The Last of US: A gripping adaptation or a disappointment

“The Last of Us” is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure video game developed by Naughty Dog and released in 2013. Since its release, the game has been praised for its storytelling, characters, and gameplay. In 2021, “The Last of Us” was adapted into a television series by HBO, with the first season premiering in July of that year. As a fan of the game, I was eagerly anticipating the TV adaptation and have now watched the entire first season. Here is my review of “The Last of Us” TV series.

The TV series stays true to the game’s story, with the first season covering the events of the first game. It follows the journey of Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting Ellie, a young girl who may hold the key to a cure for the pandemic that has ravaged the world. A fellow student at Washington Jane Smith(10) shared “Ellie is an absolute standout – Bella Ramsey captures her toughness and vulnerability perfectly. She’s a character you can’t help but root for”.The series does a great job of adapting the game’s story and characters for the small screen, and the acting is superb. Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie give great performances that capture the essence of their video game counterparts.

One of the things that stood out to me in the TV series is how it expands on the game’s story in some interesting ways. While the overall story remains the same, the TV series adds new scenes and details that enhance the story and characters. For example, there are flashbacks that give us more insight into Joel’s past and his relationship with his daughter. These scenes add depth to Joel’s character and make us care about him even more. The production design and cinematography in “The Last of Us” TV series are also excellent. The show’s post-apocalyptic world is beautifully realized, with stunning visuals and a great attention to detail. The use of lighting and color is particularly noteworthy, as it helps to create a haunting and moody atmosphere that perfectly captures the tone of the game. The action scenes are also well-choreographed and exciting to watch.

Another thing I appreciated about the TV series is how it tackles some of the game’s more challenging themes and moments. The game deals with issues such as loss, trauma, and morality, and the TV series doesn’t shy away from these topics. The show explores the emotional toll of living in a world where survival is a constant struggle, and the difficult choices that people must make in order to survive.

That being said, the TV series is not without its flaws. While the pacing of the show is generally good, there are a few episodes that feel a bit slow and padded out. Additionally, some of the changes made to the story may not sit well with fans of the game, as they alter certain character motivations and story beats. Among them, Tommy Johnson(11) stated, “The Last of Us TV series was a major disappointment. As a fan of the game, I was expecting a more faithful adaptation, but instead, the changes made to the story and characters felt unnecessary and took away from the overall experience”. 

In conclusion, “The Last of Us” TV series is a must-watch for fans of the game, and a great entry point for those who are new to the world of “The Last of Us.” It’s a beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant adaptation that captures the spirit of the game and expands on its story in interesting ways. With great performances, stunning visuals, and a haunting atmosphere, “The Last of Us” TV series is one of the best video game adaptations to date. I’m already eagerly anticipating the second season.

Jayla Farrington is a junior at Washington High School. She was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, but moved to California in early 2016. This will be her first year with the Hatchet. Jayla plans on covering controversial topics such as mental health, entertainment, and racial discrimination. She enjoys anything to do with art, traveling, and music. Her future plans involve becoming a psychiatrist and therapist because mental health is a really important topic to her.

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