'The Last of Us' HBO

‘The Last of Us’ Smashes Record with HBO Premiere

HBO’s live-action series The Last of Us has broken viewership records and earned rave reviews since its release on January 15. The show, which is adapted from the acclaimed 2013 video game of the same name, has been lavished with praise by many reviewers and boasts a glowing “fresh” score on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Additionally, it marks the highest score ever achieved by a live-action video game adaptation.

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The series premiere on HBO Max was a huge success, with record-breaking viewership and positive reviews. The 4.7 million viewers figure encompasses the on-air premiere on HBO and replays later in the night and streaming on HBO Max. This total is behind only the Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon, which premiered in 2022, and attracted a record-breaking 9.986 million viewers.

The show has received widespread acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series currently boasts a glowing “fresh” score of 97 per cent positive reviews. This is the highest ever score for a live-action video game adaptation, and has even eclipsed the second-highest score of any live-action show, which is held by the second season of Netflix’s hit fantasy adaptation The Witcher and registered a score of 95 per cent.

The Last of Us is written by Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin and Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann and stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. The show sticks close to the story of the original game and follows Ellie and Joel, two survivors of a post-apocalyptic world, as they fight to survive a mysterious virus that has ravaged the planet.

“We are thrilled to see fans of the series and game alike experience this iconic story in a new way, and we extend our gratitude to them for helping to make it a success,” said Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO, HBO & HBO Max Content.

“Congratulations to Craig, Neil and the brilliant cast and crew who worked tirelessly to bring this show to life. We look forward to fans around the world enjoying the rest of the season.”

The show has also received praise for its stunning visuals and engaging story, with many commentators noting that the show is a faithful adaptation of the original game. With its record-breaking viewership and glowing reviews, it looks like The Last of Us is the next big pop culture phenomenon we should all get behind.

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STAFF WRITER

Sam Mangioni

Sam Mangioni is an experienced Staff Writer with an extensive background in digital content production and news. Prior to working for Man of Many, Sam spent three years at Southern Cross Austereo where he served as a Content Producer and News Reporter for the flagship Triple M Breakfast Program. The Sydney-based reporter completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University Majoring in Marketing in 2014. A specialist in sport, lifestyle and gear coverage, Sam's work has also featured in Fight News Australia.