“The Last of Us” (Finally) Does Adaptations Right

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey (photo taken from NYT)

New York Times

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey (photo taken from NYT)

By Jieun Paik, Junior Editor

If I had to choose one genre of media to retire, I would 100% choose zombie shows. I like “The Walking Dead” as much as the next Jeffrey Dean Morgan fan, but just look at that show! It’s a million episodes. If you asked me (again) another type of media to retire, it would be TV show adaptations of video games. Just look at how many subpar zombie movies and video game adaptations exist.

Sure, there’s the occasional “Arcane” and “Kingdom.” But there’s got to be a point when we as a civilization realize that there isĀ such thing as too much of something.

So now there’s the question of that new show. You know, the zombie show that’s based on a video game, or the show that combines two of the most cash-grabby genres ever.

…But it has Pedro Pascal.

“I haven’t watched the show, but I’m in complete support of any shows with Pedro Pascal in it,” said junior Ariana Aray.

My sister and I sat down to watch “The Last Of Us” on Sunday, expecting some of the same subpar storytelling that usually comes from adaptations. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see that there was a surprising amount of attention to the storyline of the video games.

I personally haven’t played the games, but I consulted one of my friends who knew the plot inside and out.

“I think it’s the best zombie series to come out since the Walking Dead,” said junior Joshua Feliciano.

“It was creepy,” commented Mr. Shale.

The good parts of the show were when the writers were faithful to the source material, but I’d argue that the best parts were when the writers deviated from the original plotline to form new narratives. Episode 3 in particular felt like such an incredible piece of storytelling.

Episode 3 tells the story of Frank and Bill, characters that are in “The Last of Us” video game for about 3o seconds. The show takes time to explore the life of a survivalist at the onset of the apocalypse, and how he finds love in unexpected places. The audience collectively asked one of the most important questions:

Is a happy ending possible in a world filled with death and destruction?

“Episode three was one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen in the history of TV,” said Ms. Saborido. Many others agreed with this sentiment. Countless reviews online raved about how the addition of Bill and Frank’s story was like a hidden gem.

It’s frankly unfair of me to spoil such a beautiful experience, but that episode was seriously well done. The cinematography, the unique storytelling of the camera shots, the dialogue, and the performances were all incredibly well done for just two random characters in the video game. I would recommend everyone go watch it, even if you don’t watch the rest of the show.

Of course, it makes sense for there to be an exploration into the lives of characters. Video games sell action, and TV shows sell stories. But “The Last of Us” balances adapting the video game while creating new material, and it does that well.

And for a show that keeps unveiling more, fans continue to eagerly wait for more episodes.