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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The drama with the mushroom zombies

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Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal are in perfect harmony in the mushroom zombie apocalypse.
Image: HBO Series
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“The Last of Us”, a new series by the US broadcaster HBO (can be seen in German on Sky and also on Amazon for a fee per episode) is rocking the rating charts of the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com). The TV adaptation of the award-winning video game of the same name from 2013 shows nothing that zombie fans have not seen countless times in genre models such as “The Walking Dead”.

In the post-apocalypse, the survivors must survive against man-eating monsters as well as against hunger and frost. The greatest threat are conspecifics, because man is always a wolf to man.

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The old warhorse Joel, who after the fall of civilization has become a smuggler and if necessary also an uncompromising killer, is supposed to protect little Ellie. She is apparently immune to zombie bites, the “Last of Us” is about mutated fungi that infect the human brain.

The taciturn adoptive father is mimed against his will by the expressive Pedro Pascal (“Mandalorian”). Traumatized by the death of his own daughter, he grows fond of the girl played by Bella Ramsey (“Game of Thrones”). She plays the rebellious, pubescent child in a multifaceted and powerful way: cheeky, cunning and unpredictable.

The chemistry between the two main actors is just right from the start, it’s what makes this series so charming. “The Last of Us” deals relatively sparsely with shock and splatter scenes. Therefore, the implementation is also much more drama than horror. With sensitively and strongly told individual episodes, which also lovingly illuminate secondary characters. This makes the series refreshingly different from the previous zombie mishmash.

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