Some spoilers for the first episode last survivor Race ahead.
Adapting a beloved story from one medium to another is a tricky challenge. Some aspects are inevitable to change. What works in a novel might not work in a movie, and it doesn’t make much sense to retell a game section by section in a TV show.Even if it’s a game like a movie last survivor.
Thanks in part to some of the different paths it’s taken, HBO’s adaptation of the 2013 game is off to a strong start. The cast and crew absolutely nailed the first episode, in my book. They hit the story beat they needed while making enough changes to surprise fans of the game and make the narrative work better in another medium, at least in some places.
The upset was a scene on a ’60s talk show that instantly became a new twist. A scientist, played by the wonderful John Hannah, neatly lays things out by explaining what a fungal infection with Cordyceps fungus can do (take over the host’s mind and body functions) and how it could ultimately affect humans. If there wasn’t global warming, it wouldn’t affect us, well done humans!
We fast-forward to 2003, a decade before the game, and the footage of Joel (Pedro Pascal), his brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) and Sarah is fantastic. We get to see Sarah’s day-to-day life in the hours leading up to the outbreak. It’s a smart way to contextualize her life, and it’s worth the 15 minutes or so before everything falls apart.
Again, don’t spoil too much, but the show hits key plot points. The most important scenes in this part of the episode are almost identical to those in the game, with some other moments replicated shot by shot, but with a lot of changes before that.
For example, Sarah didn’t see an infected person when someone broke into her patio door. Instead, she goes into a neighbor’s house and comes across one. Not to mention the fact that Joel wasn’t home at the time, which put her in even greater danger.
I won’t break down all the deviations of the episodes from the game. I think the show advances the whole story in a more logical way, reframing the conflict between Joel and Tess (Anatoff) and Robert. Their first meeting with Allie (Bella Ramsay) is completely different, as is the way we first learn why her survival matters.
Many of the reviews I’ve read point to HBO and the creatives shuffling what they need and expanding in this world in new ways. Changing the way the infection spreads from spores to fungi, for example, meant actors didn’t have to wear masks in certain scenes.
I’m particularly looking forward to the much-lauded episode that focuses on Bill and Frank, a relationship that’s only illuminated in the in-game ambient story, notes, and Bill’s reaction to it. Moving from the story of Joel and Ellie to telling another story in this universe — something that games can’t possibly do — was an exciting change.
Adapting a popular work into another medium does not mean faithfully retelling the exact same story. In this case, the writers and producers had to squeeze a 15-hour race into a 10-hour TV season. But beyond that, adaptations are almost always more engaging when they deviate a bit from the source material.
exist nothing lasts foreverFiction die hard stubborn Adapted from , the protagonist is retired NYPD detective Joe Leland, who goes to a Christmas party at the office building where his daughter works. By this time Leland’s wife was dead. The movie swaps out Leland for a younger, feistier police officer, and arranges the party at his wife’s office. It’s safe to say that these changes came with the best results.
the one in the novel who framed roger rabbit Is based on, Roger was murdered very early on. Faithful adaptations will never give us the classic combination of Roger and Eddie Valiant. As much as I love Tom Bombadil, cramming him into a Lord of the Rings movie would slow down an already epic saga.And if wizard of oz and little mermaid Completely retold in their most famous movie versions, they’re not for kids.
In the same way, a movie that completely adapts any core Mario game will quickly fail. They don’t have enough stories to hang onto a feature film.i like the first one Sonic the Hedgehog Movie, this is unlike any game, I’d love to see it GT racing Considering it’s about a guy who’s really good at these games becoming a real-life racer, the movie rocks.For what it’s worth, I and uncharted waters The same goes for the movie, though it incorporates elements from multiple games in the series.
All of which is to say that there are many reasons for creatives to make changes when adapting a work for another medium. It doesn’t always work (many movie adaptations of video games aren’t very good), but things can’t always be exactly as they are in the source code.
It’s no use putting too much value on an existing property that’s being adapted to another medium.If you want the exact same experience as Naughty Dog’s games, you can simply play last survivor.
It could be that the show didn’t live up to your expectations and it turned out to be a disappointment. I hope not, especially after how good the premiere was, but the quality of the show doesn’t negatively impact the game’s legacy.original incarnation last survivor (or the PS5 remake) is still something you love and can return to anytime. No one, not even HBO, can take it away.
Still, I’m engrossed in the journey of this new release. I’m counting down until the second episode.
last survivor Airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.
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