“The Last of Us”: A Post-Apocalyptic Masterpiece
by Suzie McCarthy
Who needs another drawn-out, zombie series like “The Walking Dead”? These types of shows are predictable and audiences are sick of them, right?
HBO Max seems to have revitalized the zombie-plot concept within its newest series. HBO Max’s latest success, “The Last of Us,” has left fans reeling on the edge of their seats for more.
“The Last of Us” storyline originated from a video game developed by Naughty Dog. HBO Max managed to make a show based on the two main characters from the game, Ellie and Joel. Their story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where they must survive against an infectious fungus, vicious enemies, and even themselves–pretty standard for any zombie plot so far. But the difference between most zombie tropes and “The Last of Us” lies in the characters and relationships.
The two main characters–Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, and Joel, played by Pedro Pascal– have a great range of emotions throughout the show. The actors bring a sense of reality to the show that most series fall short of, and it’s hard to imagine these roles being played by anyone else.
“The Last of Us” leaves the audience captivated through multiple cinematic dynamics. The show is able to make the infected scary enough to haunt your dreams and the enemies sick enough to make you question the characters’ motives while speculating “what comes next?”
The storytelling within the show is excellent. The writers formed a plot based on how the characters would react to intense situations instead of writing what people wish would happen. This helps switch up the general, predictable atmosphere you’d expect from typical zombie shows.
Joel is a grieving father who loses his daughter during the outbreak of the apocalypse. Ellie is born in the middle of it. Viewers are shown the heartfelt journey of Joel and Ellie, where Ellie becomes Joel’s surrogate daughter that he would die for.
Joel feels tremendous guilt and loss for not being able to protect his daughter, but soon learns he can direct his pain towards protecting and caring for Ellie. We see Joel undergo enormous redemption throughout his adventure because of his growing love for Ellie.
Ellie is afraid of being alone and has often been abandoned by those she loves. By joining Joel, she begins to have the family she always yearned for and develops a desire to save mankind.
From the first episode until the season finale, the show has plot twist after plot twist which keeps viewers coming back for more. Now that the season has wrapped up, fans are ready for season two to see Ellie and Joel continue fighting for their lives.
If you enjoy post-apocalyptic stories with well-drawn characters and intense action, go ahead and add this series to your binge list. You won’t be disappointed.
This is a great blog post about HBO Max’s “The Last of Us” series. The relationship between Ellie and Joel seems to be the show’s standout point, which provides necessary depth to the series. I’m intrigued by your statement that the writers focus on how the characters react to intense situations instead of what people wish would happen. Can you give an example of how this approach affected the show’s plot? Good job on the blog post!