If you're a fan of post-apocalyptic worlds set in a dystopian reality, you've likely already heard of HBO's latest hyped-up show, 'The Last of Us'. First released in 2013, The Last of Us narrative-based game franchise has gained popularity amongst gamers worldwide. The gameplay focuses on a teenage protagonist Ellie on her quest to find a resistance group- 'The Fireflies' during a time when a percentage of the human population is affected by a parasitic infection. Another central part of the game is the development of the father-daughter-like relationship between Ellie and her counterpart Joel. Joel is tasked with smuggling Ellie across the United States despite the deathly threats they face from the infected. The gritty and well-thought narrative of the game brings a human touch to the harsh realities of a mass post-apocalyptic pandemic. It's no wonder gamers have been excitedly awaiting the development of the beloved franchise into a television series! But is the TV series matching up to the standards that lovers of the game expect?
Episode one of the Last of US (2023) has just been released by HBO; in true HBO style, the first episode is already bringing in high rankings of 9.4 on IMDb. From these ratings, we can assume that the show has a very positive reception from the get-go- hopefully to be replicated in upcoming episodes. The television series has an abundance of direct references and narratives from the game- from set locations, scene sequences and even word-for-word dialogue. The show does its best to replicate the game, focusing even on the small details of the characters' costumes and demeanour. This could be one of the reasons why the show has received such a good reception. As the old saying goes- 'if it's not broken, don't fix it'; this level of accuracy in the game shows that.
Another aspect of the show that makes it worth the watch is that it subtly focuses on the pre-pandemic backstory of the infected. This helps us gain some insight into the development of the pandemic- which is eerily similar to events of real life. Focusing on the pre-pandemic story also gives depth to the characters so we can be more empathetic of their circumstances. The personality of Sarah indicates some similarities between herself and Ellie, foreshadowing the future relationship between Joel and Ellie. Sarah's situation also adds fuel to Joel's fire, helping us to see how he could develop into the fierce character he is known for.
What Do fans Expect Next?
With the first episode being a massive hit, the future episodes are expected to live up to high standards. If the producers continue to create the perfect balance of action, desperation and horror, The Last of Us has enormous potential. Already being compared to the early episodes of The Walking Dead- The Last of Us could soon be on its way to being the king of the post-apocalyptic title providing its plot stays so flawless.
Episode two of The Last of Us airs on the 22nd of January on HBO.
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