Discussion: Spoilers in the Age of Immediacy

Here be spoilers!

Due to the nature of this article, it contains spoilers. I decided that any show that has aired in the US until today’s date is fair game for discussion. If, however, you are spoiler phobic, open this article at your own risk.

On Sunday night, the worst kept secret ever finally aired on PBS. Downton Abbey’s Matthew Crawley is killed in a car accident immediately after his son is born. Even before the episode aired on Christmas night in the UK, Dan Stevens (who played Matthew) had made no secret of the fact that he was leaving the show when his contract expired at the end of the third season. I think a lot of people (the producers of the show included) thought he might return for an episode or two in season four. When he made it clear that he was done, he had to be written out.

I made the mistake of going onto Facebook Christmas night. My English friends were in a snit and I was spoiled then, even before the third series had begun over here. But, what happened next was fascinating. TVLine reported the spoiler (the first time I saw it in the US) and it was then immediately picked up by many of the other TV sites.

As a result, the print media made the assumption that everyone knew about the death and they got into the game. TV Guide wrote a whole article about the situation three or four weeks ago without mentioning anywhere that what they were reporting was a spoiler. If anyone watched Sunday’s episode and didn’t know how it would end, I would love to know how you avoided learning about it.

I had a similar experience last May. I was living in London, so to watch The Vampire Diaries in “real time,” I had to buy the show through iTunes who were excellent at uploading an episode immediately after it finished broadcasting on the West Coast. Excellent, that is, until the season finale. For whatever reason, there was a delay and it was three or four days before the episode uploaded. Every day, I would go onto the site to check that it was available and one day I read the top complaint. “I don’t know why everyone is so impatient for this episode. I’m sure by now everyone knows that Elena becomes a vampire.” I, for one, did not know; but luckily, the show was as good as if I hadn’t known.

As we speak, ABC has pulled 666 Park Avenue off its schedule, promising to air the final four episodes this summer. However, they are currently being shown in Australia and, as a result, are available online if you are willing to download illegally. As Nadim and I are the only two people still watching this show around here, I can hear you wondering who actually gives a damn. Even I don’t really -- it’s just another example.

Even something as little as East Coast vs. West Coast has raised its head. A couple of months ago, one of the cast members tweeted something about an episode of Castle while it was airing on the East Coast. The West Coast fans were, to put it mildly, less than pleased.

All of this begs the question, how long can different markets continue to air the same program, but months apart. In today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, more TV sites than you can shake a stick at, anything at all that shocks is going to get out. It is going to get out immediately and it is going to be broadcast worldwide.

It is inconceivable to imagine every English speaking network who wants to show a popular program coordinate schedules. And, even if they were able to do so and did so, how many of us watch a show live? My guess is that the vast majority of what we watch is either on our DVR or is streamed over the internet.

The other problem is timing. Using Thursday night as an example, I watch two shows that conflict at 8:00 and two that conflict at 10:00. I don’t watch any of these live; instead, I stream them when I want to watch them. If I choose to ignore my television for a couple of days and, I don’t know, read a book (gasp!), I have to be careful where I go on the internet to avoid spoiling the shows that I have yet to watch.

Certainly in today’s world of watching what we want when we want, there is always going to be the problem of spoiling. But, there is a big difference between a couple of days and months. TPTB at PBS explained that the reason they don’t air Downton Abbey in the US in the fall (which is when it airs for the rest of the world) is that they don’t want their shows to get lost in the noise of all the new shows airing at that time. I understand that reasoning for a new show, but not for a show that has an established audience the size of Downton.

So, what is the solution? I genuinely don’t know and I have thought a lot about it. Interestingly, a lot of the articles I have read about it don’t have a solution either. They just bemoan that it is happening.

What do you think? Is there a solution and, if so, what is it? Do you avoid spoilers or do you seek them out? If you avoid them, how do you do it? Discuss below.


CrazyCris said...

VERY interesting post Chris!

