March 6th, 2020

Haven. Audrey Parker.

Two curiosities.

++ It's been announced that The Last Of Us is getting a television adaptation on HBO. I have...conflicted feelings about this, to be perfectly honest.

On one hand, it would be interesting to see a live-action adaptation to further explore the world. While I know most adaptations made from video games haven't had the best track record and have often been mocked for being soulless cash grabs, the ones that I do like (Resident Evil and Tomb Raider) are often not really following a particular storyline but rather just basing it off of the universe while doing their own thing, and manage to do it well with keeping in the spirit and heart of that world they're inhabiting. However, my main concern with The Last Of Us is that it has a very specific story. It's incredibly character-driven, with the entire focus on Joel and Ellie's growing bond and relationship. The game is also cinematic on its own that there really is no need to actually have a television adaptation of it, you can actually watch all the cinematic cut-scenes and little moments between the characters online if you haven't even played the game. I'm not saying that it can't work, I'm just saying that it's going to take a lot of work to make it right. The connection between Joel and Ellie is something that the game does incredibly well, it is the heart and soul of the entire story and therefore vital to making it all work, and this is a mainly because of the voice actors who also did motion caption for the game, as well. While I know it may be an unfair comparison, it'll be hard to top that especially since voice actors often don't get enough credit for the hard work they do, especially with the nuances done with their performances. Also, while they don't physically look like the characters in the game, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker essentially are Ellie and Joel, particularly when you watch the special live stage performance that was done a while back.

I know the Neil Druckmann, the creator of the game, is going to be involved with the adaptation -- and he did dismiss the pitched movie adaptation some years ago because he didn't agree with the direction they planned for it -- so there is some hope, and I don't want to knock something before seeing the final product. But nevertheless, I am nervous since the game has very specific beats to the emotional storytelling that can only be experienced through firsthand gameplay and that can be hard to translate to a live-action adaptation. So yeah, I don't know how to feel about it just yet. It's a lot of mixed feelings at the moment.

++ There's been a lot of discussion lately surrounding the problems that Disney+ has been having and the possible future of the streaming service. This video addresses particular issues, including the "family friendly" branding that may ultimately hurt the service. I agree with what was said that Disney needs to start taking risks, by not taking a chance on things they are limiting themselves and that's not something they should be doing. Ultimately, Disney+ should be operating like what The Disney Channel did when it first launched in the 80s since it, too, was a subscription back in the day and it featured a lot of variety when it came to its content, including syndicating shows from other countries and bringing in shows from other networks and plenty of programming for all ages. It wasn't until the last two decades where it started becoming strictly kids-only content. So it's weird that they would want to be this restrictive for a service that can, and should, include a wide range of content for everyone to enjoy.