The Last Zombie Show You’ll Ever Need

The Last Zombie Show You’ll Ever Need

Grace Sanders, Contributor

Are they zombies? Debate among yourselves.

What is certain in this show is that there is a rampant infection, beautiful cinematic shots, and easily loveable characters. Most video games that are adapted to screen don’t work out and end up on Netflix or in the $2 movie bin at Walmart. I feel like this show will go places. The creators obviously love the game and want to do it justice. 

The Last of Us is a story-based game set in 2033 where you play as a grizzled man who has lost everything, Joel, and a spunky thirteen-year-old girl, Ellie. Joel is tasked with taking her across the country during an apocalypse because Ellie is important to the fate of humanity. Their banter is endearing and has you immediately rooting for their triumph while you fight through swaths of people infected by cordyceps, a real fungus that, in this world, has mutated to survive in humans.

The game includes simple enemies, runners who are people who have just been infected, clickers who have been infected for a longer period of time and can only navigate by sound, and bloaters, who are just waiting to be hurt in some way so they can explode and infect anything they can in the surrounding area. Like in most apocalypse media, humans end up being a bigger threat than the mindless shambling corpses. 

The show has stayed as true to its origins as possible, and small details from the game are included. In the game, when your inventory is accessed, Joel takes off his backpack and sets it on the ground while he goes through it, and this is included in the show. Even pictures on the walls and keychains on backpacks mimic the game. The actors for the show were chosen perfectly, and whoever designed their costumes needs a raise. Most of the effects are also practical, meaning the actors were actually running away from fungus-addled, rotting people. 

For each similarity, there is a difference. In the game, if you wander inside a building the characters pause to put on a gas mask because the infected fungus spreads spores. In the show, cordyceps can only be spread by contact with an infected or its parts. This makes sense because if the spores were in the air, gas masks would be constantly needed, not just indoors. The show’s timeframe has also been changed. The outbreak starts in 2003 instead of 2013, and then it jumps ahead to 2023 instead of 2033. 

At the time of the game’s release, the graphics were breathtaking. The makers of the show took this to heart, and the composition of shots keeps you intrigued and the suspense created sends chills down your spine, even if nothing is happening. The shots of a ruined and overgrown city has the effect of making you want to explore every building yourself. Each environment the characters wander through, from the fungus-infected museum to the partially flooded hotel lobby, feel real and sad in their abandonment. 

From what I can tell, the show’s reviews have been far from scathing. Of the people I interviewed, those who watched the show said it was their favorite show or very close to their favorite show now. 

Overall, I think this show is going to go far and become a staple of apocalyptic storytelling.