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A Pox On Both Your Houses: A Conversation About Spoilers

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Think Pieces | June 27, 2013 | Comments ()


dumbledore-dies-page-596-570x300.jpg

I'm going to warn you right up front. This article is about a critical issue within the entertainment community, an ongoing war for supremacy that has no winners, only casualties. And this article does not seek to bring victory to one side but to lay both low like an atomic weapon aimed with spite and detonated with glee. It will likely anger you, unless you share with the author that particular schadenfreude of grinning delight when confronted with anger of everyone on both sides of an issue. Given the readership of this site, you sons and daughters of Loki are probably in higher proportion than the general population, but enough dancing around and into (unto?) the breach.

Spoilers.

Have you complained about them? Hands up now, don't be shy. You in the back, yes.

Now, keep the hands up while we ask the second question.

Have you complained about people complaining about spoilers? Excellent. Is that everyone, no stragglers?

Good. Now everyone with your hands up, please listen, and please take my words to heart.

Shut the fuck up.

Ooh, and ladies and gentlemen, we have lost the crowd.

The issue of spoilers has been around for a very long time, always that sacred little word whispered to ward off the fact that you hadn't watched a certain show the night before, or hadn't read a particular book. But it was deployed on a limited basis, a tactical conversation stopper if anything. But time has conspired to turn spoilers into an entire strategic wargame, with continent-cracking ICBMs deployed by a hundred rogue nations. I blame technology.

Remember the days before DVDs? You watched a television show or didn't. There was none of this, oh I'm waiting for the DVDs next summer. Let alone an entirely different set of people planning on watching a show streaming on Netflix at a certain time. Or the different set of people waiting for Amazon Prime to get it. And then bring book adaptations into it, and you've got people who have read the first two books of a six book series and are also watching the television show, but it's only released the DVDs for the first season so far. So please don't talk about anything on the television show after that point, but we can talk about book two, but you know, only if we're not going to talk about the differences between season 2 of the show and book 2.

And then there's the Internet. Before it, the list of people who might spoil you was extremely short. There were the people you lived with, your friends, and your co-workers. And how many of them did you talk about television or movies with anyway? Probably the same ones that you were sitting and watching those shows with, so you were inherently on the same page. But then we invent the greatest communications medium ever imagined, so that there is always someone to talk to about the show or book or movie of the moment. But so many people using that medium are quite rudely at entirely different page numbers than you. Sloppy synchronization, if you ask me.

When I was a kid, I was the one who opened Christmas presents as soon as I could find them. I was the goddamned Yuletide NSA. Whenever I got a new book, I'd flip to the end and read the last chapter first. Because it was the better wondering how they got to that point than just reading blindly. I read episode summaries of television shows I don't watch but intend to down the road. I know every plot point for the entire run of "Breaking Bad" thus far, even though I'm only on season 3 on Netflix. And it doesn't ruin one bit of my enjoyment of these stories. How pedantic can you be to think that knowing the ending ruins a story? Haven't you ever read a story for a second time? The beauty of stories is in the process, in the intricate detail and movement of the pieces, of feeling the emotional drama assemble itself. Oh sure, you're missing out on the surprise the first time around if you're spoiled, but I don't listen to stories in order to jump when the teller yells "boo!" unexpectedly. Knowing the ending actually makes a story more enjoyable, because it allows you to more fully see the pieces, to appreciate the movement that is happening as it happens.

Spoilers? You can only be spoiled if you allow surprises, the cheapest and lowliest of plot devices to dominate all other parts of your enjoyment of a story.

The bottom line is that unless you are going to cut off the Internet, you are going to be spoiled, because there are too many shows, too many people, and all of them are in your news feed. Get over it and quit erecting elaborate edifices of safe zones where you can talk to people who have only gotten precisely as far as you have in a particular work of art.

