“The Last of Us” HBO adaptation clicks with audiences


“The Last of Us” airs live on HBO Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EST becomes available to stream on HBO Max at the same time.

Luke Soule, Multimedia Editor

“The Last of Us” is a 2013 zombie-infested adventure video game released exclusively to the Playstation 4, receiving a remake in Sept. 2022 for the Playstation 5.
The game series eventually received a television series exclusively on HBO, premiering the first episode on Jan. 15 2023.

The show has received extremely positive ratings as of the third episode release on Jan. 29 2023, according to IMDB.

Although having positive ratings, fans of the games at McIntosh have varied opinions on the casting of “The Last of Us” series, starring Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie.

“I think the casting for Joel is great. He looks really similar to Joel in the game and Pedro Pascal is a great actor,” junior Matthew DellaTorre said.

Pascal starred in “The Mandalorian,” “Narcos” and “Game of Thrones,” all receiving high ratings according to IMDB and positively reinforcing fans’ expectations for the show.

“I liked seeing him in ‘The Mandalorian.’ I think everybody loves Pascal, there’s nothing to not like. I think that if you like Pascal, you should watch the show even if you haven’t played the game,” junior Isaac Blevins said.

Character development is an important factor in any story, and “The Last of Us” relies heavily on the backstories and attitudes of the characters.

“I’m excited to see what [Pascal] brings to the character,” Blevins said.

Although fans enjoy the presence of Pedro Pascal, the casting of Ellie has had some backlash.

“I think it was because many people along with me had Elliot Page in mind for the casting of Ellie since he bore an uncanny resemblance to Ellie when the game was first released,” junior Patrick Ogle said.

After the release of the first game in 2013, fans noticed a resemblance of the character Ellie to the actor Elliot Page, who appeared in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” from 2010 and has been starring in the Netflix original series “The Umbrella Academy” since 2019.

According to a Reddit Ask Me Anything post hosted by Page in 2013, Page responded, “I guess I should be flattered that they ripped off my likeness, but I am actually acting in a video game called ‘Beyond Two Souls,’ so it was not appreciated.”

This “ripped-off likeness” could have made Page resent starring in an adaptation, however, some fans at McIntosh don’t mind the change.

“I personally think [Ramsey] did a great job, but I think that other people are blinded by their personal idea of what she would look like. It’s good to have some things different, like if the show was the exact same as the game, then why make a show?” Blevins said.

With varied opinions on the character casting, “The Last of Us” as a show still stands as one of the highest-rated television series in 2023 according to IMDB.

The show brings new perspectives to already developed characters from the games and retains their relative personalities, and if one hasn’t played the games, the show still stands by itself and introduces deep and interesting characters.

“What happens in the first episode sets a sad backstory for Joel and his eventual relationship with Ellie,” Scoleri said. “The plane crash scene absolutely caught my attention to how grand-scale this show would be.”

With the continued release of episodes, the show will continue to develop these characters and relationships.

“Even if someone doesn’t like it so far, it could be worthwhile to stick around and see what pans out,” DellaTorre said.

Editor’s Note: “The Last of Us” airs live on HBO Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EST and immediately streams on HBO Max at the same time.