HBO’s The Last of Us Sets a New Standard for Adaptations


Video game adaptations are typically frowned upon, not because of the subject matter,  but because time and time again they get butchered. HBO’s “The Last of Us” might help to turn the public perception around, displaying this premise in a more positive light. Having just wrapped up the first season, “TLOU” functions as a faithful retelling of the beloved game series and also fleshes out other aspects of the world making for a grim, exciting, and powerful show. 

The “Last of Us” is set in a modern day post apocalyptic Earth, where a fungus capable of thriving within humans spreads throughout the world. These fungus ridden humans function similarly to zombies. The infection is transmitted via bite, and when infected the victim loses their mind; they will attempt to devour or infect all other humans they come into contact with. The talented Pedro Pascal takes the leading role as Jole Miller, a broken man tasked with getting a 14 year old girl who mysteriously happens to be immune to the fungal infection to an improvised medical compound. Along the way the series showcases unique examples of how people and communities have adapted to the end of the world with new societies and ways of life sprouting up from all the chaos and death. The show takes the time to go in depth with other characters’ lives, straying away from the main plot; some of the best episodes would be examples of this type of storytelling. 

Production is something that HBO seems to have mastered and “TLOU” is no exception. The show is chock full of seasoned actors and actresses such as Bella Ramsey, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Melanie Lynsky, and much more. Possessing this top tier talent elevates what could have given audiences another reason to avoid anything related to a video game to a touching drama that has something for everyone. The post-apocalyptic setting is nothing new to audiences, but “TLOU” manages to make it feel fresh and new. Cities have surrendered to nature becoming overgrown and overrun with wildlife. Collapsed buildings enveloped with mycelium remind viewers of the ever looming threat of the infected. Ruined cities are not the only set piece however; the show dives into the vast New England wilderness, a setting which allows for new interactions amongst the characters as they adapt to such a harsh environment.

The “Last of Us” is a post apocalyptic show that focuses on the growth and changing of characters. While its premise isn’t the most original there is still so much good that came out of it, certainly worth the watch. I rate the “Last of Us”a 7.7/10,