Looking back at ‘The Last of Us’: Did the show need any more blood?

The last of us Accept the monumental challenge of adapting a video game into a show, and deliver it exceptionally well, with one of the best first seasons we’ve ever seen. Every decision the show made – be it that way Repeat exact scenes from the game or Game actors appear in new roles – It featured a careful storytelling treatment built on honoring the source material as we were introduced to Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey). And the show’s bolder decisions to deviate from the playbook and reimagine certain scenes (fan favorites) actually made things better, despite everyone’s initial misgivings.

while The last of us changed some storylines, Including Bill and Frank and even Cordyceps causeOne of the unique ways the show shaped its own persona was by downplaying the game’s violence. Yes, the show had its fair share of violence, but it was far less bloody than that The last of usPlay. This may be disappointing to some, but it was an incredibly smart decision that made the show’s teasing of violence and gore all the more important.

Writer show Craig Mazin explained(Opens in a new tab) that he was concerned that the constant scenes of gore would become numbing to the audience. If it was going to repeat every ounce of the original’s gameplay, including having to shoot your way over and over again through NPCs (non-playable characters), then the show’s violence would become predictable. The deliberate decision to reduce the violence made the viewer like Joel’s displays of animal aggression are most surprising and significant.

Seeing Ellie’s sporadic moments of violence made her (okay, a lot) scary.
Credit: HBO

the reason Joel’s torture scene in episode 8 It was so painful and traumatic that it was partly because of the show never We were introduced to this aspect of him earlier, leaving us room to expect better from him. If we had seen all the gory violence Joel was capable of early on, let alone mentioned in every episode, the torture scene wouldn’t have made much of an impression or upset (in the right amount) who Joel was to become in the finale. Acknowledging hostility The last of us And its characters, but keeping it isolated, was ultimately the saving grace of the show — keeping it going level of joy of the game Without the risk of exhaustion of mercy.

Even downplaying the game by changing scenes such as stabbing Joel, which are a consequence of him in the game Falling off a platform and landing on a metal spike(Opens in a new tab), did not detract from any intended shock factor. We all felt the same pitting “Oh no” when Joel turned around to reveal that he had been stabbed. And other scenes, like Ellie finding a human ear under a table at David’s (Scott Shepherd) estate, also elicited just the right amount of gore without sacrificing her (or our) fear. We didn’t need to see David dismember a corpse, Like in the game(Opens in a new tab), to understand what Ellie was about to go through and who she was dealing with. Ultimately, Wild Card’s decision to introduce a dystopian, post-apocalyptic L no Rejoice in the blood and the bravery kept the focus on us Characters.

A man and a girl smile at each other while standing on a balcony covered in leaves.

It’s all about these two.
Credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO

The last of us not about Exploding puffs, it’s about Joel and Ellie. Minimizing Joel’s violence to even an extreme scene of tunnel vision aggression gave us a great understanding of the scope of his character and what he can turn into for the people he loves – something we wouldn’t have been shocked if we’d seen him in every episode. Likewise, keeping the show’s gory violence limited means we also get to understand Ellie more. We’re allowed to see her reactions to Joel’s hostility through historical moments rather than a persistent, forgettable draw. We remember her initial attraction in the pilot episode, where her violent side is almost activated, and then her anger toward him at the end, when She realizes that Joel has let her down. Containing violence meant we really could sea Ellie and pinpointing the exact moments that were touching for her.

While it may be disappointing for some, The last of usThe decision to turn her violence into a rarity rather than a spectacle was the right one. We all love a good, hyper-sensitive fight scene, but that wasn’t the point of this season. The real draw was watching Joel and Ellie are becoming a thing newsomething they both could be if they wanted to – and what’s that all about Ultimately means for them next season.

The last of us Streaming now on HBO Max(Opens in a new tab).

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