I’m all caught up on “The Last of Us,” television’s latest foray into the zombie-apocalypse genre. Of course I am! With the wife out of town for a few days, it’s time for this grown-ass man to watch whatever the hell he wants.
That means zombies. Longtime readers (there might be one or two) will know that I run hot and cold on this genre. I briefly swore it off after the third season of “The Walking Dead.” But then came the buzz about this new HBO Max show, based on the hit Playstation video game. I was drawn back like a dog to a dead possum.
My impressions, based on the first three episodes: It’s not bad. It doesn’t add much to the whole flesh-eating horde canon, but it has a fine cast, capable writing and superb production values. By “production values,” I mean haunting CGI of American infrastructure laid low by 20 years of deferred maintenance. In a world of ravenous fungoids, regular weed-eating is the first thing to go.
We all think we’d do OK in a post-apocalyptic world, don’t we? All those abandoned supermarkets and Dick’s Sporting Goods, all that fresh air, all that peace and quiet when nobody’s running leaf blowers. It’s a particular wet dream for gun nuts, preppers and Proud Boys: firearms rule, nobody needs a job and you can pretty much shoot anything that moves.
I guess they’d also prefer no gay people, but HBO kind of pissed on that campfire. The third episode included a same-sex relationship. With Nick Offerman! What the hell, man? Some viewers – I’m thinking the 21-to-44 living-with-the-parents demographic – seem to have totally lost their shit over that one. Probably to be expected when so many viewers are coming to the show from a video game.
Ah well. Can’t please everyone. I kind of like it. If you too enjoy risky road trips and zombies with heads that resemble morel mushrooms, Dave Bob says check it out.
John H. says
Zombies is a maybe for me. (Serial killer, or time travel, and I’m out. Time-travelling serial killer is unfortunately a plot I have come across, too.)
When it comes to visions of post-apocalyptic Edens, I think of that line from Talking Heads’ “Nothing But Flowers”. “If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawnmower.”
A tangent on preppers: I read a essay last year by the son of the Oath Keepers’ leader (if I recall correctly). He pointed out that, since many such groups were also preppers, when the pandemic began they should have been the most prepared people in the country. The problem is that their Great Leader was telling them that all the things they had learned and practiced were unnecessary: masks, social distancing, etc. So they had a choice: deny the leader, or deny the pandemic. Denying the leader meant admitting they had been wrong, so it had to be choice #2.
Dave Knadler says
“Nothing But Flowers” is my favorite David Byrne song. So many great lyrics.
“And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention”
That instrumental bridge is pretty epic too.
With you on serial killers. I avoid any book, movie or series where that is the plot. Usually just a festival of tropes. One exception: “Black Bird” with Taron Egerton.
We must part ways on time travel. I love smart time-travel yarns. Mostly because they’re so hard to pull off. “Primer” gives it a good go. Although I still don’t fully understand it.