Spoilers: To Read or Not To Read?
by Ashley Binion
We now live in a society of instant gratification, where any information we want is at the tip of our fingers. This begs the question, are we even capable of being surprised anymore? Or, do we even want to be surprised?
Arguably, the biggest pop culture moment of 1980 was the famous Dallas cliffhanger, “Who Shot J.R.?” It was such a huge scene that Time magazine even had a cover story about the shocking moment. This moment transcends generations. Even if you weren’t alive during that time, you have at least heard of it. Today, I doubt something that huge would remain unspoiled by the media and that’s a shame.
Will we have another moment like that in television history? Probably not. Media and entertainment reporting has changed so much that the audience is privy to the ins-and-outs of the most secretive plot changes. Because of this, writers and show runners have become so tight-lipped that they give nothing away. However, that doesn’t change the fact that someone else will let something slip or some photographer will snap a picture.
Personally, I made a decision before Lost’s final season that I would watch the all episodes unspoiled. I achieved my goal, but goodness gracious it was excruciatingly difficult. But in the end, I felt my experience was heightened. I was genuinely surprised by the twists and turns.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, I was spoiled for the Gossip Girl (I know, bear with me) series finale. I stumbled upon paparazzi pictures of the two big weddings, and because of this, much of the series finale was somewhat predictable. I am positive if I wouldn’t have seen the pictures I would have been more delighted and surprised at the final five minutes of the finale.
Because of my extremely satisfying experience of going unspoiled for Lost, I decided during the final season of Fringe, I wouldn’t read spoilers, I wouldn’t watch sneak peeks, nor look at promotional photos, and by this I have been rewarded by being shocked at the unexpected deaths and plot twists.
I now understand why show runners and writers keep their cards close to their vests. They want the audience to have a genuine TV watching experience. As for me, I will try my hardest to give it to them.
What are your thoughts on spoilers? To read or not to read?