In what will likely be the day’s least surprising bit of news, HBO has confirmed that The Last of Us (opens in new tab) has been renewed for a second season.
The Last of Us—the game, that is—is generally regarded as one of the best videogame stories ever told, so that’s a strong foundation to build on—and in a world in which awful game movie and television adaptations are the norm (opens in new tab), the simple fact that it’s not fragrant, flaming garbage is noteworthy in itself.
But the HBO show goes way beyond merely not sucking. The Last of Us was a massive critical hit (opens in new tab).” Multiple sites, including The Wrap, The Daily Beast, Empire, and the BBC called it the best videogame adaptation ever in their reviews, and it’s got an enviable 97% aggregate rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You really can’t ask for a better response than that, and the positive word of mouth is powerful enough that even people who have never heard of the videogame (like my mom, and I mean that in a literal, no-joke sense) are tuning in.
The show isn’t above all criticism, of course. Our online editor Fraser Brown wrote last week that the first episode “takes disappointingly few creative risks (opens in new tab),” calling it “too safe and a bit dull,” while associate editor Tyler Colp noted that the show made no effort to update the 2013 videogame story for a 2023 world (opens in new tab) that remains in the grip of a less-zombifying but unfortunately very real pandemic: “It gestures at the initial despair of an infection that leads to millions of deaths, but ultimately falls back on the same zombie tropes you’ve seen over and over again.” Perhaps The Last of Us creative team will feel a little freer to take more creative risks now that HBO has more definitively committed to it.
The journey continues. #TheLastOfUs will return for another season on @HBOMax. pic.twitter.com/FQNG6vhk1dJanuary 27, 2023
The Last of Us is available on HBO Max in the US, and Sky in the UK. If you’d like to get a taste of what it’s all about without signing up for yet another service, the full first episode is available on Sky TV’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab). Unfortunately, it’s restricted to viewers in the UK, but the good news is that we’ve got a list of the best VPNs (opens in new tab) for getting around such outmoded geographical restrictions. And in case you’d forgotten, the game that started the whole thing is finally coming to PC, on Steam (opens in new tab) and the Epic Store (opens in new tab), on March 3.