And on a more particular note: if a show or movie is based on a book, read the damned book. My entire life, the number one rule of entertainment has been that the book is better than the adaptation. Somehow this got lost in the age of HBO and really good television. It should be rediscovered. So quit bitching about book readers shitting on your parade. If it's that important to you, just lock yourself in a room over the weekend and read the book in question. Then they can't ruin it for you. Any problem that can be solved by reading a book is not a problem.

What else?

Oh yes, over on the other side of the room, the group who has gleefully complained about people complaining about spoilers, the ones with the smug self-satisfied looks on your faces. Yeah, you.

You're even worse. Shut up about what happens next when asked to do so. You are free to quietly roll your eyes at the other group, I certainly have done more than my fair share of that in the rest of this piece, but do not willfully and knowingly break something that someone else is playing with. It's basic courtesy that we learned in preschool.

It's one thing to say as I am "dude, you're enjoying it wrong, you'll be happier this way". It's quite another thing to say "you should enjoy it this way, so I won't let you enjoy it that way." Don't be a douche canoe. There should be a bumper sticker.

A pox on both your houses.


Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here and order his novel here.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Dragonchild

    "Spoilers? You can only be spoiled if you allow surprises, the cheapest
    and lowliest of plot devices to dominate all other parts of your
    enjoyment of a story."

    THIS. For me, the truth about Luke's father wasn't memorable because it was a surprise; it was memorable because it flipped all the black-and-white simplicity of the plot and flipped it on its head. As a 10-year-old boy it was one of my first epiphanies.

    "The Sixth Sense" is a good movie not because it has a twist ending, but because it's a well-told story.

    The spoiler comes part and parcel with a surprise. Any story that needs to surprise to entertain isn't a very good story.

  • basse buus

    I might have the memory of a goldfish, but if I read a spoiler somewhere, my mind can repress that totally. If the movie/tv-series is engaging I get so invested in the story that I forget. Btw the book "film art - an introduction" that I had to read in university has the worst spoilers, and absolutely no warning.

  • Amanda

    Simon Fucking Pegg Kept Posting Spoilers On Twitter About Downton AbbeY. I Finally Tweeted HIm And Asked Him To Stop ANd He Did.(Don't Know Why My Phone Is Capitalizing EverY Word, Sorry)

  • stryker1121

    Reading the ending first is madness. The joy is in the journey and what might be in the darkness around the corner.

    That said, Steven's article points to the absurd cuntiness of the Game of Thrones book vs. show groups. The former can be stupid about giving away deets about future events, but even the slightest, vaguest hint about the general tone of the series moving forward will get you flayed alive Bolton-style in some corners of the internet. It's ridiculous.

  • E Robb

    "You can only be spoiled if you allow surprises, the cheapest and lowliest of plot devices to dominate all other parts of your enjoyment of a story."

    This is categorically untrue and absurd.

  • Some Guy

    Especially when discussing Game of Thrones, which this site does with regularity. I've been doing my absolute damndest to avoid any and all spoilers as to who dies and when. I couldn't avoid the major one in the first season, which is the only season I've seen thus far, but man, the shit hit the fan a few weeks back and everyone who watches the show was going batshit about what was happening and I almost had to permanently superglue my fingers into my ears to avoid ruining the impending surprises.

  • Mark

    We have people who are more worried about spoilers than they are about misogyny and sexism.

    In other news, a group of friends were discussing racism in television and we began to talk about the final episode of Game of Thrones. One person at the table got all flustered and demanded that we not talk about the episode because she hadn't seen it yet. Utterly ridiculous.

    So I told her that Tyrion died.

  • You know what? No. You're wrong. For the first time ever (uh, maybe), I'm completely disagreeing with you. You're wrong and you're wrong, and you're wrong, and I don't want to know the goddamn ending.

  • "...unless you share with the author that particular schadenfreude of
    grinning delight when confronted with anger of everyone on both sides of
    an issue." It's like you're inside my head, man.

