HBO’s hit drama series – adapted from the popular video game of the same name – follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they make the brutal trek across a post-apocalyptic America.
In episode three of its first season, titled “Long, Long Time”, the focus shifts to a tender love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Barlett). Viewers later find out their greater connection to Joel and the overall plot.
The episode has been hailed by fans for its heartwarming depiction of same-sex love, which The Independent’s Louis Chilton found to be particularly groundbreaking for the genre.
However, conservative pundit Shapiro took issue with the plotline, complaining on Facebook that “the entire episode has no zombies” and “no real threat”.
“It is about two gay dudes who meet and have a relationship in which one grows strawberries for the other, and then they die by not being killed by zombies,” Shapiro summarised.
“One gets cancer and decides to essentially euthanise himself. And gay Ron Swanson decides that he is also going to commit suicide at the same time because of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Romeo and Romeo’ in this particular case.
“It’s all really well produced and it’s beautifully shot,” he added. “However, here’s the problem with Brokeback Zombie Farm: It’s a zombie show. There are no zombies in this entire episode. There are no zombies in a zombie show. This is worth pointing out. It literally has nothing to do with the plot of the show.”
Numerous viewers have mocked Shapiro for his take, clarifying that The Last of Us is not a zombie show.
“If you think The Last of Us is about zombies then you’re as brain-dead as one. It’s always been a story about love under circumstances that push people to the brink, about the extremes of light and dark humanity is capable of,” someone tweeted.
“Ben Shapiro needs to stop reviewing stuff cause he understands f***ing nothing about them. The Last of Us ISN’T A ZOMBIE SHOW,” a second explained. “It’s about human relationships during an apocalyptic event with infected humans. They’re not zombies. And it’s humans being monsters.”
“Ben Shapiro commenting on The Last of Us is completely wild and hilarious – because it’s obvious based on his review that he doesn’t know what TLOU is even truly about,” a third commented, with another adding: “Ben Shapiro’s media literacy is so low he doesn’t realise The Last of Us isn’t about zombies.”
The Independent has contacted Shapiro’s representatives for comment.
The Last of Us airs new episodes on Sundays in the US on HBO Max and the following Monday morning in the UK on Sky and NOW.