The Last of Us Review: Are You Ready for a Post-Apocalyptic Adventure?

HBO's The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin recently explained why he is proud that the series was review bombed. A minority of viewers, despite the show's record-breaking popularity, gave it poor ratings.

Episode 3 and Episode 7 of this season received much lower ratings on IMDb than the other episodes in this season as a whole. That's why both episodes, at 8.0 and 7.4 respectively, had the lowest ratings in the entire series.

After the first season of The Last of Us concluded, Mazin gave an interview with GQ and said that he was pleased with the show's critical reception despite the bombing. The showrunner specifically mentioned the third episode, “Long, Long Time,” and said he preferred “strong emotional reactions” to “indifference.”

 Read what Mazin said below:

To the extent that the storylines move people to rage, confusion, or disappointment or anger. Well that, I suppose, is preferable to the worst possible outcome, which is indifference. There's been a lot written about the 3rd episode of this season & it's an episode we're very proud of,& it moved a lot of people. It's one of the lower-rated shows on IMDb for one reason – a lot of people came on & gave it a 1/10. Not 5/10. The median score on that episode is 10. And the mean is an 8 or something.

The Last of Us Review Story 

In 2003, a fungus called Cordyceps spreads over the world, wreaking havoc in major cities. The infection eventually reaches the brain of the host and controls it. Infected people will actively seek out, kill & consume healthy humans for sustenance as the fungus spreads.

While fleeing his city, which has crumbled due to the same fungal plague, a construction worker named Joel loses his daughter, Sarah. By the year 2023, Federal Disaster Response Agency (FEDRA) has established quarantine zones all across the planet where humanity can seek safety.

The Last of Us Review

Living in the Boston QZ, Joel makes a career by smuggling goods in & out of the area. After he loses contact with his brother, Tommy, he prepares to go look for him. In order to accomplish so, he requires a car battery, which leads him & his accomplice, Tess, to a base of Fireflies, a rebel group that is working against FEDRA.

If Joel can get a girl named Ellie to a Fireflies camp in the west, the group's leader, Marlene, has promised to provide for Joel's every need. While Joel & Tess try to get out of the Boston QZ, they learn that Ellie is resistant to the fungal virus that has killed off half of humanity.

The Last of Us Review in Detail

Pedro Pascal, as Joel, and Bella Ramsey, as Ellie, offers a romance the viewers will not forget for decades to come. The show progressively develops its love over the course of nine episodes. There is no urgency, and it doesn’t feel forced at all.

What begins as a relationship in which Ellie spends her time annoying  Joel eventually develops into one in which Joel risks everything to save her. Quality character growth is a hallmark of this work.

Both the beginning and the end of the series feature distinct relationships between Pascal and Ramsey. Even though Pascal and Ramsey have been constants, the majority of the guest stars have made an impression.

Nick Offerman, as Bill & Murray Bartlett, as Frank, present the most exquisite romance to grace the screens in a world full of the sick. Then Henry, played by Lamar Johnson & Sam, played by Keivonn Montreal Woodard, remind us how terrible a world of infected can be.

The Last of Us defines itself as more than just a thriller drama. Also, it’s a post-apocalyptic show that is more concerned with human emotions that still exist in this world of fungal illness than the threats these afflicted in the show offer.

The first episodes of the show make an effort to convey these feelings & thanks to well-developed characters, they are able to take this aspect to the next level. For example, the debut episode spends a lot of time describing Sarah and Joel’s world to the point where when Sarah, played by Nico Parker, dies, the viewers are impacted by it and they start understanding Joel.

A similar feeling might be felt when fans bid farewell to Bill and Frank or Henry and Sam. While one goodbye is sincere, the other is unexpected and profound. Each one of these occurrences influences Joel and Ellie in one way or another.

The Last of Us Review

The cast of The Last of Us makes the first few episodes stand out with their outstanding performances. After then, the fun really begins. A conflict breaks out in Kansas City just as viewers begin to worry they won't get to see Joel and Ellie combat the infected.

The fifth episode is an all-out mainstream, edge-of-the-seat thriller that keeps you fascinated until the conflict with the infected is ended. When Ellie and Joel are able to put aside their differences and enjoy the journey together, the show takes on the feel of a lighthearted road-trip drama.

Their road journey turns horrifying when they fight the people that are far more lethal than the infected. But, places like Jackson give people faith that a return to normalcy is conceivable in the modern world.

The Last of Us does demand patience, especially from the fans who come looking largely for the action and the horror sections. If they are willing to give the program time, they will find themselves absorbed in everything that the show is seeking to capture.

Some of the characters could have benefited from stronger writing. The character of Kathleen, played by Melanie Lynskey, isn't really developed as a formidable foe or a capable leader. Her desire for vengeance & her over-the-top attempts to appear tough make it unbelievable that the entire QZ agrees with her judgments.

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