HBO's TV adaptation of The Last of Us premieres on Sunday, January 15, after years of failed attempts to turn the 2013 game into a movie (though the truly disastrous movie version of Naughty Dog's Uncharted makes use kind of glad for that failure). As Ars' resident The Last of Us expert, Senior Gaming Editor Kyle Orland has recruited franchise neophyte (and TV recap expert) Andrew Cunningham to help talk through the good, bad, and disgusting of the series' weekly episode releases.
While video game adaptations into linear media have a bit of a hit-and-miss history at this point, the prestige TV treatment of this post-apocalyptic thriller is getting plenty of early buzz. That's probably thanks in no small part to the involvement of the game's creative director Neil Druckmann, who serves as executive producer and director for the TV series.
This adaptation can also benefit from the tight narrative already established in The Last of Us games. Through carefully crafted cut scenes and off-handed conversational moments during gameplay, those games feel a bit like tightly paced prestige TV shows anyway—just one that happens to be occasionally interrupted by interactive gun fights.