The Last of Us, Hello Tomorrow!, and Succession countdown
What if the world ended and/or we all got hover cars, plus we're about to go sicko mode on Succession
On this week’s episode of Criticism Is Dead, we discuss The Last of Us and Hello Tomorrow!, two vastly different visions of the past, present, and future.
03:00 The Last of Us, streaming on HBO Max, is faithful yet fresh enough to appeal to both pre-existing fans and new viewers.
Does The Last of Us feel “like a video game”? It depends on what your definition of a video game is. Games can be good, bad, rich in world building and lore, poor in character development and depth, amazingly poignant, devastatingly repetitive. These days, games can be just about anything, which is why the answer to that original question may just be: sure, why not, whatever that means. This series is pretty much a quest/journey story (which many video games, but also movies/television/books, are). But it also feels like a high-budget TV show, which it is. Its actors are talented, its world and story carefully crafted, its zombies stunningly terrifying. It may not be the best HBO post-apocalyptic pandemic series — that would be Station Eleven (previously discussed on CID here) — but it is a worthy Sunday night prime time watch.
27:00 Hello Tomorrow!, streaming on Apple TV+, is a gorgeous but underbaked series about a grifter salesman in a retrofuturistic world.
Hello Tomorrow! is such a visually arresting production, one where mid-century design meets analog-clunky but high-powered tech like robots and hover cars. (Props to production designer Maya Sigel!) It is such a shame, then, that other elements of this show don’t quite hold up, despite its intriguing premise. The tone is inconsistent, the pacing and parceling out of information and screen time is off, and the capable cast aren’t quite given enough to chew on yet. This is early days, admittedly; only four episodes have been released. Maybe there’s still time to fulfill all the promise and potential of an aesthetic stunner like this.
40:58 Plus, culture notes about the upcoming fourth and final season of Succession (and Jeremy Strong being babygirl).
And that juicy tidbit we mention that may be a bit of a SPOILER, please feel free to skip if you don’t want to see:
That’s it for now. Thank you and see you next week!
Thanks for reading Criticism Is Dead! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.
Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to firstname.lastname@example.org.