Wait a moment ... that's not supposed to happen until the next episode!Some people live for them. Me, I won’t even be in the same room with them if it’s possible. They are spoilers — pieces of information regarding the plots of movies and television shows that will give you too much knowledge in advance of actually watching said movie or television show.

Like all knowledge, spoilers are neither good nor bad; they’re just there, with the potential to be used or abused as the holder sees fit. I like knowing as little as possible about whatever I’m about to see — I won’t even watch a trailer if I can help it — and I try to extend my readers that same courtesy in my reviews. I try not to mention anything that happens after the first reel of a film; it just doesn’t seem fair.

Sure, sometimes it’s unavoidable; the heist sequence of “Inception” doesn’t start until more than an hour into the picture, but that’s the meat of the movie. Still, I did my best to dance around the specifics.

Anyway, I’m mentioning this because the AV Club has just posted Zack Handlen’s excellent essay about what really constitutes a spoiler, and whether you agree with him or not, it’s a good read for this fine late-summer morning.

It’s also tied to the new season of “Mad Men”, so fans of that show may want to bear that in mind …

2 thoughts on “Spoilers!”

  1. Dammit, Norm, I don’t watch Dr. Who. But I had no idea what your post photo was about, so I clicked on the image properties to find the file name. That led me to Google “River Song.” Google pre-filled in the suggestion “River Song theories,” so of course I had to choose that option. That in turn forced me — yes, forced me! — to read several wikis full of spoilers all about who the character is.

    You have ruined Dr. Who for me forever. I will never forgive you for this, Norm Wilner! NEVER!! Harumph….


  2. I do think one of the worst places to put spoilers is DVD packaging, such as The Planet of the Apes showing the Statue of Liberty and Citizen Kane showing the sled on the cover. Do the studios not realize there is always a new audience each generation for classic movies?

    I try to avoid hearing/reading spoilers if I’m really interested in something. The only time knowing a big twist was fun was The Crying Game. I saw that Jaye Davison was nominated for best supporting actor so I knew the “secret.” I did get the fun, however, of watching my husband’s reaction to the big reveal. Most spoilers just don’t have that kind of compensatory payoff.

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