‘The Last of Us’ destroyed me last night and I need to talk about it.


I want an elephant.


One of my keepers used to keep crocodiles, now he keeps elephants. The future is bright#Elephants#animals

♬ original sound – breeder jojo

Here’s A BUNCH OF TV News

I try to not be too spoilery here — I try to give time after an episode has aired before talking about it, just to give people a chance to catch up — but y’all. WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT LAST NIGHT’S THE LAST OF US BECAUSE I AM EMOTIONALLY TRAUMATIZED.

~deep breath~

OK. I’m going to do this with as few spoilers as possible. But if you have not yet watched last night’s episode, I suggest you scroll down until you get to a gif of Nick Offerman taking off a gas mask. 

For those of you who haven’t watched and for some reason haven’t scrolled down, here’s what you need to know: last night’s episode diverted away from the main story of The Last of Us, in which an emotionally hardened man, Joel, is transporting a teen girl, Ellie, across the country in the middle of a fungus-based apocalypse. So far the series has been very much an intelligent The Walking Dead. Lots of traumatized people wandering around a bombed-out urbanscape in various shades of brown and gray, having to defend themselves from the occasional terrifying zombie. It’s better than The Walking Dead — let me be very clear — but it’s also difficult to not compare the two. And all of that is to say, I get if The Last of Us doesn’t seem like your thing. Maybe you watched the first episode and we’re like, yeah, I don’t need another zombie show, thanks but no thanks.

BUT. And not to be one of those people who are like, “You have to get through the first three hours, but then the show gets really good,” — because I honestly think the first two episodes are pretty good — but if you can make yourself watch the first two episodes just so that you can get to last night’s third episode, DO IT.

Last night’s episode found Joel and Ellie traveling to a pair of allies who live in their own little compound somewhere on the outskirts of Boston. The episode then rewinds to the beginning of the apocalypse to tell the story of these two people, Bill and Frank, played by the incomparable Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett. I won’t say any more here — you can click the link for a recap. But to say that this is the best episode of television of the year does not do it justice, because today is only January 30th. It certainly is the best episode of television I have seen in the past year, and might be the single best episode of television I have seen in … years? And if these two men are not nominated for EVERY SINGLE AWARD, I will burn this place to the ground.

Before I get to everyone else freaking out on the internet about this episode, a couple of little things:

Frank and Bill’s story differs significantly from the video game and it is the biggest change to the story yet. Basically, the game is more cynical, and I find the change very welcome. Instead of cementing Joel into his emotionally stunted place, what happens to Bill will help open Joel up down the road.

It was a perfect episode but for this one ridiculous detail:

And I’m never going to be able to listen to this song again without bursting into tears — I did just now while playing this video:

If you want to know the backstory of how the show chose that song, Craig Mazin explained to IndieWire:

“I had the thought that this would happen, that there was a song that would be played, and that we would be surprised by who was good at it and who was bad at it,” Mazin told IndieWire. “I remember saying to Neil, ‘I’m not sure what the song is, I just know that it has to be this incredibly sad song about yearning for love, and never getting love, and just making your peace with the fact that you will always be alone. But it can’t be on the nose. And it can’t be a song that we all know.’”

Struggling to make that breakthrough and find a song that fit all that specific criteria, Mazin sought some help from a trusted source.

“I went through hours and hours and hours. And finally, I was like, ‘I know what to do. I’m going to text my friend Seth Rudetsky,’ who is a host on Sirius XM On Broadway, and has this encyclopedic knowledge of all music,” Mazin said. “I described what I needed and within 30 seconds, it was [incoming text noise] ‘Long, Long Time by Linda Ronstadt.’ I kinda remembered that song. I played it and was like, ‘Oh, my. There it is.’”

Alright, now I’m going to add some very spoilery Tweets, so now’s your last chance to get out of here without having the episode ruined for you.

Oh, and here’s a mushroom expert who insists the show is exploiting our fear of fungi. I don’t know, I think a fear of fungi is perfectly rational.

