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Since I’m not much of a computer game player and the only game I’ve encountered in the last quarter of a century is Football Manager, I didn’t know what to expect from “The Last of Us” series. I assumed that it would be another in a series of series in the footsteps of “The Walking Dead”, which I gave up a long time ago after the first season because it all became tiring and repetitive. People are going somewhere, zombies are constantly springing up from somewhere to attack them, I thought that concept was quite wasted and it is rare that something new is introduced into that subgenre. As I have never before not only played the game “The Last of Us”, but I have never even heard of such a thing, so you will be spared the comparison of the series and the game, but what we saw in the first season and these nine episodes is something far beyond expectations.

First of all, “The Last of Us” at its core is not a series about zombies. It’s a brilliantly thought-out and clever existentialist drama in which there are just enough of these zombie-like creatures so that we don’t forget what it’s all about. And these are not classic zombies, but in the opening episode we actually understand what happened at the beginning of the 21st century and how a fungal infection of the brain actually led to the complete collapse of civilization and the transformation of most of the human population into monsters. Global warming and the increase in the Earth’s temperature has led to the fact that some kind of parasitic fungi can now settle in humans, and in just a few months, the world as we know it has disappeared.

About twenty years after the outbreak of the epidemic, to which the authorities responded with mass destruction and destruction, only certain settlements remain where the dictatorship rules and people live in ghettos as in Nazism. There is a resistance movement against the Federal Disaster Response Agency (FEDRA), which actually rules the rest of America, and the smuggler Joel (Pedro Pascal), who lost his daughter twenty years ago, will be tasked with taking the teenage girl Ellie (Bella Ramsey) from one one end of America to the other. From Boston in the east of the USA, they will head west, and along the way Joel will try to find his younger brother Tommy. That little girl that Joel has to look after is special because she is apparently immune to this infection and in her organism there could be a medicine to save civilization, and their journey to the west will be, as expected, full of challenges and dangers.

“The Last of Us” is a superbly designed series because over time we get a slow insight into what happened twenty years earlier and how that world works where zombies are just one of the dangers. The production is perfectly executed and it is a terrifying depiction of those abandoned and devastated cities where apparently no one lives anymore, but it usually happens that there are still survivors in the underground. And we will understand that these zombie-like creatures are not actually the greatest danger because once civilization collapsed, people almost returned to tribal customs and for Joel and Ellie they are often a greater danger than monsters. Therefore, people there behave like in the wild west and there is no mercy, i.e. kill or be killed, first shoot, then ask questions.

The author of the series, Craig Mazin, who previously created the sensational mini-series “Chernobyl”, once again showed wisdom by realizing that there is no point in making another series about zombies that pop up and people who kill them. Something like that would very quickly become tiring and monotonous, and besides the fact that we have great personal stories and main characters that are fully rounded and develop over time, each episode almost functions as a short film in itself. With each episode, we get a better and deeper insight into that failed civilization, and only the elderly remember the former world. It’s a creepy post-apocalyptic dystopia that I hope will entertain us for years to come, and “The Last of Us” has the potential for much more.