Friday, November 5, 2010

The Hunger Games

Post apocalyptic America is a place called ‘Panem.’ The central government in the Capital restructured the land into 13 districts, each responsible for a specific industry based on where they are and what natural resources they possess. They cannot travel outside their districts and most are poor and starving. The only wealth is in the Capital. So the districts revolted, a rebellion which the capital swiftly crushed, wiping out District 13 entirely.

Now to commemorate that, and remind the people of Panem of their might, the Capital puts on The Hunger Games once a year, in which a boy and girl from each of the 12 remaining districts are chosen in a lottery system to be put into an arena and they fight to the death over days. The last adolescent left standing is the winner. It is televised and mandatory for all to watch so that they remember the power of the Capital.

This is the backstory of Suzanne Collins’ brilliant trilogy, “The Hunger Games,” which I consider to be the best young adult series since “Harry Potter.” And that’s saying a lot. Now why am I writing about this in my TinselTalk column? There are whispers going through the entertainment industries about these books. I want to give you the opportunity to read them (or devour them as I am) and love them without understanding their appeal before Hollywood gets a hold of them, you see them plastered everywhere in pop culture and they lose their appeal to you. Like “Twilight.”

I have a love hate relationship with pop culture. I love it because I find a lot of things I enjoy reading/watching because they become popular and that’s how I hear about them, like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Harry Potter.” But there are also some things, like “Twilight” or “The Hunger Games,” that I began to enjoy on the cusp of them becoming full blown pop culture phenomenons. In the case of “Twilight,” I’ve been turned off by what the fans have become which has caused the entire series to lose its appeal and made me question why I liked it in the first place.

Give “The Hunger Games” a go, before Hollywood gets their hands on it. And look to it to be coming to a movie theater near you in the next few years. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was the next “Harry Potter,” like “Twilight” was supposed to be.

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