OK, you’re safe now.

The Boys is out here kicking superhero ass.

Brett Goldstein isn’t giving anything away about the ending of Ted Lasso, and nor should he.

H’oh boy: the Presley family is going to war over Lisa Marie’s estate. This could get messy.

This is a solid list of shows that should have only lasted one season (I would have added Big Little Lies, but no one asked me). But I would point out that most of these shows — particularly the network ones — premiered before the revival of the limited series that we are currently living through.

Hillary Duff has renewed confidence that the Lizzie McGuire reboot could still happen at Disney+. And she might be right: at the time the reboot was being made, Disney+ was very hardcore G/PG. But since adding those Marvel series, the streamer had to create parental controls, and loosen up their standards, so a more adult Lizzie McGuire might be possible.

The CW has strongly suggested (but not promised) that they will only renew two more existing shows. Which two do you think it will be?



In Development

Casting News

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan has joined Invincible on Prime Video. (And the reason this is so great is that Steven Yeun is the star of that series …)

Mark Your Calendar

  • Star Trek: Picard returns on Paramount+ on February 16.
  • Murder Mystery 2 will debut on Netflix on March 31.
  • Sam & Kate will premiere on Peacock on February 1.
  • Cancel This will debut on Fox Nation on February 13.
  • Bloodlands returns on Acorn on February 6.
  • Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series returns on Netflix After School on February 24.
  • Gamera: Rebirth will debut on Netflix soon.


Annie Wersching, Actress in 24, Supernatural, Bosch, Castle, Star Trek: Picard among others and the original Tess in The Last of Us video game

Lisa Loring, The original Wednesday Addams on The Addams Family

Adama Niane, French actor in Lupin, Baise-Moi, and Get In 

Gregory Allen Howard, Screenwriter who wrote Remember the Titans, and Ali, among others

Tom Verlaine, Guitarist for Television

Barrett Strong, Motown artist and songwriter

Everett Quinton, Actor-director in the post-1960s downtown NYC scene

Randy Gonzalez, Tiktok star


The Watchful Eye: A nanny working for an affluent and handsome widower discovers that everyone in their Manhattan building has deadly secrets. Series premiere. 8 p.m., Freeform

Love Island (U.K.): Season nine of this addictive trash. Season premiere. Hulu

TMZ Investigates: Lisa Marie Presley: Unending Tragedy: An examination of the mysterious death of Elvis’ daughter, including who will gain custody of her 12-year-old twins and the battle over her estate. 7 p.m., Fox

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Austin Butler, Rob Gronkowski, Tyler Hubbard
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Christopher Meloni, D’Arcy Carden, Keio Stroud
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Rachel Brosnahan; Murray Bartlett
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Emma Roberts, Paul Walter Hauser, Blake Rose
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Salma Hayek Pinault; Billy Crudup; Justine Skye
  • The Daily Show: Guest host D.L. Hughley
  • Watch What Happens Live: Kate Chastain, Katie Glaser

MON. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Bachelor
The Good Doctor
CBS The Neighborhood
Bob ♥ Abishola
NCIS: Hawai’i
CW All American
All American: Homecoming
FOX TMZ Investigates: Lisa Marie Presley: Unending Tragedy
Alert: Missing Persons Unit
NBC America’s Got Talent: All-Stars
Quantum Leap

2 thoughts on “‘The Last of Us’ destroyed me last night and I need to talk about it.

  1. It was perfect. Went to the imdb page for the episode to look for something expecting it to be rated near a 10. The homophobes are review bombing it with 1 stars. Must be exhausting to be so hateful all the time.

  2. Had never watched this series nor had any intention to do so; but, I decided just to watch Episode 3 out of curiosity as to what you said was so excellent…and Oh! I am so glad I watched it!
    Thank you for steering us in the right direction.
    I will probably only read recaps of the next episodes since this is not “my kind” of show to sit through.

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