Loving “The Last of Us”

I have a healthy amount of skepticism about movies and shows adapted from games. Clue was a rare exception, but it’s hard to go wrong with a cast that includes Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, and the amazing Madeline Kahn. The list of bad or aggressively mediocre media spun off from games is too long to list. The Last of Us isn’t on it.

The first two episodes of The Last of Us were good. Good enough that I wanted to watch more. A little predictable, but Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey improve the material enormously.

But, without any spoilers, episode three was incredible. I knew Nick Offerman was going to be in the episode, but I expected a comic turn with his role. Not… not so much.

There were a few moments in the episode where I thought I had everything figured out. Bad habit, but I like to try to guess where the plot is going to go before it gets there. Whether the writers are leaning too hard into predictable plots and tropes, or if they can set up a story that surprises and entertains me without being predictable.

“Long, Long Time” displayed some really confident writing. Only three episodes in and they step (mostly) away from the primary characters to Offerman’s story. It does weave in, when the time is right, and it serves the plot well.

I’m happy as hell that Bella Ramsey has a good role after her turn in Game of Thrones. She was quite possibly my favorite character in the entire series, excepting Arya. (And Tyrion but it’s not really fair to judge others against the standards set by Peter Dinklage. Dude could read an IKEA catalog at the camera for 30 minutes and make it fun.)

Usually I’ll plow through episodes as soon as they’re available for a show I enjoy this much, but I’m savoring it. No more than one episode a day, when I have time to really enjoy it.

Here’s hoping that all the shenanigans over at HBO Max don’t muck it up. They’ve got a pretty good thing going with this show, hope it continues.

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