Whose world would you save? Yours? Or Humanities?
On the surface, that seems like an easy enough question to answer. All of us, or at least most of us, believe that in the face of doom, we would choose to give up our own lives over the lives of others. But, believe it or not, that decision is not as easy to make as one might think.
The Last of Us HBO Max series tells the story of Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) as he lives the rest of his days in a broken world where the fungus known as Cordyceps has consumed the world and has become the dominant species. Joel comes across Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey), a 14 year old girl with a special gift that might just be the hope that Humanity needs.
Through the course of the show, the goal starts out as just a simple Get From Point A to Point B Quickly, but as the episodes progress, it becomes more and more complicated for these characters, as they form a relationship.
Something that really blew me away about this show is that, for a show set in a Zombie Apocalypse setting, it is not a Zombie show. The show hooks you in in many different ways, and despite its lacking horror elements, it couldn’t be more of a thriller than anything else.
The show is about survival on a physical level and an emotional level. One thing that the showrunners were bold enough to do was create a story with good people who will do terrible things.
In almost every film and TV show involving a protagonist vs antagonist, the appealing thing about the good guy is that, well, he’s good. The protagonist’s triumph comes from their good heart and perseverance. And the antagonist may serve as a mirror reflection of the protagonist, making their story even more compelling because they chose goodness over evil. But this specific show has a twist, there is no real villain.
The thing that drives this show is Human Philosophy and our survival instincts. You realize in each episode that these are just people, there’s no good or bad, they all do terrible things if it means a chance to live and keep others alive.
Joel Miller is the central part of this theme, we are introduced to him as a good man, he’s a father and will do anything to protect his child. But the harsh and cruel world he now has to face has turned him into a soulless man. Ellie’s introduction changes that point of his life, and he will soon learn to love again.
The Last of Us was beautifully written, both as a video game 10 years ago, and now as a mini series on HBO Max. The creator Neil Druckmann and showrunner Craig Mazin knew how to perfectly utilize the great parts of the game while also changing the overall story to fit the new format.
I have very, very little complaints about this series, it’s chilling, it’s dark, it’s horrifying, yet it’s beautiful and powerful. You will love this show if you like an emotional drived thriller much like A Quiet Place, yet adventure filled with new and interesting things around every corner like a Jurassic Park film! Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey could not be more perfect for these roles, they have wonderful chemistry, and I hate to say it but Pedro Pascal just might be a better Joel Miller than Mandalorian.
A solid 4-5/5 stars for this show. This is a must watch for any of you thriller enjoyers who may have access to the HBO Max platform.
“Light cannot exist without the Darkness”