It’s been quite a while since the television adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was first announced. Neil Drakmann (the writer and director of the games, as well as the upcoming HBO series) called the series, released in 2020, one of the most authentic adaptations of video games. Judging by the footage shown in the recent HBO Max trailer, it looks like Drakmann will keep his word.
Although the teaser in question shows only about 20 seconds of the TV show The Last of Us, what was shown is more than enough for fans to be delighted with its release. People can hear the iconic conversation between Joel and Ellie in the Jackson Ranch house, and footage of various adapted scenes is played in the background. Joel played by Pedro Pascal and Ellie played by Bella Ramsey are the most prominent characters, but viewers can also catch a glimpse of Sarah played by Nico Parker and Bill played by Nick Offerman. Having a large number of actors who can bring the Naughty Dog game to life is good and all that, but the TV series should not forget to emphasize the moments that Joel and Ellie spend alone together.
An incredible friendly journey
At its core, the first The Last of Us is a story about two people: Joel and Ellie. Brought together by strange circumstances, the two must work together to survive while traveling through post-apocalyptic America. Although the two initially dislike each other, the time that Joel and Ellie spend together makes them learn more about each other and, in turn, about themselves. By making Ellie completely unknown to Joel at the beginning of the story, Naughty Dog can realistically build their relationship. The two barely speak to each other and avoid eye contact all the way to the Capitol building. But as Joel and Ellie go through both life-threatening and dark experiences, they eventually warm up and learn to trust each other.
Not a very lonely journey
This does not mean that Joel and Ellie do not meet anyone on their way. In fact, they meet with a whole set of characters; some of them are a reflection of themselves. Bill and Frank were two former colleagues who had separated. Bill is embittered and keeps to himself throughout most of his interactions with Joel and Ellie, but after discovering Frank’s dead body, he briefly regrets that he could not help his former partner.
Henry and Sam are two brothers who want to join the Fireflies. Henry is overprotective of his younger brother; just like Joel and Ellie. Sam is obedient to Henry, but wants his brother to have more faith in him (something that Joel and Ellie are gradually starting to build with each other). Henry eventually commits suicide after killing the Infected Sam, probably out of guilt for allowing his brother to convert and being forced to make such a difficult decision.
These people, who differ in many ways from Joel and Ellie, show them how other partnerships work in a post-apocalyptic world. Some relationships become bitter (for example, Bill and Frank), while others are too dependent on each other (for example, Henry was with Sam). There are also characters Joel and Ellie encounter on their journey, and those who don’t initially try to kill them usually share something they can learn something from.
Time to breathe
Although “The Last of Us” has large sets and scenes with multiple characters that move the story forward, the importance of smaller, more intimate moments in the narrative cannot be ignored. The scenes where Joel and Ellie just talk while traveling are just as important as any new discovery they make because they give the characters more depth. Ellie saw real fireflies for the first time, and Joel, explaining how the world worked before the apocalypse, helps to paint a picture that these are two people who have experienced very different things.
For the HBO series “One of Us” to be successful, there must be such moments in it. Whether it’s a duet to catch your breath or to find out what just happened, “The Last of Us” thrives both in these little moments of humanity and in more violent and terrifying scenes. This will allow viewers to better understand who Joel and Ellie are, as well as their growing relationship with each other.
The Last Of Us will premiere next year on HBO.