06 June 2010

On Spoilers, Spoiler Alerts and Spoiler-sports

[A topic for this week's Team Carnival.]

There was a time when I used to visit every spoiler alert website I know so I'd learn ahead of time what was going to happen to the TV shows I watch. I kinda have a selective memory, so whatever I read may either 1) be forgotten right away or 2) stick in my mind. When it sticks out,  it makes me kind of obsessive...which can be quite a huge problem. It gets to this point where I ruin the program FOR ME, and not for anybody else.  I used to devour spoiler alerts so much then, it almost felt like I wrote the script of the TV show. :P And then when I watch the actual episodes play out, since I almost know it by heart (thanks to spoilers)... it doesn't have as much of an impact as I would have expected.

Eventually, I eased up on my spoiler obsession. Sure, now and then I check out who's made it the final list of contestants for So You Think You Can Dance or American Idol. But I generally stay away from scripted spoilers now. And as an avid TV viewer, I should say that this is a great relief! I think I learned it in the most disappointing way, from a TV show like Lost.  Four years after following it and following through every spoiler I can find online, I discovered that it was so much better viewed without knowing anything beforehand.

Today, I treat spoiler alerts with a grain of salt. Because some are actually overhyped and farther from the truth now. Writing down a few times about spoilers here on Too Much TV, I've also realized that sometimes, it's usually just marketing strategy and the actual story lines aren't as exciting as the spoilers made it sound.

I'd like to think I'm careful about spoiling the story lines for anybody else. Like the stickler Virgo that I am, I learned to be considerate about spoilers when, participating in one elite TV forum several years ago, it was considered very rude and uneducated if you blurt out the most important parts of a movie or TV show. People over there are labeled spoiler-sports or as what I'd call jologs (Urban Dictionary defines this as: someone who is tacky, but implied in a more negative tone and often referred to people who belong to the lower class of society), and of course, nobody wants to be branded that. So, a culture of order and conscientiousness was formed by constantly reminding everyone else to put spoiler alerts.

I eventually carried over that culture to whatever site I visit, where spoiler discussions may tend to ruin it for everyone else.  I'd like to believe, I make good use of spoiler alerts on this site, too. Although yeah.... sometimes, I still tend to get carried away and point it out in plain view of everyone visiting here. :P

Today, you cannot go online without finding spoilers, so more than having to tell people to be considerate about it, staying away from these sites for awhile is your best defense against spoilers.

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