HBO's 'The Last of Us' TV series huge advertising banner is seen in the city center in Warsaw, Poland on January 19, 2023. The show is an American post-apocalyptic drama television series created by Craig Mazin and based on the 2013 video game. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The Last of Us And The Walking Dead Differ In This Key Way
Spoiler Warning!
This story contains spoilers for Episode 8 of "The Last of Us."
“The Walking Dead” covered themes and storylines that audiences would later see in “The Last of Us,” including moral quandaries about protecting oneself at the expense of others, the idea of humans being more dangerous than zombies, and parenting in an apocalyptic world. However, “The Walking Dead” took a much more gradual approach to exploring these scenarios.
“The Walking Dead” spent seven episodes building anticipation for the mysterious settlement called Terminus, and then ended its Season 4 finale with the main characters trapped by cannibals, making fans wait five months for them to find their way out in the Season 5 premiere. Yet, the cannibal town storyline in “The Last of Us” was in and out in 50 minutes.
“The Walking Dead” was a big, sprawling epic filled with hundreds of characters, each of them dealing with the zombie apocalypse one day at a time. Meanwhile, Season 1 of “The Last of Us” is incredibly focused, as it's about two characters, not dozens, and Joel and Ellie are out to achieve a very specific, tangible goal, one they'll undoubtedly reach by the end of the season.
“The Last of Us” is never going to run as long as “The Walking Dead,” and it’s an indicator of how prestige TV has changed over the last 15 years. “The Walking Dead” aired when it was normal for successful shows to go on for as long as the ratings allowed; however, modern shows like “The Last of Us" are content to end after three or four seasons despite the ratings.