May 25, 2024

THE LAST OF US (2023) – A brilliant adaptation of a computer game. This year’s best TV series so far!

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is THE TV series that has taken the world by storm and rightfully so too! It lays claim to be THE best film adaptation of a computer game and for me personally, THE best thing seen on television this year! On the surface, this appears to be a genre-driven excuse for another zombie apocalypse survival romp. However, the end result is far more extensive. One of the first things that strikes the viewer is how well defined and developed the characters are, despite the fact that many of them only appear in one or two episodes. They each leave an impression, which reveals a lot about how strong the storyline and distinct the characterisation are. to leave an impact which tells a lot about how strong the storyline and distinctive the characterisation is.

Everything about The Last of Us sets a higher standard than most other TV shows. Aside from its compelling story and characters, the series features stellar performances, an engaging script that is both gritty and moving, some beautifully photographed landscape views, a restrained use of excellent computer-generated images, and a hauntingly simple yet mesmerizing music score that complements the entire plot and atmosphere. Each of these attributes can easily stand on their own. They work together to create movie magic. The violence is brutal and unapologetic, but never graphic for the sake of being graphic, as is so common in zombie films. In fact, zombies (ahem, they are referred to here as the infected) barely appear in many of the episodes. As in the case of The Walking Dead series, the humans are often seen as being more dangerous than the infected. However, unlike The Walking Dead, TLOU does not drag out its storylines. In fact, it often delivers the theme and message loud and clear within an episode before moving on to something else the following week. In comparison, I imagine the plot of a single episode of TLOU could easily be stretched out over an entire season or more of The Walking Dead!

As if all of the positive aspects mentioned weren’t enough, TLOU also has one lethal trump card up its sleeve. That is the on screen chemistry and natural bond that its two main characters, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, exhibit. Both of them appeared in The Game of Thrones series, despite the fact that their characters never shared any scenes together. Pedro Pacal is outstanding as Joel, a hardened survivor entrusted with the care of a young girl named Ellie. He is able to project Joel as a merciless tough guy and yet exhibit genuine vulnerability in his relationship with Ellie. Bella Ramsey is equally convincing as the street wise, kid who has the opposite effect of appearing sweet and innocent, and yet being able to kick ass when needed. Bella is 19 years old but is convincing as Ellie who is supposed to be 14 years old. They both did an excellent job of making TLOU feel unique and addictive, and I hope their efforts are recognized by the various annual awards next year.

Season One appears to be faithful to the game and ends at a logical point without any ridiculous cliff hangers. Nonetheless, it will leave a void to fill as we wait a long year for Season Two to begin. Is anyone going cold turkey yet?

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