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New Irish Independent Column! On Whether “The Last of Us” Can Beat the Video Game Curse…

I published a new piece at The Irish Independent last week. With the release of The Last of Us, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the history of video game adaptations.

There’s a lot riding on The Last of Us, and HBO have really gone all-out on the show. It stars Pedro Pascal of The Mandalorian and is written by Craig Mazin of Chernobyl. It’s an interesting approach, in large part because video games have frequently posed a challenge to studios longing to adapt them to other screens. Just based on Hollywood’s experience with the medium, The Last of Us poses a significant challenge to any production team hoping to translate it to another medium.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On How the Fungus at the Heart of “The Last of Us” is a Monstrous Metaphor…

I am doing weekly reviews of The Last of Us at The Escapist. They’ll be dropping every Sunday evening while the show is on, looking at the video game adaptation as the show progresses. To start with, though, a look at the season premiere.

The Last of Us is effectively a survival horror show. It’s very clearly riffing on archetypal zombie apocalypse narratives. The show’s opening scene evokes I Am Legend. Its depiction of the collapse of civilisation recalls everything from Night of the Living Dead to Shaun of the Dead. However, what makes this particular show interesting is the way that its central apocalyptic force, a infectuous fungus, ties into the show’s core themes of co-dependence and mutual support. The fungus at the heart of the show is a monstrous parasite, but The Last of Us argues that the only way human beings can survive is together.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On “The Last of Us” as a Character-Driven Apocalyptic Narrative…

I am doing weekly reviews of The Last of Us at The Escapist. They’ll be dropping every Sunday evening while the show is on, looking at the video game adaptation as the show progresses. To start with, though, a look at the series as a whole.

Although it takes a little while to get going, with its first two episodes largely given over to exposition and worldbuilding, The Last of Us is an incredible accomplishment from HBO. The show is clearly the result of a great deal of care and attention, and a substantial investment from the service. It’s a show that benefits from the best possible talent and from the freedom afforded to that talent, to find a distinct angle on the end of the world. It’s a charming, emotional and deeply moving character study at the end of the world.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.