  • PaddyDog

    The only spoilers I care about are for sports. If I told you I have to make a stop on the way home so I will miss the first 15 minutes of the match but will watch it on from the start on DVR, then don't text me "OMG Italy just equalized against Brazil" while you know I am still in the car.

  • Patty O'Green

    How interesting that you find it fair to tell someone, “dude, you’re enjoying it wrong, you’ll be happier this way”, but you think it's douchey to tell someone, “you should enjoy it this way, so I won’t let you
    enjoy it that way.

    The author doth douche too much, methinks.

    If something told me I was enjoying something wrong, I'd probably say something clever and then punch them in the genitals.

  • Some Guy

    Imma borrow that "The [blank] doth douche too much, methinks" line. Literary gold there.

    Thanks.

  • Lauren_Lauren

    I need that octopus gif with the "Nope Nope Nope Nope".

  • MarTeaNi

    I don't personally mind spoilers, but I can't be having with people who complain about spoilers in the way that makes anything you ever say, "a spoiler." The extreme stance that any comment, ANY COMMENT, is a spoiler.

    I have friends (watching the show) who got angry when I revealed my favorite Game of Thrones (I read the books) character because now they "know who lives." 1 - my personal preference is not a spoiler and 2 - you have zero idea if my favorite character lives or not. So shut up.

  • Wrestling Fan

    I stopped having favorite characters, because they all ended up six feet under.

  • Cree83

    I witnessed an exchange where the spoiler-complainer got mad that somebody watching Mad Men said something like "I liked Betty's dress." Apparently the complainer was spoiled because now she knew that Betty appeared in that particular episode. Yes, that knowledge spoiled the viewing experience.

    My take is: character deaths are spoilers. Season finale type events are spoilers. Secrets being revealed, murderers being finally brought to justice, declarations and consummations of love after a long drawn out 'will-they-won't they' relationship, those kind of things are spoilers. Sometimes joke punchlines are spoilers. But vague comments about random minutia that goes on over the course of a season should not qualify. That's my problem with the most vocal and obnoxious complainers of spoilers.

  • MarTeaNi

    I try to leave off mentioning anything related to plot or character development that doesn't fall into vague categories (this character gets better utilized, this actor gets better/worse), but even then some people whine. There's an episode of Judge John Hodgeman where a guy complains his friend revealed Aaron Paul won an award for a season of Breaking Bad, and this counted as a spoiler that ruined a significant part of the show.

  • manting

    What is the Statute of Limitations on spoilers? GoT is a great example of this - the first book was published in 1996 - I think 17 years seems long enough. Do you? If I tell someone Jesus gets resurrected is that a spolier or proselytizing?

    I enjoyed the piece.

  • Soylent Green is secretly people. Also Rosebud? Totally a sled.

  • Yossarian

    Game of Thrones is a terrible example of this. You do realize there is an ongoing television series on HBO that millions of people are watching in which certain things that have not even been filmed yet, let alone broadcast, could be spoiled by people with book knowledge.

  • manting

    The past season and next season cover ASoS the third book in the series - it was released in 2000. That is 13 years ago. If you read my question it is an excellent example of my point. What is the statute of limitations on spoilers? So according to you a book being out 13 years is considered spoilerable and cannot be discussed. What is the cut off? 20 years? 30? What is safe to talk about?

  • stryker1121

    But many folks probably had never even heard of the book series until the show arrived. The statute of limitations does not apply. As annoying as non- readers can be, I understand them not wanting to catch up on 5K pages of material just to share in the spoilery conversation. Would love to see them make the effort, though, just b/c the books are so good..

  • In that case, I'd say if you are talking to someone about Game of Thrones, ask them first how far they've gotten and if they mind. You shouldn't need specific rules for every possible form of human interaction. Just don't be a jerk and keep other people in mind.

  • Wrestling Fan

    One thing i have always loved to do is give fake spoilers.
    Trick is to make them sound real. Find an actual moment in the movie or show, and proceed to discuss the nonexistent turn. From heel turns to deaths to love and everything in between. It needs to seem plausible.

