By Kat Li, Quora biz dev.
Here are the shows that remind me of in very particular ways:
- Jersey Shore. The first book was published in 2008 and the show didn't start til 2009 so I'm not arguing for any actual link between the two. However, the complete disdain and sense of superiority that most viewers feel when watching the show is reminiscent of the Capitol's attitude towards the tributes in the Hunger Games. This show also dehumanizes its participants -- although we feel occasional sympathy for them, we mostly sit aloof and somehow feel that they "had it coming".
- Survivor. This is probably the most obvious of reality tv show connections to The Hunger Games. Contestants are forced to "survive" in the wilderness and vote each other off the island. Sounds strikingly similar to a reality show in which participants survive in wilderness and "vote each other off the island" by offing them. Moreover, Survivor usually has 16 participants, but occasionally has 18 or 20 -- the Hunger Games usually has 24 tributes but occasionally has 48 (quarter quells). According to Wikipedia: "Depending on the season, tribes are given a minimal number of tools with which to survive. In some seasons, tribes have started with food supplies (typically rice) provided by the show, while in other seasons tribes have been given no additional help at the start of the game." . In The Hunger Games, we've heard of similar cases. Tribes form in Survivor; allies make packs in The Hunger Games. Survivor participants struggle with challenges; Hunger Games participants face anything the Gamemakers throw at them. In Survivor, participants are given a food reward (sometimes a hearty breakfast) before the second-to-last challenge; in the Hunger Games, they are invited to a Feast. And of course, both games have prizes for their winners. And each is only supposed to have one winner.
- Japanese game shows (i.e., human tetris, Sasuke, etc). Although these games feature willing participants in light-hearted activities, there's still some ring of familiarity. Japanese game shows and the Hunger Games share the aspect of having sadistic Gamemakers who enjoy making impossibly hard challenges and toying with their participants feelings.
- Toddlers & Tiaras. Although this show isn't a game at all (more of a "documentary"), the similarity it shares with the Hunger Games is its use of innocents in some bigger game that they don't really understand. Katniss, although 17, fails to understand that her actions are being taken and construed by others to have larger implications (i.e., holding out the berries to Peeta). The parallels between some of the participants in Toddlers & Tiaras are uncanny. For example, take the Careers who believe they want to be doing this, who volunteer at the reapings without fully understanding what they are getting themselves into.
More questions on The Hunger Games: