HBO Max’s ‘The Last of Us’ adapts popular video game into thrilling live-action series


Photo Courtesy of HBO Max

The Last of Us brings the acclaimed video game to life with lead actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.

Jordan Correa, Staff Writer

“The Last of Us”, a live-action adaptation of the famous PlayStation video game of the same name, premiered exclusively on HBO Max on Jan. 15. The show follows the same story as the games created by game developer, Naughty Dog. The original game had millions of copies sold within the first week of its release with it being heralded at the time for the way it told its story. Fans of the video game loved it so much that they wanted to see a show adaptation of the game, and now their dreams have come true.   


From the first episode of the series, “The Last of Us” already has fans adoring how the show adapts the story of the game. The runtime for the first episode premiere is over an hour long, but the suspenseful nature of the story and its pacing makes it feel engaging throughout. “The Last of Us” starts in the year 2003 where the characters Joel (Pedro Pascal), Joel’s brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna), and Joel’s daughter Sarah (Nico Parker), are all introduced at the beginning of the first episode as a casual, small family household. Eventually, the episode brings the suspense of something bigger coming, and it does as the show introduces its violent setup. Later, Joel and his brother Tommy rush to get Joel’s daughter out of town due to a virus outbreak that quickly spreads and turns the human mind violent, making it crave other humans and turning them into the Infected.   


Joel and his brother Tommy eventually have to split leaving Joel and his badly wounded daughter  on their own with his daughter eventually losing her life soon afterward. The death of Joel’s daughter is extremely important for his character development later in the shows’ series.  This show then jumps ahead 20 years later to our current timeline, where Joel has to smuggle a young girl who is immune from the virus, Ellie (Bella Ramsey).   


“The Last of Us” has everything viewers would want from action and adventure, to comic relief and fantastic storytelling. When it comes to a character like Ellie, she brings much needed brevity into the show and still manages to crack jokes even when something as serious as the virus infecting people and turning them into zombies. This show has great action, from stealth scenes to the hand-to-hand combat with the main characters. While the series may only be a couple of episodes in, the storytelling is terrific from Joel still dealing with the loss of his daughter 20 years ago to Ellie being immune to the virus and having to keep it a secret for her safety. “The Last of Us” is a show worth watching, regardless of if you’ve played the original video game or not. From the fantastic performances to the spectacular storytelling, this show has potential to be one of HBO Max’s biggest shows yet.