Before I watched it, I saw several absurd tweets hailing last Sunday’s gay romance-themed episode of The Last Of Us as the “best episode of television of all time,” and I foolishly had my expectations way too high. In reality, the episode was pretty good and very well-acted, but certainly not one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I also questioned why, after just two episodes of a brand new series with main characters whom we barely even know yet, the series was pivoting to a flashback episode featuring two brand new characters we’ve never seen before who are both already dead. But, it was still a solid and touching hour of entertainment (if not a little too saccharine at times for my taste), so it ultimately worked. A gay character (Bill) who had been closeted his entire life finally finding true love after complete societal collapse is a clever and worthy theme to explore, and I’m glad the show did it. Bigots and homophobes, of course, did not like this episode one bit, and they took to the internet (as bigots and homophobes are wont to do) to review-bomb the episode on IMDB. Via ScreenRant:
Despite the widespread acclaim for its love story between Frank (Murray Bartlett) and Bill (Nick Offerman), The Last of Us episode 3 is suffering from a review-bombing campaign. HBO’s The Last of Us is a true-to-form adaptation of the video game and follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with the latter being humanity’s last hope of finding immunity to a Cordyceps fungal disease. However, episode 3 represented a change in focus for the series, as it followed Frank and Bill instead of Joel and Ellie. It narrates two men who survived the early days of the worldwide infection and came to fall in love amidst the devastation.
Unfortunately, it has also earned the attention of review-bombers who went on IMDb to hammer the project by providing over 27,000 reviews rating the episode a 1 out of 10 at the time of this writing. The episode currently sits at an 8.0 rating – significantly less than the first two episodes, which hold a 9.2 and 9.3 rating, respectively.
Many of the comments on the episode speak out about the episode’s “agenda,” “pandering,” and “alternate motives,” and are largely driven by blatant homophobia.
While some of the reviewers discuss the episode slowing down the pace or shifting too far from the source material and Ellie and Joel’s journey, homophobia is the undercurrent in many of the reviews, leaving the actual critiques feeling hollow.
As everyone knows, if it had been a straight couple finding love in the apocalypse, there wouldn’t be an influx of negative reviews complaining about “alternative motives.” So, ironically, the only people with the agenda are the homophobes leaving the 1-star ratings.