Friday, October 28, 2011

Hunger Games Pop Culture

Momentum for the Hunger Games is building!  Celebrities, mega news outlets, social media, online retailers and even prime time TV shows are tapping into the Hunger Games market.  From CNN to MSN to sellers on Etsy, Entertainment Weekly, Twitter and Facebook, Psych and a plethora of other sources are unknowingly joining forces to make the Hunger Games the latest phenomenon.  And with the cast of REAL characters--not glittering 100-year-old vampires who are falling for mopy teenage girls or underage witches and wizards--Hunger Games is sure to please.  (Don't get me wrong, I loved the Harry Potter series but who among us can murmur "accio" to summon something or  "wingardium leviosa" to levitate something?  And if you try to tell me that you can, I won't believe you.)  My point is, the characters in Hunger Games are real people-they don't have superhuman powers, they aren't mythical creatures and they go to battle without magical wands.  And finally, FINALLY, a more realistic female role model-not a sap who goes almost comatose when things don't go her way.  Have I mentioned I reeeeeeeeeally can't stand the character Bella Swan???

So, here are some web highlights of things I've come across:

News Sources:
  • Forbes touches on the strategy aspect of HG in an article titled: "What, If Anything, Does the Hunger Games Teach Us About Strategy?"  The article concludes that many of the strategies outlined in the Hunger Games are "morally ambiguous."  See what you think of the write up here.
  • An op ed on how Panem parallels American government here.
  • (Insert high-pitched squeal)  The Hunger Games character posters were released yesterday!  They will get a post all their own-coming soon!

  • A "twitition" (twitter petition) has been started to get Jackie Emerson (aka Foxface) on Glee.  The page is run by @HannahGamble143.  Apparently when Jackie was announced to play Foxface, someone unearthed a YouTube video of her audition for a singing competition.  She sings "Holding Out for a Hero."  Yes, that song from Hercules.  Personally, I think she seems a little lackluster in the performance and her voice a slightly nasally, but I'm no Simon, Paula, Ellen, Randy, Kara or JLo.  I do think she would be good on Glee, but I may be partial since I like that show and would love to bring a little Hunger Games flair to it.  However, even if the twitition garners the number of votes that would be needed to make an impact, it's doubtful she would appear any time soon.  Producers are currently working to incorporate winners and runner-ups from "The Glee Project."
  • Perhaps one of the reasons there is a twitition floating around out there is because Jackie is so great with the fans.  She's been one of the few cast in the Hunger Games movie to regularly interact with fans.  She tweets frequently to her 5000+ followers and over the weekend, she and Dayo conducted a live chat via Twitter to answer fan questions.

Celebrity News:
  • Kristin Bell:  You know from previous blogs that Kristin Bell is a huge HG fan, even saying she'd like to play Johanna in the next installment.  Fingers crossed for her!
  • Stanley Tucci:  When speaking with MTV News, he said "We had wigs made there.  I had some noses made, which we ended up not using and teeth and a whole bunch of different things...When I got to North Carolina [to shoot Hunger Games], we played around for about seven hours and we started shooting the next day.  I was only there for about a week, but it was fantastic."

  • Los Angeles Times: 'Hunger Games' Could be Game Changer for Lions Gate and Lionsgate Brings Big Names into Film Group as 'Hunger Games' Looms.  One thing is for certain, the LA Times is not sure if it's "Lions Gate" or "Lionsgate."
  • Entertainment Weekly:  EW has had not one, but TWO cover stories featuring the Hunger Games.  Granted, it's a weekly publication, but still.  I like most of their work (beautiful photography!) except for the "The Chosen One" headline on the Katniss story.  That seems so Matrix.  And the "Brave Heart" reference seems a little far reaching.  Can they really not come up with anything original?    A few images are below.  You be the judge.

  • Let me start by saying, I do not watch Psych.  No idea what it is about or why they are holding water guns in the photo below.  Incidentally, my good friend Amy does watch the show and even she doesn't know why they are holding water guns.  Amy sent me this link and we both love the caption under "Tommy Nix."  If you can't read it, it says, "Street racer Tommy Nix went to jail for the murder of fellow criminal Max Contreras, and it was there he discovered there was more to life than muscle cars.  He discovered The Hunger Games books, and has since been reading them over and over again, anxiously awaiting the release of the film adaptations."  Now like I said, no idea who Tommy or Max are, or why one is dead and the other in jail.  Sure I have a great imagination and could think up my own plot, but the real point of the story is the Hunger Games.  You know you've made it when you make a countdown calendar for a USA Network original series.

  •   When doing a Hunger Games search on Etsy, hundreds of items pop up.  Here are several of my favorites:
The parachute is much like the one the sponsors would use to send "gifts" to tributes.  And at the base is a pearl.  Much like the one Peeta found in an oyster and gave to Katniss.
What better way to celebrate aging than having a Hunger Games themed party?!  This is an invitation for a Hunger Games printable party set. 
Olive Green Hunger Games messenger bag.

  • As you might have guessed, Hunger Games has been even more popular this Halloween season than last.
  • For pointers on Hunger Games costumes, click here.
  • For recipes, decor ideas and ways to throw a great Hunger Games themed party, click here.

Filming of the first installment of the trilogy has wrapped and is set for release on March 23, 2012.  As my friend Amy says, "I hope they didn't ruin it."  Happy Halloween and "may the odds be ever in your favor."

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