Watch The New “Hunger Games: Mockingjay” Trailer And Just Ignore Me If You’re Super, Super Excited About It

Woooo! The latest “Hunger Games” trailer is out! We’re so close to the release date! Also, are any other fans of the series just not that excited at this point?

When I read the books, I was rapt for the first book, interested for the second, and then I remember feeling, during the third, like Suzanne Collins was writing for an adaptation to screen, with somehow simultaneously dazzling and tedious descriptions of The Capitol’s physical setting, confusing and vague action sequences, and needless worrying over the Gale-Katniss-Peeta love triangle. Mockingjay, the third book in the trilogy,was written and released before Lionsgate picked up the rights to produce The Hunger Games books as films, but the series was so successful by the time she wrote the third book that I’m sure it had to at least be in the back of her mind. The book read like it, anyway — like if it was going to end up on screen anyway, there was room to fudge some of it, because it could be figured out visually later.

Then there are plot points that I really found, oh, uncomfortable (and yes, spoilers, etc.): After two Katniss-Peeta books that were pretty clear about Gale and Katniss being platonic, if curious, it seemed melodramatic to reinsert Gale as a serious love interest. Can we have one female-led YA smash hit that doesn’t place such a high value on romantic relationships? Could we have one that models a male-female platonic relationship that just stays platonic without any resentment? I have to believe that would be writeable for a mass audience.

Then there’s Katniss at the end of the novel: “But one day I’ll have to explain about my nightmares. Why they came. Why they won’t ever really go away.” I understand that a decimated Panem post-revolution wouldn’t exactly have the pharmaceutical resources or healthcare networks that would have existed before whatever apocalypse led to the creation of Panem, but it is actually possible to treat PTSD successfully. I think the message that trauma is a lifelong process is extremely useful, but the epilogue presents a neurotic, anxious, slightly codependent Katniss who after years of treatment doesn’t seem all that recovered. It felt like the series created a straw man “strong female character” and then left the reader with a deflated version of her. It didn’t ring true to her resilience throughout the series. What if it ended on a Katniss who could look back at the worse stages of her recovery and reflect on them rather than being in them?

So, of course, I’ll be paying my $7 to see the film, but, eh, I’m kind of doing it out of duty. I’m sure I’m not alone on this.

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