This past Sunday, January 15th, The Last of Us premiered on HBO—and it was perfect! Before continuing on, I want to give a heads up that this review does have spoilers. If you aren't a fan of spoilers, save this until after you watch it... and go watch it NOW!
My previous post was written based on the small amount of details that has been released about the show before it premiered. This post will discuss the first episode and which parts were identical to the game, which parts differed and my thoughts about all of it.
My initial concern was about the casting and how Joel and Ellie were going to be portrayed. Diving right in, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are the embodiment of my two favorite characters. They did such an amazing job, living up to expectations, yet still making the characters unique and not exact replicas from the game. It's been mentioned that the directors asked them to not play the game before their roles so they could make each character their own, and I have to say they did an amazing job for having never played the game.
There are a few conspiracies floating around on TIkTok about how the infection started with wheat. The game has hinted towards it, alluding to it being because of bad crops, and the show—so far—has solidified that for us. The entire beginning of the first episode dives into the every day life of Sarah and how scary the entire thing is for someone has no idea what's going on. Also, a round of applause for the CGI! The plane crash was terrifying and gave me goosebumps. Somehow the show made Sarah's death even more sad. Nico Parker played Sarah beautifully, and I would like to see her in more things.
The entire truck drive was shot scene for scene when they were trying to flee the city, identical to the game. Watching this come to life as a show, after ten years of seeing it remastered and changed in the game, still had me tearing up. This game is very nostalgic to me because for a while this was the only game I owed when I was thirteen. The Last of Us is the game that got me into gaming, leading me to really delve into the world of video games.
I am so happy to see how the show is opening up the opportunity for others to be able to explore and experience the world of The Last of Us. The audience for this franchise is really growing. In my opinion, this story deserves all of the love it's getting, and I am proud to see what it's grown into. I cant wait for the next episode!
Every Sunday on HBO, a new episode will premiere. If you haven't already, go watch the first episode! I promise, you won't regret it. I may or may not have but definitely have rewatched it a few times already, and each time I watch it I pick up more connections to the game (Curtis vs Viper 2, anyone?) and am curating my own theories about which direction the show will go.