The Last of Us (TV Series) – Watch the Walkthrough instead

«I saw King Lear yesterday. Mrs. Siddons as Goneril. The idiots had given it a happy ending.»
«That will not last. The Great Stories will always return to their original forms.»
Hob Gadling and Dream in «Sandman»

«The Last of Us» is one of the best linear computer games I have ever played. The story is gripping, from the heartbreaking intro to the dafuq ending. In many ways it is a masterpiece. But given that Part 2 of the game went woke, I had not the slightest motivation to do anything more than replay the first game in my head. But when I noticed that they had made a TV series of the game, yeah, I had a look at it.

Unfortunately, it’s at least semi-woke.

They did not go all in and rewrite the story, it is still mostly the same. And they did the setting pretty well. Also, the actor who plays Joel did a good job. But the changes they have made — which all go in the same woke direction — spoiled the series for me:

  • Toxic Feminism: With Ellie as a strong female character in the game, who rescues Joel in more than one occasion, there was no need to change anything. Unfortunately the writers did — and went for the usual Hollywood-like portrayal of a «strong woman». Ellie is fourteen or so and grew up during the apocalypse. In the TV series, she acts like a spoiled brat, frequently cursing and being hostile. I mean, they find a freshly mauled dead man in an abandoned museum and when Joel says they will be absolutely quiet from now on she wants to argue? At that moment I would have wondered whether the Fireflies would have been satisfied with her decapitated head. In contrast, in the game, Ellie might not be happy to be escorted by Joel (and Tess), but she is not hostile. And she only reacted aggressively when being disrespected or threatened. A way more mature attitude in that environment. She is scared but competent. She does what needs to be done. Sigh. I mean, after nearly being raped/killed she changed both in the game and the TV series, but while in the game I felt compassion, I felt no compassion in the TV series. Cruel thing to say, but at least she was no longer so stupidly obnoxious — that’s what badly written characters can do with the viewer. Shame, the actress could have likely performed way better if they had not ruined her character.
    BTW, adding menstrual products on two occasions and during a dialogue might have been a nice touch. I mean, the lack of female hygiene products during a 20-year-apocalypse would suck, although I question whether the material of a pre-apocalypse menstrual cup would still be soft enough after 20 years. But why make it a topic twice?
  • Tokenism: One day we will hopefully treat race swapping in existing stories the same way SJWs treat blackface today. I don’t care about the skin color of the actors, but I care if they keep some actors looking almost exactly the same and swapping others. Especially if the ones being swapped are only the good guys (or girls in the case). Both Joels daughter Sarah and Tommy’s wife Maria looked very different in game. And it’s not that there weren’t black characters in the first place — which stayed black. In a similar vein, why was Sam deaf?
  • LGBT fantasy: If I hadn’t played the game, the relationship between Bill and Frank would have been nice. They make a lovely couple, especially against the backdrop of an apocalypse. And their relationship is surprisingly sweet, considering Bill is a hard-core survivalist. I mean, even when they fight it’s hilarious (in part due to the two actors who nail it):

«Give me a fucking break!»
«Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot. I live in this world. You live in a psycho bunker where 9/11 was an inside job and the government are all Nazis.»
«The government are all Nazis!»
«Well, yeah, now! But not then!»
The Last of Us (Season 1)

They even have a nice death:

«Were there already pills in the bottle?»
«Enough to kill a horse. This isn’t the tragic suicide at the end of the play. I’m old. I’m satisfied. And you were my purpose.»
«I do not support this. I should be furious. But from an objective point of view … it’s incredibly romantic. Take me to bed.»
The Last of Us (Season 1)

Only in the game, Bill is still alive and Frank has left him, got bit a few times, and hung himself. And his «farewell-letter» is anything but «nice». So why the switch from a realistic relationship to a fantasy?

  • Anti-Christian: I have my own history with Christianity but made my peace with it. Apparently, the writers have not. IIRC the cannibals in the game were not a Christian cult. They even talked about replacing their leader. In the TV series, the leader was a school teacher turned priest — as well as a pedophilic sociopathic cannibal. He also hits a young woman with no-one intervening. Why this bashing on Christianity? If they wanted to introduce religion, why not make it about an Islamic enclave in the US? Islamic communities exist and close religious ties might actually be helpful to survive an apocalypse. But instead of «cheap courage», that change would have required balls of steel.
  • Communism: The only working community in both TV series and game seemed to work a bit better in the TV series. In itself I don’t have a problem with an actual community flourishing. But when Tommy’s wife Maria calls their politics — only in the TV series — «communism»? Really? Well, at least it seems you still have to kill almost all humans for communism to work.
  • Defeatist Scientist: Showing the first cases of the fungus infection was a nice tought of the TV series. Let’s ignore the TV interview years prior to the outbreak, which likely gave a nod against so-called «global warming» and focus on the female scientist who was shown the first cases. She examines a probe, correctly identifies the fungus, cannot believe it came from a human, then examines the corpse and finds the fungus in the person’s mouth. So far, so good. But then she panics — and after calming down a bit claims that nothing can be done? Really? And then still suggests a bombing? I can respect people who know they will likely lose and still try to do the best they can. But just wanting to return home and die with one’s family? I hope she was not intended as representation of women in STEM.
  • Bad Time Allocation: While they covered most of the story of the game, they left out a few «nice» interactions. Foremost the one when Joel’s brother Tommy tells his wife Maria that he has to leave to escort Ellie to the Fireflies:

Maria: «Absolutely not. You tell him to go find somebody else.»
Tommy: «Maria, I can’t have this hanging over my head.»
Maria: «Do you have any idea how many men we lost here today?»
Ellie: «Hey, what’s that all about? Does that have anything to do with me?»
Joel: «We’ll talk about it later.»
Ellie: «Did he tell you where the lab is?»
Joel: «We’ll talk about it later.»
Ellie: «Later … Right.»
Maria: «It takes one. One fuck up. One fuck up and then I turn into one of those widows. Okay?»
Tommy: «I have to do this. I don’t know what else to say.»
Maria: «Fine.»
Tommy: «Maria. Maria!»
Joel: «Here we go.»
Maria: «You. If anything. Anything at all happens to him. It’s on you.»
Tommy: «She’s thankful, you know.»
Joel: «Yeah, I know.»
The Last of Us (computer game)

There was also a huge missed opportunity in showing how Joes and Ellie work better together during the course of their journey, e.g., when beating the infected. It would also have made the threat of the infected and the need for a cure much more salient.

So yeah, despite the excellent material, the TV series deviated from the story in predictable ways. It might want to appear progressive, but it just turned out (semi) woke and condescending and annoying as fuck. Funny thing, people’s character matters to me. I don’t care about race, I don’t care about whether they are gay or straight. But I start to care when it is used to score morality points, when it is used as badly framed «message». I don’t like it when bad writers try to manipulate me.


In a way, it’s like with books and movies. The book is usually better («Lord of the Rings» being one of the few exceptions, and the book is pretty good). Here, a simple walkthrough movie from YouTube is way better than the series.

So, looking back, I do not mind having seen the series. It had a few good moments that would have been good as a separate story. But with the knowledge of the story in the game — it is probably more interesting to just watch a walkthrough on YouTube.