I read an interview with Julian Fellowes (Downton) the other day in which he stated the show played in a similar time frame in the US and in the UK. I'm sure US fans of Merlin also wished for the same (although now it's over).

You're right, I don't get the necessity to wait months for these shows! I mean, it's not as if they had to spend time dubbing them or anything! Maybe they need to prepare subtitles for Downton? All that posh British vocabulary must confuse many a viewer... :p
And I'm sure PBS would have more viewers than now because there are probably quite a few people out there who don't want to wait 4 months and find the show online... that's public they've lost!

I don't have a solution. I don't seek out spoilers, but I don't go out of my way to avoid them either.

Oh, and Dan Stevens could have thought a bit more about Downton fans and not tell the press about his leaving at the end of Season 3! It was pretty obvious what was going to happen once that bit of news got out. :o(

CrazyCris said...

(I did try to avoid British friends on Facebook the day after a Downton ep, at least until I could see it here in Spain! or long enough to be sure they weren't talking about it anymore...)

Nadim said...

I LOVED this post Chris. I can absolutely relate because I've been trying to avoid spoilers ever since I once mistakenly read about the Alias S2 finale jawdropper. I won't spoil it here if anyone still hasn't seen the episde(HA) but I do remember practically sobbing because it ruined the experience for me. Truly traumatized.

It doesn't help that I live in Lebanon where we get everything SO MUCH LATER. Nowadays, I simply download online (which is illegal yes) but I make it a point to buy the seasons on DVD when they are released (8 months later!) to support the shows and all the hard work that goes into making them.
But seriously as you said, it is SO frustrating to go online when you're not up to date with all of your shows. It drives me nuts because I have to avoid headlines, reviews, hell even certain sites (TVLine & TV Tattle spring to mind) because they're just dripping with spoilery bits. If I do manage to avoid those sites, I get blindsided in places I don't expect like Twitter or TVbynumbers (which is supposed to be just a ratings site).

There's no escape and I have no idea what the solution is. I just know that it's daily battle in this day and age to stay-spoil free and protect your viewing experience.

Thanks again for a lovely read :)

Panda said...

Really interesting post.

I definitely agree with it, I've had so much spoiled because of the delay between a premiere and me being able to watch it, due to availability or otherwise.

Nadim, I feel for you about tvbythenumbers. They ruined one show in particular for me that I STILL haven't caught up on, just through one picture. It's frustrating.

Billie Doux said...

I watch Supernatural when it airs, and I've *still* been spoiled because I live in California. Someone watches it and posts something, or I make the mistake of checking my Twitter feed after dinner, and that's it. And of course, this Downton Abbey thing is freaking ridiculous. I got spoiled not once but several times because we had to wait so long before we saw the damned thing.

What's the answer? Is there an answer?

Jess Lynde said...

On the one hand, I think the onus is on us spoilerphobes to avoid typical sources of spoilers (social media, blogs, news sites, etc.) if we are going to watch shows at a later date than most others. West Coasters should turn off their Twitter feeds, and I should avoid clicking on comments/articles/etc. about shows I'm planning to watch. But I also think commenters/reporters/etc. should be more thoughtful and courteous in how they discuss/present things in the public sphere. Don't put massive spoilers in headlines or the very first line of a comment, etc.

Granted, as a non-social-media user (i.e., I don't use Facebook or Twitter), it is generally much easier for me to remain unspoiled if I so choose. I don't watch Downton Abbey, but I actually managed to remain unspoiled on that final development until after the episode in question had aired in the U.S. It probably helped that I don't follow news about the show, for the most part.

Funnily, the biggest source of spoilers for me is generally the first few lines of comments on this blog. Either through the widget on the front page, or through the feed page. If I haven't seen an episode yet, I don't read the review, but I'm generally checking the overall comment feed to see the latest comments on things I am caught up with. And if the first five or six words in a comment include a big spoiler, it can be hard to avoid reading as I scan through. A twist in Lost Girl from last week got ruined for me that way. Erg.