    Example - I went to see Scream 2 on opening day. Coming out, there was already a big line of people waiting to see it. So naturally I turn to my buddy and talk about how shocking it was to kill Neve Campbell in the opening segment. Now, of course they didn't do it. But it seemed like something they could do, so people were understandably pissed at me for giving it away.
    It was hard to keep a straight face after trolling so many people in under a minute.

  • phofascinating

    Now, I don't care about people who like to be spoiled, people who accidentally spoil, or people who complain about spoilers. But it's people like you I just HATE. Sorry.

  • puppetDoug

    RETORT: If you spoil, you take away an unrepeatable experience. I can always read the book, watch the show, watch the movie, a second time to find out what doing things your way is like. I will never have the thrill of the unexpected again. Spoiling is an attention grab, a way to steal the moment away from the writer and see the look on the person's face when they hear something shocking, rather than the person experience and associate it with the work. Reading the end of something is an act of cowardice, fear of being surprised by something you enjoy, and, in the case of something like the Red Wedding, spoiling is actually unfair to those who've already experienced it to a higher degree than the unfairness to the spoiled. The horror of that scene is blunted for the spoiled person. They know it's coming, they've prepared, and get it at about 2/3 its impact, whereas people who didn't know it was coming? They're fucking traumatized. They've had an actual life experience. I wouldn't tell people what happened in that scene, and I expect this is the reason no one really wanted to spoil that scene, because it wouldn't be fair to me if the other person got to just coast through that experience with their foreknowledge. You want them to be one of the heroes in that scene, with your heart cut out, not one of the people who knew what they were going to do.

  • Bea Pants

    This! A good work of fiction won't be ruined by being spoiled but it does take away from the initial experience. Alien is a masterpiece of horror but how awesome would it have been to see the chestburster scene completely unspoiled? It's not better than watching it and appreciating the amazing creepifying atmosphere that Ridley Scott created, but it's unique and irreplaceable once you spoil me.

  • seannyd

    Yeah, not exactly a fair argument. I don't care about the existence of spoilers. Just give me the opportunity to avoid them. I don't read articles about shows I haven't seen yet. And I try to avoid comment sections until I get to those things. But sometimes it's unavoidable. Example: The Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones. When I read the next morning a bunch of interviews with an actor, I knew this person was dead. So the entire episode, I'm wondering when it's going to happen, completely destroying the natural progression of the show. Of course, this kind of says more about my consumption of media than an actual spoiler since I'm able to pick up these patterns.

    And I love watching things that are great twice. The first time it's a puzzle and you get to see the entire puzzle being put together, unaware of what's going to happen next. The second time you can know how it's put together. It's two completely different ways of enjoying the same thing. And it's all about context.

  • lowercase_ryan

    "unless you share with the author that particular schadenfreude of grinning delight when confronted with anger of everyone on both sides of an issue."

    So Craig?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Oh! Oh! Excuse me - oh - I just need to - Wait - get to the front - Oh! Me! Pick me! Can it be me? Please, pick me! Me? YESSSS! Shall I come up there?

    [getting into character]

    Person "Hating" to be That Guy: I believe the quote you are looking for is "A plague o' both your houses!"

    [exeunt]

  • Erin S

    Going to defer to the Mindy Project here, because relevance!

    Tom: “Don’t say anything about Breaking Bad. I’m only on season 5.”
    Mindy: “You are so weird about spoilers. You are obsessed with tv, why don’t you keep up with it in a timely way?”

    But really, I've had to watch this entire season of Mad Men the next day, and if my aunt or sister say anything about it I avert my eyes and type "SHHHHH," the Internet equivalent of plugging my ears and yelling "LALALALA!"

  • Captain D

    When I come to Pajiba or another site I know what to expect and keep my guard up for spoilers. When I read a humorous article on a popular cable broadcasting network that specializes in sports and they throw in a joke midway through about what happens in the Harry Potter book that just came out that week...well, that's crossing the line.

