characters, Henry and his brother Sam. Their story pulls on your heartstrings and really puts you into their terrible situation, making the whole show more immersive.

I believe these two episodes truly help encapsulate what the whole thing is about. It’s about finding hope when there is none and coming together in a world that’s ended. The game also touches on morality in a way and questions what a person can do if put in a very difficult situation. Joel gives us a man who is a villain to many, if not most people, but from his point of view, he is doing what he thinks is best. 

Let’s not forget that this is an apocalypse, and the show does not skip out on the zombies. Even though the zombies don’t actually have too many appearances considering they were everywhere in the game, their few dramatic appearances do make up for it. The “clickers” we first encounter are grotesque and absolutely terrifying, capturing their form perfectly from the game. Every other encounter is still thrilling and scary without having any unnecessary jump scares. 

Basically, the creation of this show accomplished something that is rarely done correctly. They took an already amazing game and made it even better with a more extensive storyline. Many movies based on games tend to mess it up and miss the best parts. Great examples of this would be “Uncharted” or the new “Super Mario” movie as the reviews for both were disappointing, and the movies missed a lot of important aspects from the games. “The Last of Us,” however, was a breath of fresh air and excited fans who will see if the second season of the show continues to represent the game well.