For years on end, movie studios and television companies have tried to master the success of adapting video games to the big screen, but the attempts commonly flop in both the box office and with enjoyability. However, the new adaptation of “The Last of Us” on HBO Max has strikingly broken the trend and could be the next best show on the planet. The show’s Jan. 15 premiere surpassed its already high expectations and rightfully did justice to both the television community and the online gaming community.

Before the television series aired, “The Last of Us” started as a PlayStation zombie-killing video game for gamers to enjoy. As time went on, the game became a certified classic, leading to the production of HBO’s “The Last of Us” nine years after the game came out. Led by award-winning actor Pedro Pascal as Joel and “Game of Thrones” star Bella Ramsey as Ellie, “The Last of Us” is a journey between a heartbroken father and sassy teenage girl through a virus-infected apocalyptic world. With thrilling scenes and moments that leave the audience spiraling in different emotions, the show’s first episodes have rightfully put the world on standby for what’s to come next.

The plot from the video game was already next level, but executive producer Greg Spence took a step into new territories now that the franchise has turned to the big screen. With scenes that capture exact moments from the video game in perfect fashion, the audience gets to witness a real-life dynamic that is more relatable and much more intense due to its convincingly close touch with reality. As soon as the beginning of episode one, the show sets up precisely the type of thrilling and intense vibe that audiences craved when the show was first announced. Since “The Walking Dead” franchise is one of the most successful shows of all time, creating another show with zombies had skeptics worried. Still, the implementation of unique aspects with both the dynamic of the zombies and the world-building within the plot successfully sets it apart from other apocalyptic storylines.

An amazing plot can’t be accomplished without fantastic acting, and the characters from “The Last of Us” have already given glimpses of potential Emmy award winning performances. If one is an avid movie and television enjoyer, then they most likely know the talent that Pedro Pascal holds, so his ridiculously incredible performance so far should come as no surprise. Not only did he instantly show his emotional range with the heartbreak surrounding the series premiere, but his father-like tendencies with co-star Bella Ramsey throughout the show made audiences fall in love with his character Joel. On the flip side of the dynamic duo, Ramsey’s ability to express herself as a truly damaged and intense teenager as Ellie has ultimately taken the series by storm and solidified Ramsey as an acting powerhouse within the show. With more side characters likely to come and complement Ramsey and Pascal, the two stars have certainly put “The Last of Us” on the map during award season. 

Although there is a stigma surrounding video game adaptations and there was skepticism that came with another apocalyptic plot, “The Last of Us” broke down all negative expectations and created a masterpiece that fans of intense television can look forward to watching every Sunday on HBO Max.

  • Plot
  • Acting
  • Suspense