The Last of Us

The game people compared to prestige TV is now prestige TV.

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Photo: Liane Hentscher/HBO

When The Last of Us came out for the PlayStation 3 in 2013, critics and gamers alike hailed it as a new achievement for video games as a medium, praising not just the gameplay but its complex story that was closer to what you might expect from prestige TV than most games at the time.

Now, a decade later, Chernobyl showrunner Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, creator of the game, have closed the loop, turning the game into a series for HBO. Pedro Pascal plays Joel, a man who is tasked with getting a young girl named Ellie, played by Game of Thrones breakout Bella Ramsey, across a post-apocalyptic United States because she just might be the only person who is immune to the fungal infection that’s turned humanity into mushroomy zombies. Anna Torv, Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Melanie Lynskey, and more also star.

  1. Episode 9 Look For the Light
    The Last of Us Season-Finale Recap: End of the Road Ellie and Joel get something resembling a happy ending in the finale, but at what cost?
  2. Episode 8 When We Are In Need
    The Last of Us Recap: The Hunger Club It wouldn’t be the apocalypse without a bit of religious zealotry and cannibalism, now would it?
  3. Episode 7 Left Behind
    The Last of Us Recap: The Best Night of Your Life The Last of Us breaks away from the crisis at hand to show a glimpse of who Ellie was before hitting the road with Joel.
  4. Episode 6 Kin
    The Last of Us Recap: Beyond the River of Death Joel’s worst fears have come true.
  5. Episode 5 Endure and Survive
    The Last of Us Recap: Killer City Joel and Ellie’s escape from Kansas City makes for the most violent and shocking episode yet.
  6. Episode 4 Please Hold to My Hand
    The Last of Us Recap: Kansas City, Here We Come If they’re going to survive Melanie Lynskey’s Kansas City, Joel will need to trust Ellie more.
  7. Episode 3 Long, Long Time
    The Last of Us Recap: This Is You A very special episode explores what waits on the other side of survival.
  8. Episode 2 Infected
    The Last of Us Recap: Good Night, Beantown The end of the line for Boston and a beloved character.
  9. Episode 1 When You’re Lost in the Darkness
    The Last of Us Series-Premiere Recap: Fungus Among Us The Last of Us became a gold standard for video-game storytelling. The adaptation’s premiere makes it clear HBO doesn’t want to screw that up.

The Latest on The Last of Us

  1. wii did it
    Wii Sports Finally Made It to the World Video Game Hall of FameAlong with The Last of Us, Barbie Fashion Designer, and Computer Space.
  2. best of 2023
    The Best TV Shows of 2023 (So Far)This is already shaping up to be one of the more interesting TV years in recent memory.
  3. awards chatter
    The Last of Us Nominated for Best Kiss at MTV Movie & TV AwardsIf Cordyceps isn’t up your alley, what about My Policeman?
  4. tv ratings
    A Good Night for the Oscars and The Last of UsBoth programs went head to head Sunday night — and both networks had reason to be happy about their ratings performances.
  5. vulture lists
    7 Sporror Books to Scratch That Scary Fungus Itch After The Last of UsThese fungus-featuring horror books will fill the mushroom-shaped hole in your heart.
  6. infected
    Here’s Everything We Can Tell You About The Last of Us Season TwoYou have so many questions and we have a few of the answers.
  7. adaptations
    The Last of Us’s Most Interesting Game Departures ExplainedCo-creator Neil Druckmann unpacks the rationale behind the TV show’s deviations from the original video game.
  8. lingering questions
    Where Does The Last of Us Go From Here?Let the speculation for season two (and beyond?) commence.
  9. exit interview
    ‘We Have to Interrogate How We Feel About Our Heroes’The Last of Us co-creator Craig Mazin questions the inherent positivity of love.
  10. finales
    The Last of Us Is Faithful to the EndThe season finale’s climax effectively streamlines its source material but illuminates the show’s narrowing adaptational ambition.
  11. chat room
    The Last of Us’s Merle Dandridge Doesn’t Know If Marlene Was Right“The decision cleaves her spirit in two.”
  12. sxsw 2023
    The Last of Us Star Gabriel Luna on the Miller Family’s Bonding“I know I’m the Ghost Rider and he’s the Mandalorian, but we could’ve used a little help…”
  13. now streaming
    The ~26 Best Movies, Shows, Videos and Clips to Watch This WeekendIncluding the Oscars, delightful miscellany, and a new Lucy Dacus video.
  14. close read
    The Last of Us Is Lost in the Darkness of the American MythThe first season navigates a devastated nation defined by tribalism and filled with individuals enduring and surviving at the expense of others.
  15. chat room
    The Last of Us’s Troy Baker on Watching Pedro Pascal Play the Role He Originated“Every episode, there’s some moment where I go, I didn’t think about that. I didn’t see that. It catches me off guard.”
  16. chat room
    The Last of Us’s Storm Reid on Riley and Ellie’s ‘Sacrificial’ Love“They know that this might not end well, but as long as they’re spending their last moments together, that’s what means the most.”
  17. chat room
    The Last of Us’s Gabriel Luna on Finding Tommy“The voice and the movement, all of that was important. But I felt once I put the boots on, the character was mine to inhabit.”
  18. resource management
    Give It Up for the Last of Us Menstrual CupEllie’s item upgrade is a perfect combination of video-game mechanics and character-based detail.
  19. chat room
    Rutina Wesley Found a ‘Fierce Stillness’ in The Last of Us’s Maria“If she were to smile, it would be with her eyes. You would never see a wide grin on her face.”
  20. into it
    Imagine The Last of Us on Network TVIt wouldn’t have the same budget, but it might be more interesting.
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