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HBO's newest Sunday night appointment television is here. The Last of Us is set 20 years after the destruction of modern civilization due to a global pandemic, and Joel (Pedro Pascal) is hired to smuggle Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out of a quarantine zone. Their journey across the United States—avoiding zombies, cannibals, and more—is the focus of the show, which was adapted from a critically acclaimed video game of the same name.
"Part of writing for an audience is just feeling in your bones what is cultural knowledge," Craig Mazin, one of the showrunners, told the New York Times. "On the other hand, it’s not a show about the pandemic — it’s about what it means to survive and what’s the purpose of survival. So we get that out of the way pretty quickly."
Neil Druckmann, the other showrunner, said, "Part of the game’s success was that we try to treat it as grounded as possible. And with the show we’re able to take that philosophy even further. So I think why the pandemic [in the games] feels so real, even though it was written before our current pandemic, is we were looking at things like Katrina. Like here’s where government fails, here’s where people can get really selfish, and here’s where we can see these great acts of love."
Episodes will air on HBO and simultaneously release on HBO Max. Here's the schedule for the nine episode first season of The Last of Us on HBO:
Episode 1, "When You're Lost in the Darkness": January 15, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern Shop Now
Episode 2, "Infected": January 22, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern
Episode 3, "Long Long Time": January 29, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern
Episode 4, "Please Hold My Hand": February 5, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern
Episode 5, "Endure and Survive": February 12, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern
Episode 6, "Kin": February 19, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern
Episode 7, "Left Behind": February 26, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern
Episode 8, "When We Are in Need": March 5, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern
Episode 9, "Episode 9" (season finale): March 12, 2023, 9:00 p.m. eastern
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