When I read this headline the first time, I thought it was from The Onion. I seriously thought it was a joke, because, like, in what universe would anyone think this is a good idea?
Well, apparently, this one. Which, incidentally, is the same universe where you can buy CoverGirl “Capitol Beauty Studio” makeup, Capitol Couture clothing created by the Catching Fire wardrobe designer, and Subway “Fiery Footlong” sandwiches. Because nothing evokes the spirit of a world where impoverished, starving children are forced to kill each other on reality TV to provide food for their districts like putting a pound of meat between two twelve-inch slices of bread and eating it all in one sitting!
I thought the Subway thing was bad. (Seriously, can you imagine how the mere idea of a Subway footlong would go down in District 12? “That sandwich would feed my family for a week!” “Well, uh, sometimes I put half of it in the fridge and eat it for dinner?”) But theme parks?
The most obvious comparison here is the success of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. But the difference between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games is that while Harry Potter, like Hunger Games, is about a horrific war being fought by teenagers, you still get the feeling that magical Britain would be a fun place to live. Hogwarts is awesome, when it’s not being run by Death Eaters, and you can’t tell me you never wanted to visit Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade! Plus, the food is worth the trip alone – Chocolate Frogs and Butterbeer, anyone?
Panem, on the other hand, is miserable by definition. It’s a dystopia. There’s a reason no one has ever suggested a theme park based on 1984 or Animal Farm. Even when Katniss isn’t murdering her teenage peers on TV, it’s not like she’s having a grand old time on the Quidditch pitch. She’s shooting squirrels for food and watching her best friend get beat down by Peacekeepers. THERE IS LITERALLY NOTHING FUN ABOUT THESE BOOKS AT ALL. THEY ARE ENJOYABLE, BUT NOT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO LIVE INSIDE THEM.
I just… can’t.
We are the Capitol, you guys.
Liz / @lizbelsky