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Are You a 'Power Spoiler'? Netflix Analyst Breaks Down Why We Do It

By Cindy Davis | Industry | September 23, 2014 |

By Cindy Davis | Industry | September 23, 2014 |

Last night about an hour after the pilot aired live, I started watching Fox’s new series Gotham. It had barely begun when *Batman SPOILER? Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Bruce Wayne (the fantastic David Mazouz) shared a scene that made my eyes tear up, and I shared that thought on Facebook, because…I don’t freaking know — that’s what we do now? Anyway, the ever-hilarious Steven Lloyd Wilson responded thusly: “Something sad happens at the start of a Batman origin story? God Cindy, freaking spoilers much?” I was forced to take a good look at myself…um… gobsmacked er…left snickering. But maybe it wasn’t so funny. Maybe my intentions (to share my feelings?) weren’t as innocent as I believed. I DIDN’T REALLY MEAN TO SPOIL ANYONE. Or did I?

Netflix recently hired Cultural Anthropologist Grant McCracken to have a look at why we spoil, and his analysis led to one conclusion: social power. McCracken rightly sees our current society as connected people living in different time zones and in effect, time travelers; “I live in the future that you are about to occupy…[therefore, I] have power.” (NYT) He’s also categorized people who spoil into five handy dandy groups, including the “Power Spoiler” (lording plot twists over unsuspecting co-workers’ heads), “Impulsive” (over-excited leaker), and “Shameless” (the world according to your schedule). Click on the chart to see it larger:


Netflix will use McCracken’s data as part of a promotional Q and A, and “to understand the changing nature of television in society.” We here at Pajiba will use the data to mock and scold each other.

So which Spoiler are you?

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) is ashamed to admit she may be both Impulsive and Coded.

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