Up to this point, critics and audiences alike have been downright wowed by “The Last of Us,” which ended up scoring one of the biggest premieres for an HBO series in years. With that in mind, it’s not remotely surprising that the network is attempting to strike while the iron is hot and get more people on board. If one watches the first episode for free and digs it, will they say screw it and sign up for HBO Max? There is reason to think some people will do just that. They know they’ve got a hit on their hands and offering people a taste of the goods is a smart way to get ’em hooked.
The cast is led by Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian”) as Joel and Bella Ramsey (“His Dark Materials”) as Ellie. The core ensemble also includes Gabriel Luna (“True Detective”) as Tommy, Merle Dandridge (“The Flight Attendant”) as Marlene, and Anna Torv (“Fringe”) as Tess. The series is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”) and Neil Druckmann, who headed up the creative team behind the original video games.
“The Last of Us” returns with new episodes on Sundays on HBO, with episodes also streaming on HBO Max.