When it comes to movies, comics, short stories and books, I’ve never seen him question or be confused by anything. For example, he can recite lines from Beowulf (who admits that?!) and he can name and tell the difference of each dwarf in The Hobbit (how do you know which dwarf is which when they have names like Bifour, Kili and Oin?). Whatever happened to simpler times when dwarves were named after emotions or actions, i.e. Happy, Grumpy, Sneezy, etc.?
I digress … to my point (finally, I know)…
The Hunger Games is a young-adult — I repeat: YOUNG-ADULT — book series by Suzanne Collins. Young adult by definition means it’s written and marketed to adolescents and, well, young adults. Basically it’s geared towards peeps ages 10 to 40 to understand. My husband is 38: He falls into the group that should understand this.
The movies that have followed, The Hunger Games and the recently released The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, follow the books pretty closely and are rated PG-13. So again, EASY SHIT TO FOLLOW. I mean, his 6th grade niece could understand what the shit is happening on screen.
In case you haven’t read the books or seen the movies, because you have a hate boner for things that are popular and actually good, here is little summary of what these books and movies are about. The Hunger Games trilogy takes place in the future, in the nation of Panem aka old North America. The country consists of the wealthy Capitol, and twelve (formerly thirteen) poorer districts ruled by the Capitol. The trilogy’s main character, Katniss Everdeen, lives in District 12. As punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol wherein twelve of the districts were defeated and the thirteenth purportedly destroyed, one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, are selected by lottery to participate in the “Hunger Games” on an annual basis. The Games are a televised event, with the participants — called “tributes” — being forced to fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena. The winning tribute and his/her home district are then rewarded with food and supplies. The purpose of the Hunger Games is to provide entertainment for the Capitol and to serve as a reminder to the Districts of the Capitol’s power and lack of remorse. And scene. Thanks Wikipedia.
To prepare for seeing Catching Fire, we re-watched The Hunger Games. Or should I say, my husband requested this after drinking too much on our anniversary and deciding he needed a refresher. That’s when all his best ideas form: after a night of drinking, obviously.
We weren’t even ten minutes in, and he started in on the questions.
“Are they on Earth?” (OH.MY.GOD.)
“So Katniss loves Gale?“ Which, was immediately followed by, “So Katniss loves Peeta?”
It’s understandable to have a few questions, especially when it comes to Katniss, Peeta and Gale (though really, this story is way more than this “love triangle”). The book has a lot of dialogue in Katniss’s head, so the conflict of whether she really likes Peeta versus how much is fake for the games comes into play a lot. Also, (SPOILER ALERT) Peeta doesn’t get that sweet bionic leg like he does in the book. Whatever. Robot body parts are always cool. Dock 10 points off the first movie for that.
I could see he was starting to fall asleep, so I kept spouting out facts and kicking him under the covers, because I love, and to keep him awake so I wouldn’t have to explain this to him again.
At one point, when they first enter the arena, my husband, WHO WAS ASLEEP, awoke suddenly and said, “So they’re fighting for recipes?”
“What?! No, they are fighting for their lives. Wake up!”
Two days later we finally finished the first movie. Just in time for a Saturday evening viewing of Catching Fire.
During the second movie, my husband, who I should point out was O’Leaverd (aka went to O’Leavers to watch the Husker game and was so emotional about it he did many o’ shots. Thus, being O’Leaverd), would not shut up. He asked me the same dumb-ass Gale/Peeta questions that I had already explained twice this past week to him.
Then he turned to me and whispered, “I like Gale. He’s manly.” No words. I have no words. His mind might explode when he finds out Gale is Thor’s brother.
Next came this gem, “Peeta Bread” — oh man how original, I bet nobody has heard that joke before — “is a baby. Why does she like him?”
I finally turned to him and told him to @#$%ing shut up. The 8- and 10-year-old in front of us were even throwing shade his way. Luckily for him, Dave, our friend and sometime-fill-in-co-host of the Two-Headed Nerd Comicast, felt pity and answered the rest of his questions during the movie for him.
After the movie, my husband was still asking all of us to explain what he just saw. MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS UP IN THIS SHIT. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. I mean it’s not like we just watched Inception or Twelve Monkeys, it was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for @#$%’s sake. Five of us were telling him how Peeta is not weak (ahem, this article supports why Peeta is a fave character and actually a rad character, thank you very much) and knows how to play the game by being smart and likable, and that Gale is an angry dude who really only cares about fighting. Then we had to explain a million times that no, Katniss did not know about the plan to rebel. They kill Cinna because he made her that Mockingjay dress and alas, supported her as the symbol of the revolution to come. All of this I could clearly see was going over his head.
My husband can watch hours of Doctor Who and accept that in New New York, Cat-humans and humans can marry and have kittens as babies … DA FUQ!?, but whether or not Katniss knew about Haymitch (or Ham sandwich as my husband calls him, because remembering a name like Haymitch is far too complicated — unlike names such as Arisia Rrab and Boromir, which just roll off the tongue) and the other’s plan to rebel keeps him up at night in disbelief.
Once we got home, he still had lingering questions, and I just gave up and yelled at him to read the damn books. He’s such a smart man, but dear god, what a dumbass when it comes to this movie franchise.
Kacie Baum is a professional partier, mother of two pugs, and the wife of Matt Baum. She tolerates the constant presence of the Two-Headed Nerd in her home each week. She did not write this bio. Pre-THN entries of Girl Meets Nerd can be found here.