I’ve seen The Hunger Games twice now.
I came into it plot-ignorant, only knowing that everyone was calling it “the next Twilight” and if it was anything like that sick, overblown vampire-fest (I said it–come at me, tweens!) I’d have to bow out.
I was entranced by the end of it. The whole concept was so compelling. It was Lord of the Flies…but it wasn’t. They were killing kids on the screen in front of me–but there was hope. There had to be. There had to be a winner. And it had to be a volunteer.
What got me the most was the line “They just want a good show.”
As I come up on my third month working full-time in reality TV, I wonder.
Do we have our own versions of Hunger Games?
We can justify The Bachelor because everyone signs release forms and comes in willingly. And no one dies…at least physically.
We’re so much more civilized than empires that made slaves gladiators and groomed them to die for entertainment. Now we just get people to make out in hot tubs or eat scorpions or keep up with the Kardashians. Go us.
Some teen girls have even apparently gotten pregnant in hopes of being cast on “Teen Mom 2.”
(Which, by the way, hasn’t launched many careers in showbiz. So stop conceiving. Please.)
Where’s the line? Are these shows produced just so we can be reminded “But hey, at least I’m not a pregnant 15-year-old…or obese…or a Guido”? Maybe there’s some redeeming quality to watching Hulk Hogan’s daughter get wasted.
It’s good drama if someone cries, right?
Two thousand years ago, Pontius Pilate knew that the crowd just wanted a good show. So he washed his hands and handed Jesus off to the ravenous mob. Jesus was beaten, flogged and mocked. Publicly. Because that’s what it takes to satisfy us. We have to watch it happen.
But he didn’t react. He gave them nothing to work with. Not a show, just a sacrifice.
He volunteered. He died. And he won.