  • Mentalcase

    ESPN. I'll say it. I was watching Around the Horn on a Monday a couple of years ago and in the introduction Reali says, "Well, on a day after having our faces blown off by the season finale of Breaking Bad last night...". I'd planned on watching the episode that night and I knew his style well enough to know the statement was more than just hyperbole. To the show's credit, I was still pretty floored when *it* happened on screen. BB is the GOAT.

  • Cree83

    This article seems to be targeted at "people who complain about spoilers" and "people who spoil." I definitely complain about people who complain about spoilers. Especially those who haven't watched it yet because they are planning on downloading the show illegally later - screw you guy. But I don't do the spoiling myself. I do more than roll my eyes, probably, but I prefer smugness to outright villainy.

  • Jezzer

    Certain spoilers absolutely ruin a work. If you go into a book or movie knowing ahead of time a character is going to die, you don't invest in that character as much as an unspoiled person, and the emotional impact is deadened for you. You only get that unspoiled emotional impact once. Why ruin that for someone?

  • DarthCorleone

    I think there is some truth in what you say, but I also think it applies on a case-by-case basis and can't be applied in the blanket manner you espouse. Just to give an easy counterexample for me personally, I greatly enjoyed The Sixth Sense the first time I saw it. I think it's an excellent viewing experience that first time. I've seen bits and pieces of it subsequently, but - as neatly as it was constructed - I have very little desire to watch it in its entirety again. Had it been spoiled for me, I would have spent the whole movie waiting for the shoe to drop (just as I spent the length of Dance With Dragons waiting for a certain shoe to drop), and it diminishes that first experience.

    For the most part, the *first* reading/watching for me is *SACRED*; if something is awesome for me to revisit without the surprises, then I will do so. It's certainly true that we live in a different world of storytelling now, spoilers are tougher to avoid, storytellers might consequently be less reliant on surprises, etc., and I deal with that new world in different ways. But the bottom line is that spoilers are still absolutely not cool. If you're one of those read-the-last-page folks first, then more power to you, but that's not me.

  • Rather than wading into the spoiler discussion, I just want to say that the book isn't always better than the movie. Usually, but not always.

    See: Season 1 of Dexter vs Darkly Dreaming Dexter.

    Also: Pontypool vs Pontypool Changes Everything

  • Bea Pants

    I would also add Fight Club to that but apparently I'm in the minority.

  • Idle Primate

    Agree. For what its worth, so does Chuck

  • Anon

    Also: The Shining, Rosemary's Baby, Jurassic Park, The Princess Bride, The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Jaws . . .

  • Three_nineteen
  • Jerce

    THANK YOU, OH THANK YOU.
    I have just sent you seven dozen Internet roses and a magnum of Internet champagne. (The three beautiful Internet "escorts" are on their way.)

  • Horatio Postlethwaite

    Revealing spoilers for something that aired last night is still a shitty thing to do, and something Pajiba has a nasty habit of doing. When Breaking Bad starts, I'm avoiding you like the plague. At the very least post a warning (which you have gotten better at doing). Now, while I'm sure it won't make much difference, that's still less traffic coming your way.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Because in 90% of the cases the title of an article isn't a dead giveaway.

  • Horatio Postlethwaite

    Generally, yes and in those instances obviously I just don't view the article, but I have read the general updates and been caught with a spoiler used as an analogy. Like I said, you've gotten much better at posting a warning but with something like GoT or Breaking Bad, programs I especially enjoy, sorry but I am just not taking the risk.

  • ERM

    I was spoiled for the first book of Game of Thrones by a pajiba love post that captioned a picture by referring to a character's 'dead husband.' I thought that was shitty.

    Now I've read all the books so you fuckers can't spoil anything.

