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Distracted by geographical inaccuracies in ‘The Last of Us’? For Bostonians, it’s hard not to be.

A scene from HBO's "The Last of Us."HBO

It’s fair to say HBO’s new dystopian series “The Last of Us” has viewers hooked. The first few episodes introduced audiences to Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), both of “Game of Thrones” fame, and Sunday’s episode looped in comedian Nick Offerman and Emmy-winner Murray Bartlett, solidifying its fanbase. The apocalyptic drama has already been renewed for season two.

The series, based on the 2013 video game of the same name, more or less begins in Boston — one of the last bastions of humanity. A fungal infection has decimated the population, spreading from person to person and turning all who are infected into flesh-eating zombies. Joel and Ellie travel west to find a cure.


While the show has been well received, geographical inaccuracies peppered throughout the early episodes have left Bostonians puzzled. In episode three, for example, a mountainous landscape with rocky terrain and towering evergreens is described as “10 miles west of Boston.” People were irked.

“Getting belligerently angry when ‘The Last of Us’ tries to claim that a mountainous terrain that’s clearly northwestern is ‘10 miles west of Boston,’” one person wrote on Twitter.

“I went to college about 10 miles west of Boston, and I vividly remember all the wonderful times I had in the part of Middlesex County that looks exactly like a coniferous forest in the Canadian Rockies,” another joked, before threading in a photo of Ben Affleck smoking a cigarette amid some greenery, also labeled “10 miles west of Boston.”

The series was reportedly filmed in Alberta, Canada, but a source familiar with production told Boston.com that filmmakers did capture drone footage and VFX shots of Boston.

Still, the inaccuracies have proven hard to ignore.

“The most realistic thing about HBO’s Last of Us in Boston so far is that it will take you at least 45 minutes to get to the State House from the North End and for some reason you have to go through Charlestown,” one person tweeted.


“It must be sooo nice to watch The Last of Us and not be from/live in Massachusetts because I’ve spent the first three episodes hung up on the inaccuracies of the geography being depicted,” another wrote.

One person wondered which was more entertaining: “watching ‘The Last of Us’ or watching Boston watch ‘The Last of Us.’”

Longtime Boston-area location manager Mark Fitzgerald, who’s worked on countless classic Boston films including “Good Will Hunting,” “Mystic River,” and “The Departed,” hasn’t gotten around to watching the series yet, but it’s on his list. He said he’s already bothered by the geographical weirdness.

“I like everything to be authentic, it’s just how I am,” he said. “You gotta do Boston justice.”

Massachusetts-based location scout Tim Gorman said he definitely noticed the geographic inaccuracies but wasn’t too distracted.

“Having worked on 100+ film projects over the past 30 years, I know better than most how much effort we filmmakers put into striving for accuracy and authenticity,” Gorman said. “However, I also know that due to the realities of making a film on a tight schedule within whatever budget constraints we may have, corners sometimes need to be cut and complete authenticity sacrificed just to get the project in the can.”

That’s where an audience’s “suspension of disbelief” comes into play, Gorman said. “They can enjoy the viewing experience and the ‘smoke and mirrors’ effects without getting too bogged down by the fact that a show that’s set somewhere was obviously filmed somewhere else.”


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.