The first event series of 2023 is ‘The Last of Us’adaptation of popular video game of Naughty Dog that at the time was about to become a movie with sam raimi Behind the cameras. That project did not manage to go ahead, but this television version that in Spain we will be able to see in HBO Max starting this monday January 16.
My companion Albertini already shared your general impressions about the first season of ‘The Last of Us’ just a few days ago and I am going to focus now on the first episode. In it you will find an extraordinary start for a series called to be among the best of the year when 2023 comes to an end. It may sound a bit exaggerated being in January, but the level is very high.
how did we end up like this
From here there are spoilers for the first episode
After an effective prologue -it starts out almost jovial and ends up being very disturbing, especially due to the great work of John Hannah- that serves to anticipate what will happen several decades later, this first episode of ‘The Last of Us’ spends a generous amount of time introducing us to Joel (great Peter Pascal) and how his life changes after the start of the epidemic.
One of the great triumphs of the episode is that it manages to convey very well. that air of doom around the fact that something is going to happen to the protagonist’s daughter. In addition, this is something that is done without ever wallowing in it, since it is preferred to opt for a more dramatic approach in which a dangerous situation develops with the viewer being certain that something has to happen.
Obviously, one does not face this in the same way whether or not they have played the original video game, but as soon as one is familiar with the material it is evident that everything that happened in 2003 is more an emotional prologue to meet Joel and understand how it will behave after an attempt to offer a truly novel view regarding the onset of a pandemic.
However, the team led by craig mazin (‘Chernobyl’) Y Neil Druckman at no time does he approach it as a mere way station, letting it leave its mark on all levels. In fact, this was also the first thing Pascal shot, allowing him to get even more into character and even developing a bond with Nico Parkerthe actress who gives life to Sarah, who undoubtedly helped her with everything that would come later.
I don’t forget either superb work of settingbut that is something that also extends to the part that happens today, making it clear that at HBO they have wanted to take care of all the details so that we are facing an adaptation that works at all levels, whether you already know the story that they’re going to count – although, of course, there will be changes along the way – as if you’re a newcomer who, at best, has seen one of the trailers.
The decadent present
However, the most important part of the episode already takes place today and once again has an introductory function that is as clear as it is essential. From that military regime that seems to dominate the few safe areas with an iron hand to those rebels with Ellie (great Bella Ramsey) believe they have found the key to change everything.
It is not until the end of the episode when it is more clearly stated that Ellie seems immune to the epidemic, but the series will have plenty of time to delve further into this point. Now it was more important to establish the new dynamics of this desolate world, to introduce other characters -unbeatable the first appearance of anna torv to make Tess’s personality very clear – and set out the objective to be met. Or at least the first of them.
There the HBO series also shines at a high level, since it does not fall into the temptation of trying to speed up the pace to make everything more exciting, focusing instead on being a cover letter that makes everything clear but without abusing the merely expository. It is true that perhaps there are those who miss a greater presence of the infected and the most terrifying side of the story, but here it was more time to influence the depressing, both emotionally and environmental.
All this perhaps leads to the episode working as an extraordinary starting point, but knowing at all times what it is that he wants to present here and how to do it. There, perhaps some viewers will find the 81 minutes that the chapter lasts excessive, which was also my great fear, but at no time did they become heavy for me. And that has a lot of merit when basically we are talking about two broad and consecutive introductions. Could it have been shortened from somewhere? Of course it did, but I have my doubts that it would work just as well then.
The first episode of ‘The Last of Us’ is great and it serves to have the necessary bases on which to build a series called to make history. The video game already did it and now it is the turn of its television adaptation. In addition, everything here is very well achieved, making it clear that here there is someone behind it capable of avoiding that supposed curse that video game adaptations suffer.
We would like to say thanks to the writer of this short article for this awesome material
‘The Last of Us’ (1×01): extraordinary start to a series on HBO Max called to be among the best of 2023 (even if you didn’t play the video game)