The Last Of Us adaptation feels grounded and real

Avery Bogemann, Veteran Staff Writer

The Last of Us, a video game turned into aTV show on the streaming service HBO max, hit screens on January 15th, 2023. The game was originally made by the company NaughtyDog in 2013, and quickly became a smash hit among the gaming community. The show was met with great reviews, and while some people complained about how some characters didn’t look the same, the general opinion was that this was going to be an amazing adaptation. I didn’t tune in for the first episode, as I was a little scared that it wouldn’t live up to how amazing the first game was. I was very wrong, the first scene sucked me into the world of Ellie and Joel, and the heartbreak that comes along with their stories.  

HBO Max’s The Last of Us airs new episodes every Sunday, most of which are well over an hour long. (From HBO Max)

The story is a beautifully told dark tale of finding something to live for at the end of the world. It shows two people in need of companionship and how they grow together. The stories this franchise tells are so human: everything feels grounded and real, which makes key moments in the show hit harder.

A lot of people’s first opinion on the show was that Bella Ramsey didn’t look like Ellie. While I agree that looks-wise, she doesn’t look the same. Her attitude and voice are so Ellie-like that I can look past how different she is to the video game Ellie. I personally don’t think someone needs to look identical to a character in order to play them, because if you’re going based on looks you’re not going to be getting the best actor for the job who embodies the character. I think the casting for her character was amazing, and I wouldn’t change it. 

Above: Neil Druckmann, co-creator and executive producer of “The Last of Us” game and HBO series, talks about the storytelling that appeals to both audiences. Video by CBS Mornings on YouTube.

The casting for Joel was perfect. He looks like the video game Joel, acts like him, and altogether was the perfect choice. From the first scene he was introduced, I knew that he was the right actor for the job. The way both Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal bounce off of each other and embody that father-daughter dynamic was amazing to see play out on the screen. 

The episodes are usually around an hour long, and while this seems long I think it’s the perfect length. There’s never a point in the episodes that I feel bored, I feel connected to every character and their stories. It never feels as though the show drags on, every scene feels needed and important. If you’re looking for a show that will become your new favorite., try out this post-apocalyptic masterpiece. There are currently 3 episodes to binge, with new content coming out every Sunday (except the week of the Super Bowl, when it will be out on Friday instead).