In a classic case of “The Simpsons did it!” this scenario should be easy to envision.
You’re standing in line, May 21st, 1980. You are finally able to see the sequel to Star Wars! You have no idea what you’re walking into, what might be happening, until the showing before yours lets out and someone is talking loudly about how Vader is Luke’s father. SERIOUSLY?
Back in the day, you had to search to find spoilers. You had to get fanzines, or subscribe to Starlog. However, these days, you have to work to AVOID spoilers. Take, for example, this past Sunday, when we had two major things on TV.
First was a new episode of The Walking Dead. I know something big happened in this episode from my Twitter feed, but what was it? I couldn’t tell ya. All of the folks that I follow just tweeted shock, and one even said they weren’t going to spoil anything for the folks on the west coast. However…
We also have the Downton Abbey fans. Sure, this show aired a year ago overseas, but for many people, the PBS airing is their first exposure to it. There was a big shocker in that episode, and when it happened, my Twitter feed LIT UP! I mean, every other Tweet was about what happened! Character name, what happened to them, full nine yards!
Now, I am not invested in either show. I could really care less, but I really thought that was fairly disrespectful. Yet, when I tweet this:
I get called out for being over sensitive. One person asked me what the statute of limitations was on spoilers. Another person sent a general note out talking about how it’s laughable that people are getting up in arms over spoilers for a show that had been out for a year. Personally, I think it’s consideration, pure and simple. It’s being considerate. Just because you were able to torrent the episode from the UK a year ago, doesn’t mean you have the right to take that surprise/shock away from someone over here before it’s essentially aired for the first time. As far as a statute of limitations, I really thinking that giving it more than 30 seconds after it’s aired on American soil would be good. Give it at least a week for different times zones and DVR watchers, just to be kind. Is that too much to ask?
This made me think that I’m glad social media wasn’t around years ago. Then we’d be seeing spoilers in 140 characters for all of the classics. “OMG! Just saw Citizen Kane! Rosebud was his sled? WTF?” “NB’s Mother was dead the ENTIRE TIME? He was wearing a wig and a dress! #psycho” It’s enough to make you want to completely unplug if you want a movie or show to actually be a surprise.
I guess, all I’m really asking is to think about others before you post this stuff up. I had a couple of friends on the west coast who were really thrown off by the amount of tweets spoiling the event. They were able to ignore what they were saying, but they were anxious knowing that…
Until next time,