Why I am optimistic about the new The Last of Us show


   Have you ever felt so excited to hear that your favorite video game was getting a show or movie based off of it? Have you ever felt the anticipation to finally see a live-action version of a story you love? Then it comes out and… it sucks. Whether it be Halo, Uncharted, or The Witcher, I have always been disappointed with shows or movies that have been based on video games. The Last of Us franchise is my favorite video game franchise of all time. I thought that the show was going to ruin it for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

   This review will only focus on the first episode of The Last of Us series. If you would like the whole story, feel free to read my review here.

   The first episode of the show takes place in the first hour of the game. It starts out with Joel Miller’s daughter, Sarah, trying to get his watch fixed for his birthday. Later on, the Cordyceps Brain Infection virus breaks out. Joel, Sarah, and Joel’s brother, Tommy, try to run away. While they were trying to leave, Sarah gets killed by a soldier trying to stop the spread of the virus.      

   After this, the show time jumps forward twenty years. The virus has spread. Everyone is in constant fear of their lives. While looking for supplies, Joel runs into the Fireflies, a militia group. They are holding a girl named Ellie hostage. Ellie was infected with the virus, but shows no symptoms of being sick. The Fireflies ask Joel to take Ellie across the country so they can make a vaccine out of her. Joel agrees. This is how the first episode ended.

   Every single time that I have sat down to watch a movie or show based on a video game I like, I have always left feeling disappointed. They change the plot, they change the characters, and they change the feel of it. I don’t feel this with The Last of Us

   The look and feel of the show matches the game. The gritty feeling that the game has transfers over to the show.

   The story is almost identical to the game. The only things that were added were little filler scenes, which are actually pretty interesting to me, and I would imagine to a lot of fans of The Last of Us. They added in a scene at the very beginning of the episode where a few different doctors were talking about future pandemics and if a fungus based virus (like the Cordyceps Brain Infection) would take over the world. There were also several scenes of Sarah at school that humanized her and developed her personality. This made her death even more gut-wrenching. In the game, you don’t get any of this, and I still sobbed my eyes out when she died. Imagine me watching that scene after getting to know her a little more.

   I also love that they decided to keep the original game score from Gustavo Santaolalla. As a fan of the original score, this made me happy.

   I don’t want to say too much, and honestly I really can’t. This is only the first episode of the show. I don’t know if they are going to mess it up after this one. I want people that have never experienced the game to experience the story of The Last of Us, and from the looks of things, I think that the show is a wonderful way to do that. So far, I have been proved wrong about my skepticism, and I hope that the rest of the series continues to prove me wrong.

   The Last of Us is streaming exclusively on HBO Max.