Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What I Watch: On the Subject of Spoilers

This goes out to both smart and silly people alike -- you truly need to get over the whole SPOILERS thing when it comes to a television show that's ALREADY AIRED. The whole concept of SPOILERS were meant to be when people find out stuff BEFOREHAND, as in BEFORE the show has been broadcast on TV. 

Once the program has aired -- if you chose to "DVR" it to watch the next day or whenever, then THE RESPONSIBILITY FALLS ON YOU to avoid news sources and especially social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  

When the majority of viewers watch something the night it's on TV, especially a program that was highly anticipated (such as the most recent GAME OF THRONES episode, which had been talked about online for weeks ahead of time -- and amazingly SPOILER-FREE at that), expecting those folks to all adhere to an unwritten and unspoken pact to be silent because a few others were busy that night -- well, no offense, but that's really tough turkey titties for you.  

Take it from someone who's been spoiled on things far more times than he cares to recall: by and large, it's almost always your own damn fault.

Times have changed, and if old fucks like me who were able to watch TV cliffhangers unfold or be resolved before Al Gore ever invented the Internet (spoiler time -- he didn't) -- if I'M able to acclimate to the way technology has changed things, then there's really no excuse whatsoever for people that are 2/3rds or even closer to only half my age to complain. This is the world you've been brought up in. You don't even have to "get with the times" -- you're part of them.

Note: this doesn't apply to movies, as there should be a longer "grace period" than the opening weekend. Now just how long that should be, I'm not sure. I didn't see that mentioned in the invisible pact either.


All that said, it IS a kind of a dick move to post something that's clearly a SPOILER in your Facebook Status Update.  Save it for the comments that follow.  One should avoid plot detail in the "Headline", but then say whatever heck you please in the "story".  I don't mean to undercut my own blog, but taking the devil's advocate point of view -- doing otherwise (from what I just described) seems a bit deliberately willful and petty.

So your update can simply read: "I can't get over what happened on Sport of Kings tonight".

And your subsequent posts under it can then say: "It was bad enough Lord Dinglebottom was banging that horse, but I never expected him to get a hoof straight to the gunnysack and end the episode as Lady Dickbegone." 


  1. Well said. For those that venture into the online social arenas where TV is spoken of before watching said shows should beware the waters and enter at their own risk. I've learnt to make rudimentary scans of text when skimming over posts of shows I haven't seen yet. I'm yet to watch
    The Wire or The Shield, and so far no nothing of either.

  2. Except that you guys get stuff way before us.
    If you don't torrent TV or movies, we sometimes have to wait six months.

    There is nothing wrong with courtesy and clearly marking spoilers, especially on Facebook where it's not reasonable to think that someone should avoid the whole site, just because some arse wants to write "OMG..Shane died".

    Also, not everyone gets to watch stuff on day of release, some people work or have lives outside of television and movies.

    I never post spoilers on FB, only vague hints so that anyone reading the initial post can hide it BEFORE they get to the follow-up conversation.

    Like I said courtesy.

  3. Australia and Great Britain weigh in -- an international flavor this lovely morn. Thanks for the responses, guys!

    I would agree with the actual Status Update on Facebook should be "spoiler-free" -- but not any posts in whatever conversation that update generates.

    However, I would say it's not entirely reasonable for someone in one country to be aware of when programs air elsewhere, especially when many do air at the same time. I suppose it's the same way we here in the US have to avoid spoilers about Sherlock, Luther or Downton Abbey. It becomes harder to manage such expectations when one has 300, 500, 800 friends, and only a small handful actually live overseas.

    And of course, I also know people have lives outside of TV and movies, and find the implication of that comment mildly troubling, but I have to assume it wasn't intended as a "dig". Anyways, those people who wait until Monday to watch that Sunday night show should avoid places (like Facebook) where there is a high likelihood of getting spoiled. It 's like if I chose to tape a sports event to watch later that evening or the following morning, I'd avoid bars or next day newspapers -- as well as news channels, sites and social media -- to avoid finding out the score.

    We actually kinda sorta agree on this, and I'll leave it at that. No desire or wish to have an argument on my blog page.

  4. Yes, I agree with this topic and the reasoning and explanations of Scot and Peter and J. I used to host a LOST podcast that started months after the last episode and we always said (at the beginning of the podcast): "This is NOT a spoiler free podcast for LOST. If you haven't watched all six seasons of LOST, stop, go enjoy the episodes and then come back and join us." Similar things would happen during the podcast itself, especially when we were comparing LOST to other shows and movies. But it IS difficult to avoid ALL spoilers, unless you go completely off grid, which I often do during the Doctor Who season, since I can't watch the episodes on iTunes until the day AFTER everyone else has seen it. It's a slippery slope, for sure, but one CAN avoid spoilers even years after a show was on (like my current new to me show--Arrested Development). It's also difficult to not "accidentally" spoil something for someone when you've read the books (like with Hunger Games) and everyone else hasn't. Let's all sing Kumbaya! j/k

  5. I think there should be a little bit of a courtesy of a grace period. Not everyone can be home on time to watch a show on the same night that it airs or some people may have children that they have to tend to, so they can't watch something until later. It think it's just polite to not spoil something outright for a few days, but if a week has gone by, all bets are off.