I almost can't with this story anymore, it's so damn trivial for such large portions of the game. Dramatic soap opera shit with weak ass writing and then boom they throw in an oscar worthy section with some of the best performances in gaming going from B teir day time soap opera to stellar levels of production. It's so mishmashed and the actual story on the journey feels like an after thought and a lost uncharted script that got scrapped for being terrible with thr names changed from Nathan and Elena to Ellie and Dina... wait that's a terible disservice to elenas character. Dina might be the worst in recent memory.
No matter how good thia game is or what beats the story hits or the conclusion this game will never rise above a 9 for me and likely not an eight unless it gets more inlvoved ASAP, at ten hours in (slow playing) only two of those hours were actual TLOU teir story telling.
The journey is campy and the pacing is so far off the mark I'd nearly drop to a seven when all ia said and done if things don't chnage. It's such a puty too cause the game is so fucking good and amazing to play it's next level stuff and the graphics on PRO, it's almost like a PS5 launch game from the PS5 event but without the shiney reflections. As long as you are back far enough so the film grain effect fadws away, I prefer my VR swivel chair for any gaming these days so I' usually four to five feet from my 49 inch TV and I had to scrap the office chair for this, at 7 feet it looks like Bullshots even in motion apart from the odd frame pacing issue and at 10 feet it looks like you're playing a film. It lacks the crisp punchiness of RDR and the detailed animations but makes up for it in other ways and the animations are a far cry over RDR in speed and fluidity. The HDR is good with colour and contrast but you rarely get to see an area that makes use of luminosity but when you do it's incredible, there is a part when you leave a school at the first human Gunfight and you walk out across this roof to see an overcast sky with some 80's looking block flats and with HDR that shit looks real. As for the resolution it's hard to tell with thr film grain when you look up close but it doean't have the blurryness of RDR2 or slight ailsing of death stranding but who knows what's under the film grain filter. Sound is incredible too, it has VR worthy 3d sound and everything is one point.
Perhaps you have to consider that life is made of mostly dull moments with sparks of big excitement. And the game cover that, day-to-day generic teen talk (since protagonist is a teenager) with sections of epic.
Even if that's what they were going for, that doesn't automatically make it good. Just because you're trying to make a point, or pursuing a certain theme, doesn't mean the result is necessarily a praiseworthy product.
This has actually been a rather disturbing trend among media members as well of late (not just in gaming either). Supposed journalists either being unable, or unwilling to distinguish between the themes and messages of the products they're reviewing, and the actual execution, structure, pacing, etc that said themes are packaged in. How the themes are delivered is apparently not as important as the fact that they're delivered at all, and how they align with the reviewer's own world views.
To use your example then, if a developer wants to make a point of highlighting the monotony of our own every day life by including a lot of monotony in their survival-action game....chances are, a lot of people are not going to find that particularly fun, engaging, or particularly worthwhile. Because most people don't play video games to be reminded of how many unremarkable, unexciting, or generally uninspired events/interactions real life is comprised of. In practice then, this is objectively bad design, and a failure to recognize it as such is a failure in proper overall criticism.
And to be clear, while I'm aware of the overall plot of TLOU2, and have seen various segments of it in video, I don't know how much of what you've described applies to the whole 20some hour game. I'm just using the scenario you described in a general fashion if one was to apply it over the course of an entire experience.