Writer’s Note: Before we begin, I am back to writing for the site and plan to do so. In order to return, I have written the following opinion to get my head back in the game. Thanks for still sticking around those who have been reading since the beginning.
– Sergio “Serg Beret” Berrueta
As the internet grows and memes become popular about the latest in pop culture, everyone is in the know about practically everything that goes on in the media world. It’s unavoidable and widely accepted since information is available faster and in a matter of a simple Google search. What is unacceptable is spoilers.
Yes, I know it sounds odd coming from me, the man who spoiled films in his Film A Week series, but the problem has less to do with spoiling classic films and spoiling things as they happen. Within seconds, any spoiler for any popular television or film is right on the news feed of Facebook and the timelines of Twitter. Tumblr makes long posts that are equal to epic Danish prose poems about it all to display their affection. Yet, there are few that want to avoid spoilers on the spot and try everything in their power to avoid any spoiler and must deal with this. I am one of those ready to come forward and say: You are ruining the fun of the experience.
Recently, I was browsing the top stories on IMDB.com and one in particular stor caught my eye with the headline “Colbie Smulders to Return to ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D'” from Entertainment Weekly and my curiousity got the better of me. Smulders’s previous show “How I Met Your Mother” (another show inescapable of spoilers) had just ended and it was about time for Maria Hill to make her way to the finale of the show. To my shock, Entertainment Weekly had the gall to spoil within their first paragraph a major plot point in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I have personally not seen the latest film, but to find out that Nick Fury gets killed in the film was a major shock or would have been if I had seen the film firsthand.
I guess the film making over $303 million dollars worldwide somehow translates into “Everyone has seen it and now we spoil the fun.” It does work that way. In fact, the only spoiler I would have known is that Bucky Barnes is the Winter Soldier, then again, that information is readily available for anyone to find out if they are researching the film for review or the characters out of curiosity. As a person ready to see the newest venture, I was virtually upset a major publication would do such a naive thing without warning before hand. As time goes on, the ‘spoiler game’ is becoming harder to avoid. For example, within two minutes of a major child character’s death in The Walking Dead, memes and jokes about it scoured the net. I feel for every fan of that show trying to avoid the variety of posts, but in the end, suffered from not being as shocked as others watching it at the same time. The public, however, is starting to become immune to the spoilers. How immune?
The immunity has been built to the point that the slightest little spoiler will be minor blip on the radar and major ones get tossed by the wayside. In a recent study, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) said that spoilers makes the viewer or reader enjoy the overall story and plot better than not knowing. I have actually tested this theory on more than one occasion to see if it would actually work. One film that worked knowing the spoiler was Citizen Kane. Knowing that Rosebud was his sled made Orson Welles’ Charles Foster Kane helped further the humanity of the character’s descent into power by his final words being the only remnant of his childhood life. It made the character all the more miserable in his late years as he focused on the last thing that made him whole. For me from a first time watcher, I appreciated his take on the character and his growth. The film is hailed as the greatest film of all time for this and many reasons (The Godfather is better, in my own opinion).
Spoilers, though hard to deal with, are here to stay, but as I avoid spoilers among the others ready to be surprised, we must have to come to terms that these are now commonplace. The enjoyment is something for the first time is dying fast, but we can still find solutions. If one sees a spoiler on Facebook or those sites, simply hide the posts or tweet to not let it bug you. Another option is to politely tell the person not to spoil any further as the are ruining it for everyone else that are waiting to see it or have been trying their best to gear up for what they want to experience. Don’t be an ass about it either, just be cautious and they will appreciate your honesty. The other great way to avoid spoilers is avoid trailers and Tv spots at all cost for what you want as they are notorious for giving away too much of the story. I have personally been doing that with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, and X-Men: Days of Future Past and I cannot wait to see what happens in these new installments of classic franchises. Now, with that said, I hope to appreciate The Amazing Spider-Man 2 without anything ruined for me.