Most Anticipated Show Of The Year Crashes Streaming Service

The Last of Us is so popular, that when the first episode launched at 9 p.m. on Sunday night, HBO Max crashed from the overwhelming demand.

By Douglas Helm | Published

the last of us
The Last of Us

HBO’s The Last of Us is so popular that it caused some issues with the HBO Max streaming platform last night. According to Movieweb, many users were reporting issues trying to launch the app and the website DownDetector reported outages around 9 pm when the series launched. While this was surely frustrating for the users that couldn’t tune in when they wanted, HBO is probably happy that their expensive gamble is paying off.

The Last of Us is an adaptation of the video game franchise of the same name, where the future has been decimated by a fungi-based infection. Video game adaptations have been historically hit-or-miss (mostly miss), so sinking a ton of money into a big-budget series was certainly a risk for HBO. While there are no official numbers out yet, it appears that the risk was well worth it.

Still, as far as video games go, The Last of Us might be one of the safest bets for a TV adaptation. The story is one of the best in gaming, and the game itself was already incredibly cinematic. Turning the story into TV episodes was likely a pretty natural process, and the creative team behind the show made sure to stick to the source material closely.

The casting for The Last of Us is also pitch perfect, with Pedro Pascal taking on the role of the gruff and beaten-down Joel and Bella Ramsey playing the tenacious Ellie. Meanwhile, Gabriel Luna plays Joel’s brother Tommy, Nick Offerman plays Bill, Anna Torv plays Tess, Storm Reid plays Riley, and Merle Dandridge reprises the role of Marlene after playing her in the games. The adaptation also cast the game’s original voice actors Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, and Jeffrey Pierce in new roles.

the last of us
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

The Last of Us centers on Joel and Ellie, as Joel is hired to smuggle Ellie out of a quarantine zone. The two must face the dangers of post-apocalyptic America, which includes factions of human survivors and the humans overcome by the cordyceps infection. The series is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and The Last of Us game creator Neil Druckmann.

In addition to being so anticipated that it crashed HBO Max, The Last of Us is also receiving tons of critical praise. The series is being lauded for its performances and worldbuilding, which are essential aspects of the games as well. It sounds like this series could be the next big hit for HBO.

Despite the numerous cancellations and cuts being made over at Warner Bros. Discovery, there have been some bright spots that make HBO Max a worthwhile platform. Along with The Last of Us, the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon was another critical and commercial success. If the company can continue producing shows of this caliber, fans might be willing to be more forgiving of the other decisions the company has made.

If The Last of Us continues to find success in future episodes, it’s highly likely that we can expect more seasons. There is another game’s worth of material to adapt with The Last of Us Part 2, and we may not even see the end of the first game during the first season. For now, you can watch the premiere episode on HBO Max.