Holy crap! Game of Thrones am I right?
That’s all I have to say. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe not specifically, but if you watch Game of Thrones then the above statement clicked with you and we can share the zeitgeist’s collective “holy crap” as peers. The connection has effectively been made, like a blatantly obvious handshake. But more importantly, if you don’t watch Game of Thrones, or you aren’t up to date yet, the above statement didn’t ruin anything for you, aside from the fact that a thing happened.
How easy it was to walk that fine line between sharing in the excitement of a crazy twist and not being a dick! And yet, on a healthy portion of Monday mornings after HBO’s hit family dramedy airs, my various social media feeds inevitably include remarks from people I met once at a party in college who’ve had massive plot points ruined for them by someone else’s status or tweet.
While I personally have never encountered spoilers on my own social media pages, we can’t all surround ourselves with the rag tag band of heroes that comprise the group of people I’ve conned into being my friends. (I’m the Chandler).
So it’s time we had a talk, gang.
Look, I get it. When I stumble across something awesome I want to scream it from on high like a valiant herald of the shape of things to come. Do you have any idea how many people had to hear me repeatedly exclaim “dude, True Detective” with both hands in the air? I bet you don’t. It was that many.
I’m all for spreading the good word and turning people on to cool things so that we can all enjoy them. Expressing something’s quality is an offering. But delineating something’s specific plot points potentially robs someone of the experience of stumbling into it on their own.
Why do we watch stories unfold if not to experience, in some small way, that which we can never experience in real life? Spoilers deprive viewers of those experiences and by and large replace any organic emotion a scene might evoke with a bitter, frothing rage.
Remember the first season of Game of Thrones? Remember your reaction? Pretty crazy right? I couldn’t tell you, because I had it spoiled for me when I was halfway through the book.
Is specifically reiterating an exciting plot point and potentially ruining it for the folks who are dumb enough to follow you really worth the dozen likes you probably won’t get?
I’ve heard there are folks out there who enjoy spoilers. More power to you. But you can take a break from breeding hogs that eat live human beings in your barn maze and Google them for yourselves.
Luckily there’s already a device that exists to solve the tug of war between cultural discourse and spoilers.
Two words. That’s all it takes to be free of blame, gang.
So next Sunday evening, take a second to think before you send off that all caps tweet about who Don Draper incested with at the Governor’s wedding.
This one time I intentionally spoiled M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village in my AIM buddy profile. It was hilarious. Alternatively, this other time someone spoiled the Season 6 premiere of 24 for me and I hooked them to a car battery and dragged them through the streets in reverse. Not as funny. But justice nonetheless.
1. Should there be an agreed upon amount of time after which it should be considered safe to talk about specific plot points from spoiler-heavy television shows?
2. Do you care about spoilers, or can you enjoy something just as much knowing what is going to happen in advance like a sociopath?
3. If you find an old gypsy woman who has fallen victim to a hit-and-run and she tells you with her last breath when and how you’re going to die in excruciating detail is that a spoiler? Asking for a friend.