I’ll be watching episodes 2 and 3 of HBO’s The Last of Us this evening, but before I do that I need to confess that I’m more than a little uncomfortable with the idea of watching the 50ish Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett go all slurpy-kissy and God knows what else.

Because I want my gay-lover dramas to focus on young, good-looking guys (Call Me By Your Name‘s Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, let’s say) and not older, bearded guys and certainly not the dreaded Offerman under any imaginable circumstance.

Excerpted from Lukas Shayo‘s “Last Of Us Episode 3 Review Bombed Despite Widespread Acclaim,” posted six hours ago on ScreenRant:

Episode 3, titled “Long, Long Time“, premiered on 1.29.23.

Shayo: “One of the many reasons that ‘Long, Long Time’ is earning love is that [it] avoided anti-gay tropes by depicting a gay love story without unnecessary tragedy or violence against the central characters.

“Instead, Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) are allowed to grow old together and go out respectfully even amid an apocalypse. Their love story spans practically the entire episode and is the emotional undercurrent of a major arc in the show, and it’s why reviewers are lashing out.

“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. The Last of Us episode 3 changed expectations by providing a new way of looking at the apocalypse, so there is some cause to anticipate the massive backlash, but not the extent of it.

“However, with over 50 percent of reviewers rating the episode a perfect ten at the time of writing, the episode is still maintaining a solid 8.0 overall.rating, despite the review-bombing efforts.”

HE reactionsThursday, 12:15 am: “So the producers of The Last of Us decided to abandon the basic zombie apocalypse narrative in order to tell a domestic love story (a sad one) between two middle-aged men with hairy chests and beards.

“It’s very well finessed all around (I half-chuckled at the gay strawberries scene until it led to smooching) but I’m afraid I’ve been permanently traumatized by the first sex scene in the queen bed.

“Watching a prelude to naked-ass Bartlett giving naked-ass Offerman a blowjob…God in heaven and Jesus H. Christ. I’m not endorsing the IMDB review bombing, but I understand it. I’ll be having nightmares about this.

Teenaged Ellie: ‘I don’t know who Linda Ronstadt is, but it’s better than nothing.’

“The melancholy aging and illness portion is quite affecting. Touching. ‘This is my last day…one more good day.’ Offerman weeping. ‘Do you love me?’ Tragic stuff. I felt it.

“‘I’m leaving the window open so the house won’t smell’? It would smell to high heaven regardless. Two old bodies = major stink bomb.