Friday, September 2, 2011

The Twilightitis Part 1

    The suffix "itis" is used in the medical world to describe "inflammation of", such as bronchitis, AKA inflammation of the brachial tubes in your chest.  Well, it also seems a fitting suffix for a term I have developed for the YA world I’ve deemed the Twilight Syndrome or Twilightis.  Every YA book to be released and considered for film adaptation has been compared to The Twilight Saga even when there are no comparisons, which is not fair to Twilight or the other novels.  However, most YA novels that are put to film are guilty of, and/or have tried to catch the Twilight crowd germ, so to speak, and become inflamed with symptoms, such as box office success; money, star power, tween magazine covers as well as top magazine covers (think Vanity Fair),  and of course the mindless, yet desirable love triangle that powers "Team so and so" merchandizing.

   Let me be perfectly clear in saying that I too devoured the Twilight novels, in fact still love them, but I am not a fan of the film versions (bad acting, cheesy screenplay, didn't do the novels justice).  However, the only reason I read The Hunger Games was because Stephanie Meyer, the author of The Twilight Saga, recommended it. Also, the success the film franchise has attained is undeniable thanks to the many infected with Twlightis, whom I like to call Carriers.  Now, being a Carrier isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all, that is until you cough or sneeze, and spread the germs to my favorite series. Let's keep Twilightis with its host, the Twilight film franchise, where I believe it belongs and has provided great continued success to the films.  But, when it targets The Hunger Games, the Tributes (the name Hunger Games fans have my a large majority voted to be called in an online poll), go into attack mode. Tributes, calm down! I'm going to break it down for you as I see it, so sit back and relax for a minute, or five.

   The reason I feel compelled to address the growing epidemic of Twilightis, is because the film adaptations of The Hunger Games Trilogy, is showing unmistakable symptoms of the this same illness, and fans are worried that if it’s not treated, it may worsen and then our beloved novels will suffer irreversible damage.  The immediate and ignorant (if I may say so), comparisons to Twilight is terrifying to me; and I have to admit that I feared I’d caught Twilightis myself for a while. However, with self examination I was forced to recognize that there are in fact similarities, as much as there are differences between the two, but neither are better or worse than the other. It has to be said that the core of the stories I believe are very different though, which therefore leaves The Hunger Games to be an unfit carrier for Twilightis.  In other words, what worked for Twilight just won't for The Hunger Games.  So, I'll give you both sides, the angry fan side, and the proof that we can relax and hope that it can be made right, like Katniss does:-)
   So I'll start with the symptoms, and then follow with what I think is Lionsgate’s treatment. Yes, Super fans, I think Lionsgate, Gary Ross, and Suzanne Collins are on our side. But I'll get to that later.


1. A Love Triangle-

   Team Edward and Team Jacob started it all (I’m team Edward all the way! Whoop whoop!). So the fact that Suzanne Collins provided two suitors to our heroine throughout the book, apparently causes immediate exposure to the Twilightis germ. Now keep in mind I said heroine, I don't recall having a heroine in Twilight, a hero yes, but Bella was the rescued not the rescuer. That’s not a bad thiEng, but it proves an immediate difference in the series, and to me, Peeta and Gale were not potential lovers to Katniss as Jacob and Edward were to Bella. They were in fact, as I understood anyways, examples of how Katniss was being pulled back and forth between her need and want to just be home and run into the woods with her family (and Gale). Or, holding onto the hope that it can be good again, sacrificing it all to defend her home by being the Mockingjay and proving that no one was ever "just a piece in their games" (Peeta). Okay, I'm done.

2. "Hunger Games Hotties"-

   We have all see the EW cover stories of Katniss and the "Hunger Games hotties" featuring muscly Peeta and Gale. Really? Yes this upset me a bit! While I love the muscles, they couldn’t have said "The fearless men of The Hunger Games" and kept the muscular pictures? Jus’ sayin’.  Less demeaning words and mindless insinuations affects the gravity of the film/novel subject matter, instead of dumbing it down.  Not to mention the new Seventeen Magazine spread with a poll asking who’s hotter, I mean let me just ask, is that an important question when referring to children who are being forced to murder each other on live television in a suppressed nation? Now to the much hyped teaser trailer premiering on Twilights usual Playground, The MTV Video Music Awards. That's not so bad, but still it suggests the type of audience they are reaching toward  i.e., tweens crying over how hot Rob Pattinson is  (although if I were still a tween, can't say I wouldn’t be doing that too), who have that chronic illness called Twlightis that I mentioned earlier. Lionsgate?!?! I feel like Super Fans are screaming at the top of their voices, "when will you step in and defend the quality of your film, Lionsgate, hello?!?!?"

3. The "Plain And Not So Petty Brunette, But Actually Really Pretty Brunette, With Boys Fawning Over Her" Lead Character-

   Okay, if I have to sit here and go into the HUGE ASTRONOMICAL differences between Bella and Katniss, I’ll die of old age writing this. I really loved Bella in the books ( not films), and Katniss means so much more to me as a literary character. But, one evades death against all odds and starts a rebellion to free a nation, and one spends four novels begging to die at the hand of sparkly vamps. No insult to Twilight fans! I am one! But, I just stated the facts my friends, you can’t dispute the facts, they sparkle! It's great to be a fan of both series though, because as a girl I find pieces of me in both characters! I'm clumsy like Bella, and awkward in crowds, and want a hot passionate man to sweep me off my clumsy feet! Yet, I also have so much passion for those I love and I believe standing up for those who can’t do it for them selves, and I suffer from feeling inadequate at times just like Katniss. See? Both different, but not in bad ways!! Now breathe Tributes!

4. Liam Hemsworth and Lenny Kravitz. And all the tween queens begging for a role in HG-

   ALERT ALERT! Pop culture is Invading! Casting those two was quite strange to see amongst all the indie Oscar nominees. Liam is best known for, well-- dating Miley Cyrus, and his role in that (no offence to anyone), to put it nicely, not a good film, The Last Song. Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, well the only explanation I have for that one is he is there to help expand THG audience, hopefully his acting chops don't fail.  Please pleasantly Surprise us Lenny!  And make Lionsgates attempt at making more money pay off!

Coming Soon: The Twilightitis Part 2: Treatments & Prognosis   

The Vivacity
twitter- @jeamiemarie

Rebekah Grippin


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