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The Last Of Us Season 2’s Reduced Episode Count Could Actually Be A Good Thing


The Last Of Us Season 2’s Reduced Episode Count Could Actually Be A Good Thing


Summary

  • The Last of Us season 2’s reduced episode count could lead to a better narrative flow between seasons.
  • Show creators Mazin and Druckmann emphasize quality over quantity, ensuring a seamless transition to future installments.
  • A shorter runtime allows for more focus on realistic visuals and action sequences, making season 2 more exciting.



While it is hard not to feel concerned that The Last of Us season 2 is reducing its episode count, this change could benefit the HBO series in more ways than one. Based on Naughty Dog’s hit video game series of the same name, HBO’s The Last of Us season 1 was lauded by viewers and critics not only for its accurate adaptation of the game, but also for its ability to enhance its source material’s story beats with rich character development and more emotional depth. Like the original game, The Last of Us show’s first installment performed so well that season 2 was confirmed soon after its release.

Since The Last of Us season 2 will adapt story arcs from the original game’s second part, it is expected to raise the stakes for Ellie and Joel even higher than before, delving deeper into their complex dynamic and struggles in the unforgiving post-apocalyptic world. If executed well, The Last of Us season 2 has the potential to top its predecessor in both critical ratings and commercial returns. While the fact that it will have fewer episodes than initially expected is worrying, this creative decision could make the season even better.


Related

Complete The Last Of Us Season 1 Timeline (In Chronological Order)

HBO’s The Last of Us timeline for season 1 covers the beginning of the Cordyceps outbreak in 2003 up to 2024 after Ellie and Joel meet.


The Last Of Us Season 2’s Reduced Episode Count Isn’t As Disappointing As It Seems

The Show’s Creators Have A Logical Explanation For Its Reduced Runtime

The Last of Us‘ co-creators, executive producers, showrunners, and directors, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, revealed (via Deadline) that the show’s season 2 will have seven episodes, making it two episodes shorter than season 1. Since season 1’s length ensured that the show’s pacing perfectly aligned with the game, season 2’s reduced length could spell trouble for the HBO series. However, the two showrunners also revealed that one season 2 episode will be significantly big, which could help compensate for the reduced runtime.


Since season 2’s narrative breakpoint came after seven episodes, they did not risk extending its runtime.

Mazin and Druckmann also discussed how the game’s second part has way more story content than its predecessor. Owing to this, they had to figure out how they could tell its story across multiple seasons while ending each season at a natural breakpoint. Since season 2’s narrative breakpoint came after seven episodes, they did not risk extending its runtime. They also assured viewers that season 2 is not shorter than season 1 because they are trying to cram too many story beats into a smaller timeframe. It has fewer episodes because they envision the show to last for at least four seasons.


How The Last Of Us Could Benefit From A Shorter Second Season

Shorter Runtime Guarantees Better Story Flow Between Seasons

Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann’s plans suggest that, instead of conforming to the rules of traditional television, they are focusing more on maintaining the show’s quality across seasons. The fact that season 2’s episode count has only been reduced to ensure it does not end abruptly highlights how the showrunners are determined to create an ideal viewing experience for audiences. By ending the second season at a natural breakpoint, Mazin and Druckmann are also making sure that season 2 will seamlessly transition to the third installment without disrupting the series’ overarching narrative flow.


A reduced episode count allows the show’s creators to be a little less concerned about its CGI budget for the action sequences, encouraging them to focus more on creating more realistic visuals.

The Last of Us season 2 will also likely feature more action scenes involving many different variants of the infected. A reduced episode count allows the show’s creators to be a little less concerned about its CGI budget for the action sequences, encouraging them to focus more on creating more realistic visuals. All in all, since Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are clearly emphasizing quality rather than quantity with these creative decisions, The Last of Us season 2’s reduced episode count actually makes it more exciting.


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