Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't Whine About Spoilers


This title may come as a surprise to some of my friends, because I am one of the biggest spoiler-phobes out there. I have always hated knowing anything about books, movies, or tv shows in advance, I boggle at the people who read the end of a book before the beginning, and I usually don't read the book jacket before reading the book, because it often spoils a key element of the book. And don't even get me started about Entertainment Weekly cover stories, because those always spoil something about a movie or TV show. But you know what? For spoiler-phobes like me, it is all about, as Mad-Eye Moody would say, CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

This is all the more important because I live on the West Coast, so I see all shows at a minimum of three hours after they've ended for much of the country. When there is a finale for a big show, especially a big reality show where everyone will be talking about the winner, I stay away from the internet until I've seen the show, because I know that spoilers are out there everywhere. For every episode of Lost this season, I stay off Twitter and off Facebook until after the closing credits, because I don't want to know anything about what happens until I actually watch the show.

So when the finale of this season's Project Runway happened a few weeks ago, I was absolutely boggled that people had the gall to complain that they had been spoiled for the winner... on the Facebook page for Tom and Lorenzo, probably the biggest (and certainly the most fun) Project Runway blog out there. Then there were the people who said that they were spoiled by following Laura Bennett on Twitter -- Laura Bennett, former designer on Project Runway, who was hosting the big finale party at her home. WHAT? If you follow her on Twitter, would you not EXPECT for her to say something about the winner? If it is that crucial for you to go onto Twitter before watching the show (which, no, it is never crucial to go onto Twitter unless you're being arrested in Egypt or something), then you just unfollow anyone who you think may spoil you in advance. On Facebook, there is this handy little Hide button hovering on the side there -- just hide people in advance if you care about spoilers.

And people, especially if you DVR'd the show and are not planning on watching it until a day or so later, you need to recognize that the world does not revolve around you. I know, I know, DVRs have changed the way we all watch TV, sure, except that if you don't watch the show on the night that it airs, you need to accept that a whole lot of people around you did. I'm not saying that you can't DVR a show and watch it when you want to, just acknowledge that you need to do the work to avoid spoilers, and you cannot be all whiny if you decide to go to the Entertainment Weekly website, or onto a TV blog and then get spoiled.

And look, people, it goes the other way too. Don't spoil your friends on purpose! If you know that a friend hasn't watched a show, don't start a conversation around them about who died in the most recent actually good episode of Lost. If your friend lives on the East Coast and you live on the West Coast, don't IM them at 10:15 your time with "Oh my GOD, I am so angry that my favorite is gone from Survivor!" especially if they know who your favorite is. Because then you're just that guy who runs into a Harry Potter book 6 release party and yells "SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE" and you don't want to be that guy. And no, that's not a spoiler anymore, sorry people.

People who like spoilers and people who don't, we can all get along, we can, we just need to respect one another. That means not trying to make other people move to your side (spoiler lovers) and not getting upset that you get spoiled if you're in a territory likely filled with spoilers (spoiler haters). But please, spoiler-phobes, stop the whining, you're making my side look bad.

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