We’ve already discussed a handful of ways The Hunger Games and The Olympics aren’t all the different. But there’s one other comparison we’ve noticed that has blossomed into a very Hunger Games-like situation. America’s own Katniss and Peeta (Hunger Games, early Catching Fire), if you will!
Maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention four years ago, but this time around, ice dancing team Meryl Davis + Charlie White = America’s sweethearts LIKE WHOA. Besides the fact that they both look like Disney characters and seem to defy the laws of gravity on ice, there’s one really obvious thing about them: A bazillion total strangers ship them. HARD.
There’s a fine line when it comes to shipping real people. We tend to go against it, unless the people are definitely in a relationship already. Meryl and Charlie are not. And yet, it still feels a bit like the star-crossed lovers from District 12.
These two have known each other since childhood and obviously care about each other deeply. However, it’s probably very platonic, like siblings. But the media (mainly US Olympics broadcaster NBC) glorifies it. They never call it a love story, but audiences will only listen to two attractive people being interviewed about how amazing and special they think the other is before implications settle in.
Then there’s Charlie White’s actual relationship. Interviewers do ask about his model/ former ice skater girlfriend, but Charlie is quickly to brush them off and talk about how his relationship with Meryl is all that matters right now. He’s also said that it’s okay that people assume he and Meryl are dating, as they often try to portray people in love. We’re not sure that he’s trying to promote the idea that he and Meryl are together. He probably just wants to keep his private relationships private, but quotes like that sure do fan the shipper fire.
We know exactly where Meryl and Charlie stand (at the top of the podium! BOOM!), but it still doesn’t feel all that different than Katniss and Peeta being paraded around, trying to show their country’s citizens how good they are together and impress sponsors. Katniss feeling like she has to play down her life with Gale during the Victory Tour feel familiar? There’s no survival or political forces at sake, but the analyzing, attention, and shipping? Totally there!
Is it a little weird? For sure! We’re talking about real people and real media manipulation. But if this ain’t the real world spilling over into Suzanne Collins’ world, we don’t know what is!
Officially Filed Under “Comparisons We Can’t Stop Making” And Let Go,
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