Paul Schrader Doesn’t Understand ‘The Last Of Us’ Hype & Calls Episode 3 “Super Shmaltzy Gay Bro Euthanasia Melo”

Feb 6, 2023

Paul Schrader is one of the best filmmakers working today. Over the decades, he’s proven to be a risk-taking artist who isn’t afraid to push buttons or challenge the viewer. And over the past few years, he’s been willing to take that sort of attitude and use it on social media, where his Facebook posts have been filled with hot takes and savage criticism. No one is safe from Schrader’s critical opinion. Not even the most universally beloved series of 2023, “The Last of Us.”
LISTEN: ‘The Last Of Us’: Craig Mazin Talks About His Hollywood Origins, Adapting Video Games For TV & Subverting Expectations [Bingeworthy Podcast]
In a recent Facebook post, Paul Schrader explains his recent experience trying to watch HBO’s “The Last of Us.” The series tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world where a fungus infected the brains of humans and led to the near-extinction of humanity and a horde of zombie-like monsters. But the story is definitely about more than just zombies. There are serious emotional stakes, thanks in no small part to the phenomenal acting and writing. 
“THE LAST OF US. ‘You gotta watch this,’ a friend said. ‘But,’ I replied, ‘it’s a zombie show.’ ‘Yeah,’ they answered, ‘but it’s really good.’ So I watched. And sure enough 35min into episode one zombies were staggering around the street.  So I shut it off. ‘But you got to watch episode three,’ my friend countered. So I did. It was a super shmaltzy gay bro euthanasia melo (at least there were no undead).  What am I missing?”
Without getting too much into the spoiler weeds, suffice it to say, Episode 3 does feature a bit of a bottle episode where the story follows two survivors of the apocalypse who come together in unexpected ways to develop love. It’s an episode that most are saying is easily going to be one of the best episodes of TV all year. But to Schrader, it’s “super shmaltzy gay bro euthanasia melo.” 
To each their own, of course, and Schrader has earned the right to his own opinion. But you can’t help but think that maybe the filmmaker has delivered a hot take a bit too spicy for his own good, and he’s missing the boat on what might be one of the better stories told on TV and in film this year. 

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