Video game adaptations to other visual mediums have historically struggled to meet expectations. However, The Last of Us may have broken this curse.
Released in 2013 for the PS3, The Last of Us was met with critical acclaim. Recently, the HBO series based on the first installment of the franchise has received a similarly positive response. Not only does the show capture the tone of the video game, but it also stays loyal to the source material while making some artistic tweaks and changes. The third episode, in particular, stands out as the highlight of the first season.
HBO quickly realized that it had a hit on its hands with The Last of Us. The show continued to maintain its momentum throughout the first season, and the Academy Awards did not dent its impressive ratings. The show attracted 8.2 million viewers on the night of its finale, which was a same-night season-high for the series.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the viewership data for The Last of Us suggests that it has become HBO’s crown jewel. While the Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon averaged 29 million viewers per episode, The Last of Us has attracted an average of 30.4 million viewers for its first six episodes. As of this writing, 40 million viewers have watched the pilot.
It’s safe to say that The Last of Us has become a cultural phenomenon, and the show’s success has prompted the expectation of at least a couple more seasons. Showrunner Craig Mazin has confirmed that the series won’t attempt to cover the entirety of the plot of The Last of Us 2 in its second run of episodes.