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‘The Last of Us’ is Better and More Refreshing Than ‘The Walking Dead’, Here’s Why

Published on February 24th, 2023 | Updated on February 24th, 2023 | By FanFest

Throughout the initial six episodes of The Last of Us, Joel (Pedro Pascal) strives to stay hopeful in spite of his despair. Because without hope, there is nothing left — and so he remains mindful that escorting Ellie (Bella Ramsey) on their journey westward across America isn’t merely about delivering a sassy science experiment. As the sixth episode nears its end, Joel reaches a revelatory moment. Little by little he unravels his prior pains and realizes that there is something more important than merely striving to get through daily life. This enables an obvious path ahead regardless of how often the plot twists and turns.

Although it may seem a bit pedantic at times, the message in this show brings an incredibly refreshing feeling. This is especially true compared to the esteemed apocalypse-themed series The Walking Dead that concluded shortly before The Last of Us premiered. If any show was destined to illustrate the idea that mankind’s most heinous impulses continuously come out during moments of strife, it would be AMC’s acclaimed epic drama featuring Rick Grimes and a revolving cast. After all, they were often on the menu at least 90% of the time!

After six riveting episodes, The Last of Us has reached an emotional climax with the development between Bill and Frank in Episode 3. Ellie confronts Joel about his difficulty recovering from his daughter’s passing, highlighting how it is affecting her. However when he decides to stay by her side rather than leave again, Joel exhibits a huge display of vulnerability: perhaps this means that he can be needed once more? It could also signify that he is capable of being there for someone else – even if it’s not himself.

In contrast, The Walking Dead‘s premier season consisted of only six episodes; however, it also managed to reach a grand narrative conclusion. This resulted in sending Rick and his companions on an unexpected quest while simultaneously revealing startling revelations about the zombie plague. Simultaneously, certain characters were forced to confront their inner turmoil or they chose death as opposed to living with extended grief. Both programs have demonstrated clear evidence that supports their distinctive narratives objectives 3and yet yielded vastly different outcomes.

A comparison between the two series reveals the greatest disparity when it comes to “indefinite misery.” While the relationships between characters may appear similar, by its end one can conclude that The Walking Dead is much more likely to use their extended cast as mere expendable victims. Initially, however, this was not necessarily. The characters in these two games feel immense sorrow over every death, expressing their grief suitably and desperately. To understand where the paths of The Last Of Us and The Walking Dead differ, one need not look any further than the bonds between Joel & Tommy or Rick & Shane – brothers-in-arms who have formed close friendships despite a dire situation.

The Walking Dead: A Complete List of All of the Movies, Spinoffs & Every Detail We Know

In The Last of Us, Tommy is seen as the at-risk sibling who needs saving from himself. Joel searches for him with more than just a vague sense of brotherly love. He has to make sure that in their time apart, Tommy didn’t cause any other damage—the same fatherly care he felt for his daughter before her death now transferred to his adult brother and urging him to take charge of himself. When Joel unexpectedly finds Tommy living in a commune, happily married with a baby on the way, it flies in the face of all expectations. This revelation forces him to reconsider his own lifestyle as an isolated individual who mainly inflicts suffering onto others and appears to crave an existence far away from any responsibility or potential emotional distress that could come with it. The takeaway is that while working through these issues may seem difficult, they are conquerable.

When Rick eventually locates Shane in TWD and reclaims his title as de facto leader, everything changes. The camaraderie that was once shared between the two has become strained by the horror of what happened during the apocalypse. In its place is a burning rage and an inclination for violence emanating from Shane’s persona. Rick’s return to the picture spells certain doom for Shane’s relationship with Lori, and he vents his anger through displays of physical force. On top of that, Rick has started cutting off Shane’s time with Carl; a young boy who idolizes him due to his genuine good-guy nature. The removal of what mattered most in Shane’s life is enough to create an insurmountable sense of purposelessness.

His sense of friendship and responsibility towards Rick as a cop has now shifted into sporadic outbursts of righteous anger. He nearly kills Carol’s abusive husband in one scene, displaying that he seeks to bring justice for her more than anything else; his dissatisfaction with his current place in the world is evident. No longer a leader or lover, all Shane can do anymore is swing blindly at life’s problems without any control over their outcomes.

Because of this, Joel and Rick morph into protectors going in opposite directions. People who cross paths with him can see that there is a potential for something more to come from Joel. He struggles against his past-shaped inclinations and strives to be an upstanding person on behalf of the ones he cares about; or at least use these dangerous abilities in noble objectives. Rick’s entry into the zombie-infested wasteland is as a total novice and although people place faith in him, he tests the boundaries of what it means to be an honorable person again and again. The fear that consumes this bloody world prevents any feasible alternative for remaining alive or protecting his group. Rick has no choice but to endure misery; his family relationships impart little comfort–it appears almost predetermined that this apocalypse will break him down piece by piece. Both series share a similar message – that human connection is much more dangerous than any zombie attack. However, the relationships between their protagonists differentiate them drastically; The Last of Us depicts society desperately trying to escape its fate with Joel and Ellie learning that remaining emotionless allows for easier living compared to facing difficult interpersonal ties.

It appears that our culture is gradually coming to terms with the importance of having meaningful connections in order to lead a fulfilling life; this is precisely what Tommy reveals to Joel. In The Walking Dead, survival and progress depend on outlasting those who wish for it all to come crumbling down — Shane’s story emphatically illustrates this notion, even when his closest ally returns by his side.

George Romero’s iconic work, Night of the Living Dead, is an exemplary illustration of mankind’s capacity for moral decline in times of distress and panic. With its brave African American protagonist shot by a mob out sheer fear rather than vindictiveness – there is no intact hero to leave us with hope – we are left knowing full well that even when zombies seek to devour us alive humans may yet be capable of eating themselves asunder! A masterpiece indeed; one straight from the annals of cinematic history.

It is debatable if The Walking Dead is a work of art, however Rick and Shane’s fateful brotherhood made for some high-quality television. Watching it at times became the televised equivalent of doom-scrolling, providing us with countless examples of what can go wrong.

The show started with Rick Grimes being appalled by a small zombie girl before shooting her, demonstrating the harsh reality of what one must do to survive. The ruthless acts that were required for survival at first felt shocking but soon became numbing as they persisted and only those characters who remained alive could witness any ounce of kindness in this world. The Walking Dead portrayed our initial reaction when we understand that the world has changed completely: paranoia, anger, and isolation.

Without a satisfying conclusion to strive for, The Walking Dead failed to keep audiences engaged, leaving the show far too close in emotion and action to Shane’s blind destruction. It is true that zombie shows are often associated with darkness and terror, but unlike TWD, TLOU provided its viewers with glimmers of hope as they followed their main characters on an emotional journey. Sure there were moments when TWD shocked us all; however unfortunately it quickly lost popularity due not giving any sense of fulfillment or resolution by series’ end.

Eventually, every character has committed acts of cruelty and the only thing left is their promise to be better. This is why a six-episode miniseries focused on different characters in The Walking Dead universe can be appealing – with such a small timeframe there must an inevitable conclusion. It’s time for the audience to experience some real resolution rather than just expect it will get worse.

Over its first six episodes, The Last of Us highlights that connections with others can breathe life into us. Just like the strawberries in Frank’s garden which survive and thrive within a decimated world, this show conveys how we can find solace by forming meaningful ties to those around us. Even amidst an infected-ridden universe with no end in sight, it emphasizes our need for mutual connection which is absolutely worth preserving through thick or thin.

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