Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday Talkback - Do you deliberately avoid spoilers?

I ran across this video on the web recently.

It got me thinking - there are some shows I absolutely avoid spoilers for whenever possible (30 Rock, Revenge, Awake, Once Upon A Time) and other shows I'm a total spoiler whore for (mostly shows too terrible for me to cop to watching.)  More than that, there are a couple upcoming releases where I'm making it a point to avoid reviews, interviews and possibly even trailers.

We've talked before about avoiding spoilers, but if there are any shows or movies you're strict about remaining unspoiled for.  How far do you go? Do you avoid Twitter if you've got a show on the DVR and you don't want to find out what happened?  Do you tell people they can't talk about week-old shows around you if you haven't caught up?

Or what about shows on premium cable? Let's say you don't get HBO, so you're waiting to see Homeland on DVD.  Do you avoid entertainment news sites to avoid learning about plot points? Skip actor appearances on talk shows?  Hush friends when they try to tell you how great the show is?

I've made it a point in the past to add extra spoiler warnings when talking about a show that just aired or a movie that was just released.  Once or twice I've even delayed putting up some articles just so I wouldn't ruin the surprises of a film that really benefited from them. Do you find that you've adopted your own unoffical spoiler policy akin to the rules laid out in that video?


  1. I think it's just courtesy to people in this modern age, really. More and more of us watch things several days after they've aired now, so a degree of decorum stops big surprises and twists from being ruined.

    I for one love good TV's ability to pull the rug out and shock me with something. It's that moment when you just gasp, jaw on the floor - OMFG did THAT just happen?!? - because it makes me love a show twice as much as when I started the episode for hitting me like that.

    Also, as a UK-based viewer of many current US shows, the delay in us getting hold of things (especially if stuck waiting for DVDs or terrestrial UK airings) means it's far easier for some dickhead to tweet about somebody getting killed off on a show several weeks ahead of where you're a with it.

    :: SPOILERS AHEAD (arf) ::

    Two examples I can always quote - when Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince came out, a friend at work was sat reading it one lunch, about halfway in, when a co-worker strolled past and announced 'oh, is that the new Harry Potter? Dumbledore dies at the end.' He then walked off chuckling, thankfully missing the horrified/murderous look he was getting...

    Or an infamous audience member on a live 'ask two comedians questions' panel show back in 1999, who stood up to ask a question and simply went 'Oh, hi, yeah. Bruce Willis is a ghost.'

    These people need to DIE IN FIRE as far as I'm concerned. Who's with me? Anyone? Up high!

  2. I actually love spoilers. I don't really like surprises--I'm one of those people who peeks at my presents before Christmas.

    Spoilers are my favorite.


  3. It is strange that spoiler etiquette has only the loosest conventions so far. Of course you have to avoid the media sites and reviews of the work, and you don't reveal the critical elements when talking in front of someone that hasn't seen it.

    It's podcasts that really suck. In text you can skip over the spoiler but how do you do that on a podcast? David Bean Cooley (TV Worth Watching, frequent NPR reviewer) is surprisingly cavalier with his spoilers without a lot of provisions to accommodate those who haven't seen the work. His opinion is that if it's aired the work is fair game but that seems like a naive assumption in this day of DVR and Tivo.

    Also, not to be that dick, but Homeland was Showtime, not HBO. I only mention it because I'm dying for the DVDs to come out so I can watch it so, yes, I am avoiding all media that addresses the show.

  4. Most definitely - the more I care, the more care I take. If it's a feature film I'm curious about (because it's a genre I particularly like or a director of whom I'm a fan) I'll skim the first paragraph of a the reviews just to get the gist - did this critic like it? - then I may go back and actually read the review after I've seen the movie.

  5. If I'm bothering to watch a show, I definitely don't want it spoiled. This is especially important to me since I mostly watch mostly serialized cable shows rather than the more episodic network shows. I don't even watch the "Next time on" previews at the end of a show. I know I'm going to tune in next time, and don't need to be sold.

    Same applies to movie trailers. I avoid anything past the first trailer, and sometimes even avoid that. Unless I'm unsure about seeing a movie, I don't need to see little parts of it. The experience of seeing most everything for the first time is much better. Even little bits of dialogue or a glimpse of an action scene are better if I've never seen them and don't know they're coming at all.

  6. I hate it when advertising contains spoilers. 'Fringe' does a good job of spoiling stuff in their previews. Remember 'Megamind?' That put the twist of the movie in the TV spots.

    The other thing I hate is when an actor like Max Von Sydow shows up in a small role within the first ten minutes. My reaction is "Oh, he's the bad guy."