Spoilers. There is no word in the television lexicon that is said with more disdain. People HATE spoilers.
I get it, I do. With my increasing inability to stay up past 10:30 (I’m totally lying, that should be 9:30) I often save 10pm shows for the next day after work. This is fairly easy. I know I’m taking my spoiler-free life into my own hands, and I know I’m going to have to do a little twitter screening. And I also know I may have to put my fingers in my ears and start humming at work for a few minutes while everyone talks about it. I’m ok with that, I’d rather be well rested.
But how long can a person do that? With DVR (and Netflix, etc.) people are saving entire seasons of shows to marathon at their convenience. It’s great, I do it too. But I also have reasonable expectations about my ability to make it months on end without finding out what happens. Other people, not so much. Don’t get pissed at me if I casually mention something that happened months ago on a show that everyone watches. I can’t possibly know that you’re refusing to watch the last season of Breaking Bad until roughly 2017.
I’m sure most of you have seen the spoiler scene from Portlandia. It hilariously depicts a dinner party where no TV conversation is safe. We’ve all been there. With so many quality TV options now, we’re all always in different places on different shows, and sometimes it leaves us with absolutely no safe topics. These conversations usually include at least one instance of “this isn’t really a spoiler, but…” which for the record is ALWAYS a spoiler. This is why when forced to make TV small talk I stick to Spartacus. No one else watched it. No one ever will apparently, despite my best efforts. So I can bore you for hours talking about a show you don’t care about at all. Maybe everyone should be required to have a spoiler-proof show ready? (Side note on Spartacus, it still cracks me up how pissed some fans were at the way the show ended. Apparently avoiding spoilers was so important to them that they refused to learn actual history. That’s dedication!)
I will try my hardest to never spoil anything here, because as I’ve said, I’m sensitive to your plight. I think we just need to try a little harder to make sure we’re reasonable in our expectations. We don’t live in caves. Twitter tells us everything immediately. So if you make the ridiculous choice to wait six months to catch up on something like American Idol, you’re probably going to find out who won.
All that aside, there is one kind of spoiler still that drives me absolutely bonkers. Since we live in a world now where SO MUCH information is at our fingertips all the time, we are bound to end up with information we don’t want on occasion. A show I really enjoy was recently renewed for a second season before the end of the first. This was fantastic news because it was no guarantee and I’m looking forward to more. But in the same announcement they announced the promotion of several recurring characters to series regulars, taking away any uncertainty about the future of those characters and relationships. With a couple of episodes left to air, I was a little disappointed to know what direction those storylines were headed in.
In this particular case it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it’s happening more and more. We hear an actor’s contract wasn’t renewed so we can be pretty sure his character will bite the dust in the season finale. We see that an actress has signed on for another major series so we know her character isn’t going to survive that car accident in the previews. I know it’s silly, and I know it’s just TV, but I like to dive into that world where I can pretend it’s real for an hour. Knowing that an actor has already signed on for another season sort of takes away the suspense of a cliffhanger.
I think what I’ve learned from this spoiler-crazy world we live in now is to truly appreciate it when I have no idea what is coming. True Detective ends this Sunday and I feel like ANYTHING could happen. That’s pretty freaking awesome!
What are your spoiler pet peeves? I know you have them!