I knew Austin and I had an uncharacteristically high aversion to spoilers, but I didn’t realize how ridiculous it had become until last night when we snuggled into bed to watch an episode of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, only to be thrown into panic-stricken disarray by the fact that the finished painting was shown at the beginning of the episode. We both threw our hands up to cover the screen and cried “Nooooooo! Spoiler alert!!!!!!!!”
And then I turned to him: “Oh my god. We seriously have a problem.” And we do. And it may have come to an absurd head last night – but we’ve been vehement Protectors of The End for a while now, both together and long before we met. An outsider might even say we surpassed ridiculous years ago when we started watching The Voice.
If you watch The Voice you’ll know what I’m talking about. The most violent perpetrators of spoiling everything in this world that is deliciously suspenseful are the soul-less robots (surely they can’t be human beings) who edit that godforsaken show.
Allow me to explain:
- Step 1. *show starts* “Tonight! On The Voice: *SUMMARY OF THE ENTRIE FUCKING SHOW, THE ENDING ALL BUT FULLY SPELLED OUT FOR YOU*”
- Step 2. ~actual content~
- Step 3. “Coming up after this brief break: *LITERALLY 4 MINUTES OF SPOILERS AND MORE FUCKING SPOILERS*”
- Step 4. *commercial break*
- Step 5. ~actual content~ AKA a slightly more drawn out version of Step 3 which was essentially A FULL RECAP of this step’s content.
- Step 6. “Coming up after this brief break: “*SSSSPPPOOOIILLLEEERRRR AAAALLLEERRTTT*”
- Step 7. *commercial break*
- Step 8. ~actual content~ AKA a drawn out version of Step 6. Essentially all suspense ruined.
- REPEAT OVER AND OVER FOREVER.
Am I explaining this clearly enough?! This is a suspense junky’s worst nightmare.
Who on earth are these “previews” AKA pre-recaps for?! This is not 1955. You do not need to convince me to “not touch that dial.” I promise I will still be here after the commercial break! If anything you are discouraging me from watching this show!
Want to know how Austin and I combat this gross misuse of airtime? We stick our fingers in our ears, squeeze our eyes shut, and scream “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!!!” like uncooperative 5-year-olds.
As my sister and mom would say: “Thank god you guys found each other……”
But seriously, is everyone following why we almost had to stop watching the show for the sake of our personal growth and sanity? I mean, we didn’t. But we almost did.
The other day I texted Chelsea that I hated a character on a show and she told me she “agreed at first but actually ended up liking him by the end of the series” and I basically gave up on the entire show because it now felt spoiled. Seriously – that’s all it takes to ruin a show for me: knowing that one character who starts out annoying turns likable. Why watch now? The whole character arc has now been revealed! AND WHAT IF HE ALMOST DIES IN SEASON 2 AND NOW I KNOW HE LIVES?
The world is one giant story to me just waiting to be spoiled. If I mention a book and you swallow, I will probably aggressively ask you why you swallowed. I have my rss blog reader set so that the oldest posts appear first because the most recent posts might spoil the earlier ones. When Kelsey revealed to me that she often reads the last page of a book before starting it, our friendship nearly ended and I still bring it up angrily over 5 years later. And please don’t get me started on movie trailers.
Did you read about the recent interview with George R. R. Martin where he said he thinks the hysteria around spoilers is stupid?
“This whole concept of spoilers is one that I’ve never gotten,” he says. “Yes, there’s a pleasure when you’re reading a book, or watching a television show — What will happen next? Who will win? Who will lose? But that is by no means the only reason to watch a movie or a television show. It’s not the only reason to read a book.”
I absolutely understand his point but unfortunately still loathe spoilers and will go to great immature lengths to avoid them.
My fiction writing professor in college took an even stronger stance than Martin. He despised surprise endings. “The story itself should be interesting and worthy of the reader’s attention, the whole way through,” I remember him saying. “You don’t need a twist. No twists. A story should be good without a twist.”
It surprises me zero that I’d forgotten this rule by the time my final story was due. It was set in 19th century England and unbeknownst to the reader, the little girl’s dad was dead the whole time!!!!! You know, a la The Sixth Sense? I thought I was pretty clever. And I know that’s a spoiler alert but it’s okay because you’ll never read it. It’s been buried as deep as something like that should be.
Awareness that my drive and focus would be better spent elsewhere is at full capacity after spending the entire day thinking about how much spoilers ruin my media-consumption experience. Am I crazy?
I’m going to go read this article on angora rabbits to feel reminded of what’s important in this world.