‘The Last of Us’ T.V. show is a smash-hit with Eagle High students

Many love this critically acclaimed drama series based on the video game of the same name


Aren Monk

“The Last of Us” has turned into one of the best TV shows out right now.

Cole McAdams, Copy Editor

The first episode of the recently esteemed show by HBO Max, “The Last of Us,” opens with scientists explaining that due to the rapid increase of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, dangerous species could thrive so much in the heat that they would then lead to the downfall of the human race. The specific species explored in the show is the cordyceps fungus.  

Cordyceps are parasitic fungi that grow on insects and attack them, draining the host of its tissue and controlling them. It tells the host to spread its spores and bite others to infect them. 

“I thought that [the cordyceps fungus] was really cool and not like the stereotypical zombie show,” said freshman Emma Stephens. “I like how the cordyceps fungus is real and that it affects insects like ants, so it’s kind of cool.”  

In real life, the cordyceps fungus can’t infect humans and is used as medicine in small doses, but in the “The Last of Us” T.V. show, the plot follows the possibility of cordyceps infecting humans, much like with bugs, turning them into zombie-like creatures with the goal to infect others.  

This concept isn’t new, however, as this highly-rated show is based on the equally popular video game of the same name that came out in 2013. “The Last of Us” video game follows Joel, a smuggler in this new post-apocalyptic world who is tasked with escorting a 14-year-old girl, Ellie, across the former United States in hopes to discover a cure. 

The show that came out in January of this year follows the exact story; a smuggler named Joel escorts a teenage girl named Ellie across a barren United States, wandering into dangerous situations along the journey.  

“My favorite trope ever is ‘old grumpy man forced to take care of teenage girl, then they are basically father-daughter by the end of the show,’” Stephens said. 

With a shift in medium, some things were changed for the T.V. adaptation. One notable change is the absence of spores that the cordyceps use to infect others. Instead, the director opted for humans to only get infected by a bite or contact with the mouth, which are both ways of transmission also found in the video game.  

“The only parts that are changed don’t affect the actual story, just how the story is told,” said sophomore Sophia Bashford. “Bill and Frank’s relationship [two notable characters] is changed substantially between the game and the show, but their purpose in the story stays the same.” 

Some things are different between the game and the show, but key aspects of the show were largely untouched from the change in medium. The main story, the cordyceps and the relationships between the characters are notable aspects of the show that stayed the same. The ways in which that information was conveyed to the audience is slightly different.  

“I really like how lots of the very important scenes are the exact same as the video game, word-for-word,” Stephens said. “The video game seems super fun and I really want to play it.” 

Many students at Eagle High admire the show for staying true to its original source material, leaving many to want to play the game franchise that the show is so heavily based on. 

In 2020, more than seven years after the original “The Last of Us” game came out, a sequel was released titled, “The Last of Us Part II.” The sequel takes place five years after the events of the first and follows the 14-year-old girl from the first game, Ellie. The game also lets one play as a new character, Abby, a soldier involved in a conflict regarding her cult past.  

The sequel, much like the first game, received critical acclaim for its gameplay and character building, two notable things that the franchise is very well known and loved for. 

“The Last of Us” franchise, including the show, has seen much critical acclaim and love from many students at Eagle High. Whether one’s a new fan or an old fan, many see no question to the rising popularity of the hit show and the ever-growing popularity of the video game series. 

“The Last of Us” T.V. show can be watched with an HBO Max subscription and the video game series can be played on a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 console and will be available on PC later in the month of March.