'The Last of Us'

Bella Ramsey (left) and Pedro Pascal in a scene from the HBO series “The Last of Us,” which concluded its first season last Sunday.

LOS ANGELES — In the HBO series “The Last of Us,” a fungal infection has taken over Earth, rendering the United States an apocalyptic landscape protagonists Joel and Ellie need to traverse. Fans unfamiliar with the video game, from which the series was adapted, might assume this is just another zombie show packed with action and gore.

However, the story and the characters have subverted expectations and received praise from all corners. “The Last of Us,” whose first season concluded last Sunday, has not only won over gamers with high expectations, but also people who don’t play video games. The series premiere drew 4.7 million viewers in the U.S., based on Nielsen and HBO data, making for HBO’s second-largest debut, behind “House of the Dragon.” HBO said the finale drew a series high of 8.2 million people, despite airing against the Oscars.

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