Google Search

Monday, April 2, 2012

'Hunger Games' feeds Andy Cohen's reality passion

What's not to love about The Hunger Games?

Andy Cohen read 'The Hunger Games' during a flight from L.A. to New York and fell in love with the book. Bravo Media

Andy Cohen read 'The Hunger Games' during a flight from L.A. to New York and fell in love with the book.

Bravo Media

Andy Cohen read 'The Hunger Games' during a flight from L.A. to New York and fell in love with the book.

A friend in L.A. gave me the book at dinner one night and told me to read it. He wouldn't say what it was about, "Just READ IT. I promise you'll love it." The next day I flew home and read it cover to cover from LAX to JFK, and finished in the car to my apartment. I was instantly obsessed, quickly doodling "Down with the Capitol!" at work, and had the other two books in the trilogy by the next morning.

The series has something for everyone, from a fully realized vision of the future, a commentary on war and government, a fantastic love triangle, and an incredible take on reality TV. But I think the idea of The Hunger Games as reality show is what really sucked me in.

Suzanne Collins has produced in her books a combination of the Olympics and all three of CBS' biggest hit reality franchises: The Amazing Race, Survivor and Big Brother, with death and murder thrown in as the ultimate in horrific reality-show twists. There's no way a show like that wouldn't capture the attention of entire countries.

Her show-within-a-book is so well thought out, and it contains an incredible underlying truth about propaganda and how reality shows are produced, edited and spoon-fed to consumers hungry for more. (And I might have secretly fantasized once or twice about what a Real Housewives of The Hunger Games show would look like, and which housewife would come out the victor.)

Oh, and doesn't Suzanne Collins have a fantastic eye for fashion? Where does she come up with the clothes?

Catching Fire proved to me just as great as the first book, and I really got into the love triangle. Alas, as sweet as Peeta is, I think I'm more on Team Gale. In truth, I found myself thinking a lot about Finnick as I went on, and by the time he went nuts in Mockingjay, I was feeling like he was my boo.

Ahhh, Mockingjay. I was so excited to read it and wanted it to last forever, so I forced myself to put it down every 50 pages. I sadly was a bit disappointed by the final installment, though I was OK with how we left Katniss at the end.

I can't wait for the films so I can go back to District 12 again and see how the reality show works on the big screen. And I want a Katniss doll, please. And a Finnick doll.

See you at the movies. And May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor!

Contributing: Andy Cohen is executive producer of The Real Housewives and Top Chef franchises and host of Watch What Happens: Live on Bravo. His memoir, Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture, will be published in May.

For more information about reprints & permissions, visit our FAQ's. To report corrections and clarifications, contact Standards Editor Brent Jones. For publication consideration in the newspaper, send comments to Include name, phone number, city and state for verification. To view our corrections, go to

View the original article here