HBO Max’s The Last of Us is proving to be incredibly popular. That’ll only be helped by the fact that they've made the first episode free on their platform. If you’re in the U.S., you can access the first episode without a subscription using the HBO Max app. If you’re in the U.K., you can access the episode on SkyTV, or even on YouTube.

Reviews for the show have been resoundingly positive everywhere, which is kind of huge. It’s not often that TV and movies that use video games as source material come out to much fanfare, but The Last of Us has managed to pull it off. The first season of the show is nine episodes long, and it follows Joel (portrayed by Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they navigate their way through a post-apocalyptic environment. The world has been ravaged by the Cordyceps fungus, turning most of humanity into creatures very much resembling zombies.

Perhaps one of the main reasons for the show’s success was the cinematic nature of the original games. They're filled with well-acted and well-directed cutscenes. Additionally, Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director behind the games in the franchise, co-created the series for HBO with Craig Mazin. This obviously made for an incredibly faithful adaptation. So far, it’s widely considered to be one of the best video game adaptations ever.

Initially, the series was going to be a feature-length film, but after years stuck in development hell, plans changed. Eventually, in 2020, it was announced that a TV series was in its planning phase. There were a few stumbling blocks here and there, but overall, the production was smooth. In fact, it's believed to be one of the biggest productions in Canadian history.

You can watch the first episode on HBO Max for free right here.

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