  • naye in VA

    I will put it like this. I saw a GIF of Ben proposing to Leslie, and it killed the "AWWWEEE" I would have had when I watched the show. Very sweet but less of the emotional investment. That's when I quit spoilers. I really wanted to be fulyl engaged.

    As for the nuances missed while waiting for the big surprise in movies and books...Thats why people buy movies, and keep books. To do it over again and catch the little things. Why not ruin the fun the first time? It's not to dominate the rest of the book or movie or whatever, it because life is played from beginning to end. Some people, if they knew how life ended, it would blow everything else for them, everything would be tinged with "my impending death." But to not know gives you the freedom to just take life as it comes. The only time I read the end of the book is if I seriously don't feel like reading any more of the middle because it sucks.

  • Yossarian

    "Spoilers? You can only be spoiled if you allow surprises, the
    cheapest and lowliest of plot devices to dominate all other parts of
    your enjoyment of a story."

    Preposterous. That's not what it's about at all and you (should) know it. Because you must know that consuming a work of art is an active process where you are constantly engaged in reflection and thinking about what you are experiencing as you experience it. And any foreknowledge, any spoilers, any hints about what to expect will leave fingerprints on those experiences, like touching butterfly wings.

    Of course we appreciate re-reading. And Nabakov does have a point when he says "one cannot read a book; one can only reread it." but that doesn't mean the initial reading experience isn't valuable or worthwhile, something perfunctory to get out of the way so we can get on to more important pleasures. To the contrary, It is a unique and precious thing to experience a great work of art for the first time, because it is only in that first reading where we don't know what is going to happen that we get to experience not just the story the author is telling us but all of the other potential stories that might spring from any point of that story, all the possible outcomes our mind can dream up. The deepest enjoyment we can get from a story isn't surprise or correctly predicting a twist, it is that feeling of being launched into our own state of reverie and infinite possibility of new and unknown worlds.

    You internet at your own risk and spoiler-phobes shouldn't dictate what the rest of us can and can't discuss but I know that when I'm really looking forward to something I want to know as little as possible going in, to keep the experience as fresh and unbiased as possible, because I want it to be magic. You never forget your first time.

  • Idle Primate

    As always, well said!

  • JJ

    How about: "dude, you're enjoying only your way. you'll be happier being able to enjoy it both ways."?

    I say that someone who is also a "I prefer the second experience to be my first experience" person because for me most of the value and measure is in the story execution. I also love being surprised by developments sometimes, but that's typically week to week surprises as episodes air. And given the volume and accessibility of content now, how often can we experience these in real time before we can get spoiled or spoil ourselves? Ultimately, I think people should try to remain unspoiled if that's how they prefer to watch/read for the first time, but don't complain as if your world is coming to an end if you stumble upon the fact that King Joffrey [redacted].

  • Artemis

    And (slightly) more seriously: I agree that some people have gone overboard demanding not to be spoiled on things that are years old, or by coming into forums specifically designed to discuss the material and then being pissed people are, y'know, talking about the material. Just like there are people who purposefully spoil people on still-new material or in forums that are supposed to be spoiler-free. Jerks exist on all sides.

    BUT. This? Knowing the ending actually makes a story more enjoyable, because it allows you to more fully see the pieces, to appreciate the movement that is happening as it happens. Spoilers? You can only be spoiled if you allow surprises, the cheapest and lowliest of plot devices to dominate all other parts of your enjoyment of a story No. Just no.

    If that's how you most like to enjoy stories, by all means go for it. But people who don't want to know the ending first aren't letting "the cheapest and lowliest of plot devices" ruin things for them. I'm not invested in chronology for its own sake. I like to enjoy stories in the order the creator wanted them to be told.

    Sometimes that means you see the ending, or some future development, at the beginning and then work forward to discover how the characters get there (see, e.g., Breaking Bad's traditional flash-forward in the season opener; how seasons are structured on Damages). Sometimes that means the story starts on one day and works forward in time just as real-life does (see, e.g., The Wire; most books). Sometimes stories unfold along two totally different, parallel time-lines, or jump around between future and past events. None of those is an inherently better way of experiencing a story, so I choose to trust the creator to decide which method works best for them. If you're invested in always knowing the ending first, that's fine -- but don't pretend that it's everyone else who's letting their concept of the correct story-order dominate all other aspects of their enjoyment of the plot.

