You Might Want To Wait Until The Kids Are Asleep To Watch HBO's The Last Of Us

Joel and Ellie’s road trip is not for the faint of heart.

There’s a new series coming to HBO Max in January that is based on a video game. From that description alone, you might be thinking of some kid-friendly video game adaptations like Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokemon, etc. Nope. The Last Of Us is definitely not for your little kids, but it might be for the older ones.

A beloved video game gets a screen adaptation.

The Last Of Us on HBO Max is based by the critically acclaimed PlayStation game of the same name that was first released in 2013. In the video game, Joel Miller (played by Pedro Pascal of The Mandalorian) is a tough guy who has managed to survive for 20 years after civilization crumbled. He has been tasked with transporting 14-year-old Ellie Williams (Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey) across the country for an important mission. Their journey is riddled with encounters with “the Infected,” this game’s version of zombies, as well as raiders and other nefarious foes. Common Sense Media lauded the video game for “exceptional storytelling,” but did hit it with an 18+ rating for “lots of violence, profanity,” something parents can expect in the new series as well.

The violent, post-apocalyptic road trip is not safe for kids.

Joel and Ellie are out to save the world in this post-apocalyptic road trip series, but it’s no easy feat. They are frequently under attack and have to defend themselves from all manner of monster, and this should make for some pretty violent television– too violent and too dark for younger kids for sure. If you weren’t comfortable with your kids watching The Walking Dead, for example, this looks considerably darker.

Rating TBD.

While HBO Max has not yet released an official rating for The Last Of Us, it seems likely that it will be rated at least TV-14 if not TV-MA like The Walking Dead. While director Neil Druckmann has said that the series will have less violence, he also admitted in an interview that “a certain amount of violence” was needed to give the same feeling that fans of the video game experienced. Kids over the age of 14 might be comfortable watching the series as long as they’re not terribly bothered by zombies and the end of the world and violence, but anyone else should probably avoid.

When can you watch The Last Of Us?

The highly anticipated first season of The Last Of Us drops on HBO Max on Jan. 15 at 9 PM ET/PT with a movie-length first episode. There will be nine episodes in all coming out on Sundays.

While it’s probably suitable for young kids, we think this is the perfect time of the year to put the little ones to bed a bit early, cozy up in the safety of your own home, and watch a violent post-apocalyptic zombie series.