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Ars is reviewing HBO’s The Last of Us series

Is it dark in here or is it just HBO's <em>The Last of Us</em> adaptation?
Enlarge / Is it dark in here or is it just HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation?

HBO’s TV adaptation of The Last of Us premieres on Sunday, January 15, after years of failed attempts to turn the 2013 game into a movie (though the truly disastrous movie version of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted makes us kind of glad for that failure). As Ars’ resident The Last of Us expert, Senior Gaming Editor Kyle Orland has recruited franchise neophyte (and TV recap expert) Andrew Cunningham to help talk through the good, bad, and disgusting of the series’ weekly episode releases.

While video game adaptations into linear media have a bit of a hit-and-miss history at this point, the prestige TV treatment of this post-apocalyptic thriller is getting plenty of early buzz. That’s probably thanks in no small part to the involvement of the game’s creative director Neil Druckmann, who serves as executive producer and director for the TV series.

This adaptation can also benefit from the tight narrative already established in The Last of Us games. Through carefully crafted cut scenes and off-handed conversational moments during gameplay, those games feel a bit like tightly paced prestige TV shows anyway—just one that happens to be occasionally interrupted by interactive gun fights.

Will HBO’s version of The Last of Us be able to capture what makes the games so special? Will the show be compelling to someone who’s never even touched the games? Will the TV writers make any enraging changes to the characters that PlayStation fans have grown to love over the last decade? Will Kyle and Andrew be able to stomach the sight of dozens of creepy, fungus-infected threats every week?

There’s only one way to find out. Our spoiler-filled episode recaps will go up on Monday mornings after each episode premieres on HBO Sunday night, so be sure to check in after you watch every week.

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