  • Julie

    This, this, this. Do I deeply appreciate rewatches/rereads and seeing how the whole tapestry wove together, and noting details I might have missed the first time around? Of course! But there's something amazing about that first, fresh experience too -- the way it was intended to be consumed -- and you cannot reclaim that sensation if you know what's happening next.

    So what's so wrong about appreciating both? This is why we rewatch/reread, people.

  • Jacy Stuck

    Exactly! There's something extremely valuable and irreplaceable about reading a book or watching a movie for the first time, unspoiled. My mom refuses to watch any movie trailers because she so much prefers going in sight unseen.

  • Homestar

    Agreed. The first thing I thought of when reading this was when Buffy killed Angel. It wasn't totally unexpected, but damn, what an incredible moment that was. I've watched the entire series three times, but I still remember what it felt like the first time, the sadness and the loss. Giving that up for some half-baked principle is stupid.

  • delle

    Thank you for beating me to it.

    I hate spoilers and am careful to avoid them. I also do not look down my nose at people who "read the last chaper first" so to speak. I agree that people who complain endlessly about spoilers are annoying, however the tone of this article is that people who take enjoyement from being entertained by unknown plots are completely missing the point, which is ridiculous. It's a matter of preference, and who are you to judge the worth of another's experience? To me, not knowing the plot is not simply needing that "cheap and lowly plot device" of merely being surprised; I enjoy the puzzle, the suspense. Yes, there is a beauty in the detail and feeling and movement of a piece, but there is also a beauty in that first experience, when we see and feel it all for the very first time. I re-read books and re-watch movies literally dozens of times in many cases, and I take much pleasure from getting to know a movie or show more intimately and to appreciate all its nuances, but that doesn't mean I don't thrill at that first viewing when it's all new and unknown....I mean seriously, how many of us don't wish we could go back and view/read a beloved movie/book for the first time again, to experience that special thrill again?

    So you like knowing what happens before it happens. Good for you. Just don't look down your noses at those of us who don't (and we are a significant portion of media viewers and NO we are not all whiny little bitches, either!) or act like we experience media on some superficial, "pedantic" level.

  • Carrie/Teabelly

    I mostly prefer not to be spoiled, and attempt to stay away from twitter (where I have most issues) if I'm not seeing something when it airs. It's not that surprises are the be and end all for me, they're just nice, it's part of being totally absorbed into something, getting lost in it and then BAM! Or not bam a lot of the time cos you see it coming anyway. It's when you might not have and then you're spoiled when it stings a bit (fucking Ned Stark man).

    I take issue with people who say 'No spoilers!' if I dare mention something on twitter before they've seen it and then they gleefully live tweet an episode of something else I watch but we won't get here for another week. It works both ways yo.

  • tmoney

    I love spoiling myself, but I only spoil for others if I am directly asked. The Movie Spoiler is one of my favorite websites, and yes, I do skip ahead in books sometimes. I never post stuff on facebook, because that is mean.

  • pumpkin

    I love Movie Spoiler and I often ask other people to tell me the endings of movies before I see them. I usually don't skip ahead in books, but I have when I'm reading something schlocky. Spoiling for someone against their will IS mean.

  • Return of Santitas

    I sometimes spoil myself on purpose with certain shows and movies, usually when I realize that my anxiety over whether characters are going to live or die is taking over my enjoyment of the show. So, for example, The Wire. I spoiled the shit out of myself so that I could sit back and let it all unwind rather than constantly worry that McNulty was going to take one to the head.

    Same for any Quentin Tarantino movie. The tension is not enjoyable for me.

