We learned last week that the doomsday clock kept up to date by scientists has never been so close to midnight, in particular because of the conflict in Ukraine which has increased the nuclear threat by a notch.
Posted at 6:00 a.m.
Is this the reason why Marie Kondo, the popess of tidying up, confessed that she let go and accepted the mess in her house to devote more time to her three children? There are unmistakable signs, and welcoming chaos is one of them. Maybe also the death of groundhog Fred the day before his prediction on the time remaining in winter, who knows…
The other sign, as far as I’m concerned, is to have embarked with both feet on yet another apocalyptic-flavored production, The Last of Us on HBO (in French on Crave and Super Ecran), becoming one of the television events of the year. For having seen just about every case containing zombies since Night of the Living Dead by George Romero which dates back to 1968, I thought I was vaccinated against stories of contamination, especially since I abandoned the series walking dead after five seasons, frankly tired of the genre.
It must be said that since time, the zombie is no longer scary, it has above all become a pretext for the exploration of human relations after the end of the world as we know it. I would even say that at times, if we exclude his financial means, walking dead was closer to the soap than the TV series. Dramas and character trajectories against the backdrop of a few zombies that no longer make us cringe. Sometimes I wonder if suffering humanity doesn’t dream so much of the end of the world as of starting from scratch, exhausted by the expectation of hitting its wall.
However, since the pandemic, which gave us a foretaste of what a small virus can disrupt on a large scale, this type of universe has necessarily had a new resonance with the public, who have never tried so close to this feeling of catastrophe in reality.
We can no longer see a canvas based on contamination in the same way. Yesterday it was science fiction, whereas today, let’s say it’s more concrete.
In the case of The Last of Us, there is a slight variation, the world is ravaged by a fungus that turns people into some kind of cauliflower-headed cannibalistic monster. If I checked it out, it’s because the series was co-created by Craig Mazin, who gave us the incredible Chernobyl (we are definitely in a disaster). The fact that The Last of Us either an adaptation of a video game by Neil Druckmann (co-screenwriter with Mazin) repelled me, even if my “gamer” friends told me that it was one of the best games of the last ten years, because it is often far from be a guarantee when transposed to the screen.
Fortunately, no need to know the game to embark on The Last of Us, it’s so well done, which we can see from the first episode, without however being really surprised by a concept that has been explored many times. But it was in the third episode that I switched and knew that I was going to watch the series until the end. As my eminent colleague Hugo Dumas would say, the whistleblower alert flashes here like a big red button.
A real short film inside the series, this third episode made viewers cry, who only talked about it on social networks. We must admit that we have rarely experienced so much sweetness and beauty watching a story of zombies to which is added a little touch of Brokeback Mountain.
We follow the love story over several years between Bill (Nick Offerman), a survivalist whose conspiratorial ideas are rather confirmed by the situation, and Frank (Murray Bartlett), who fell into one of his traps on his ground. These two are made for each other and it’s love at first sight. But what are the chances of falling on true love in the middle of the end of the world? Does Bill finally accept his homosexuality because there is no one around to judge him? In the world before, would he have dared to lower his guard? Did Frank even lay eyes on him?
In any case, if I had to survive the apocalypse, it’s like Bill and Frank that I’d want to live that and I never thought I’d bawl so much for a survivalist-conspiracy character (who, in addition, cooks like a chief).
It’s crazy, because this love story is so well brought (towards a conclusion as beautiful as it is tragic) that we almost forget the hostile environment in which it takes place. Which leads us to believe that The Last of Us will perhaps rely more on love than hate, on hope rather than despair, which I believe we really need. Even those who hate zombie movies might be moved by this series, that says it all. Proving that there is still juice to be squeezed in the genre is a tour de force, I can’t wait for the next episode.