    Although I was majorly spoiled by TWOP about an event on The Wire and I was pretty pissed. So I'm a fucking hypocrite. Yay me!

  • E Robb

    I won't tell you how to enjoy your movies, but these writers and filmmakers work so hard to create tension and suspense and misdirection. I've got to think you're lessening the experience by spoiling yourself. If the art is designed to shock you, let it shock you.

  • sanity fair

    When I watch a Tarantino movie, I assume every single character is going to be killed. Then I get a pleasant surprise when someone survives!

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Even in the internet age, Spoilers are pretty easy to avoid. Do people really HAVE to read every article on the internet on every status update of Facebook? I haven't seen the latest season of Justified and I still have no idea what happened. Exercise some restraint, people.

  • Mentalcase

    Ditto. I try to avoid articles or discussions about shows I'm retro-watching like The Wire and Mad Men. On the other hand, if you're going to consume entertainment content online, some key plot tidbits are going to get through. In fact, just about any spoiler that makes its way into my brain will come from reading this here website. Yet I keep coming back. It's a sickness. Help me?

  • dizzylucy

    Exactly.
    I don't like being spoiled, so if I know I'm behind on something, I do my best to avoid reading articles, comments and message boards about it until I can catch up.
    The later time zone stuff amazes me, I've seen people raging that they live in a later zone and got spoiled on a hit show from twitter before they could watch it - can't you just stay off twitter for an hour or two? You will survive!

  • Artemis

    People who read the ends of books first should be taken out back and shot.

  • BWeaves

    Oh, I love reading the end of a book first. Drives my husband nuts.

    On the plus side, I never divulge information if he hasn't watched a show or read a book that I have. I also don't tease, "Oh, you have no idea!" which is even worse. I just say, "I'm not saying anything," in a monotone, and he appreciates that. Then I get the joy of watching his face when he finally does watch or read the bit I was hoping he'd get to. Then we discuss it.

  • $27019454

    Great. Now I know the ending. Thanks *eyeroll*

  • $27019454

    I have no problem with spoilers. But I hate "making of" special features. All that behind-the-scenes stuff is (to me) murdering to dissect.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Those are pretty easy to avoid, though.

  • $27019454

    Oh agreed. I just commented because I'm narcissistic and like to hear myself talk. True story

  • DeltaJuliet

    Wait....Dumbledore DIES?!?!?!?!?!

  • foolsage

    Don't be too upset. I'm pretty sure he gets sent back from Aman with a new fana (incarnation), and is then called Dumbledore the White.

  • manting

    and he was gay - He could have married Grindelwald in California now if he had lived.

  • Fredo

    My first "real" experience with spoilers was during the production of The Phantom Menace when everything was being divulged to the Internet. I learned real quickly that you could find whatever you wanted with a few clicks. Plot points, character designs, script pages, etc.

    After seeing the movie, I learned that spoiling myself was not really that much fun. It robbed me of the experience. Sure, it was a poor movie, but knowing what Darth Maul looked like or that he killed Qui-Gon or all the junk about midichlorians meant I couldn't see the movie as a movie.

    So, lesson learned. I don't seek out spoilers. Beyond a movie's trailers, I avoid that junk. I don't hold it against others who want to be the smart book readers in a room full of GoT fans during "The Rains of Castamere" episode. Beyond adaptations of works I've experienced elsewhere, I don't read spoilers or movie production news. I find it more interest to experience it and then go back and see what happened.

  • Yeah, that was a pretty bad time for avoiding spoilers. I mean, Weird Al wrote "The Saga Begins" based on heresay and rumors, and managed to predict THE ENTIRE MOVIE.

  • pfeiffer87

    It's like Bertolt Brecht always said - suspense is so bourgeois.

  • Mrcreosote

    Damn it, now I can't read his work.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Eh, his work isn't meant to be read anyway.

    SPOILERS: You will feel alienated while watching his plays.
    (also maybe bored or eye-rolly)

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