That one strikes me as a good illustration of my overall position from above. I should be better about not looking at a feed that might spoil me, but it would also be nice if commenters were more thoughtful about what they might be ruining for someone who's not caught up yet. (Including myself. I'm sure I've been the one with the first sentence spoiler, at times, but most of the time I do try to be conscious of not doing that!)

ChrisB said...

Amazingly, right after I posted this article I went to check my Twitter feed. For obvious reasons, I follow @Castle_ABC. They are doing a thing today where, for every 1,000 RTs of a particular tweet, they are posting a section of next Monday's script.

No, I have not read them, but I'm sure thousands are. Is there an element of people being so accustomed to instant gratification that they are unwilling to wait one week to see how something plays out?

Anonymous said...

The movie industry has had this problem for as long as movies have been around. It got really bad in the late 90's and early 2000's, their solution was interesting to say the least.

The level of security around filming nowadays is bordering on paranoid. Big tent-pole films have false names, hidden locations, outright lies and faux leaks to media outlets, and still spoilers get out. So they started to release films (the big ones at least) day and date across the globe. Except, that didn't work for all distributors so they kind of dropped the practice. Now it's common to test films in the European market months before the American release... which I can't express how frustrating that is.

Unfortunately the day and date release thing doesn't really apply well to television. The solution which seems to be eluding that industry is plan, and very unlikely. Abolish networks as we know them. Submit them all into an on-demand format that is accessible by anyone who pays for the privilege or has a membership on a site like Hulu. Show's would carry a brand, like Fox or NBC, but they wouldn't be aired at 8pm on Friday (for example). They would be released universally at 8pm on Friday to everyone who has access to that brand or feed. That might sound weird, but given the state of the network right now it wouldn't be a bad idea.

Again I doubt that it will go that way. Corporations like to hold on to practices that are obsolete for far too long.

Ah well... maybe a solution will come around that works with the current model of network ownership.

celticmarc said...

Great article Chris.

I've made my decision : I am AGAINST ANY form of spoiling. A while back, especially during the latter seasons of the Gilmore Girls, I was reading a massive amount of spoilers. I even had access to pictures taken by people visiting the exterior site(s). The picture part was fun, but the disadvantage was during....the airing of the episode itself. Kinda kills the magic. Barely any room left for any surprises.

What would have been our reaction last Thursday if we KNEW that Root would be there at the end of POI ???? No squeaking, no scared dog, just a smile on our faces. NOT the same impact.

So, as of today, just give me a simple synopsis of next week's episode and that will be sufficient.

celticmarc said...

Mea culpa :

I do exactly as Nadim. It is simpler to get an HD version of the show the day after the airing, which looks amazing on a Mac (!), and I have....a HUGE DVD collection. I take a lot, BUT I give a lot too....

Not interested about a DVR...

HellBlazerRaiser said...

The only way to avoid spoilers is to stay away from the 'net and that includes social media, because there are people out there who are busting to spoil things for people.

I couldn't watch each AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASLYUM episode as they aired because I was too tired sometimes. A last at work watched it every week, though. The Thursday after either the 7th or 8th episode, she told me a spoiler AFTER I had told her that I didn't watch the episode yet and had it on tape (yes, I still record my shows on VHS). She said, "I like telling people what happens." I flipped out on her!

I don't read TV Guide, US or EW that often anymore, so I have no problem avoiding spoilers from their sites or in print.

I don't frequent any sites that really reveal spoilers until after the episode airs. I don't read recaps or reviews until after I watch the show.

I do frequent most of the major comic book sites out there. So I have to avoid those sites when a big issue is set to be released.

It's all about avoiding sites and blogs before watching the latest episode of your fave TV series or reading your fave comic book.

Juliette said...

I've thought for years that airing anything English-language any later than the West Coast airing - or maybe one day later than that - is insane. Even when The Vampire Diaries aired on Monday over here (after Thursday in the US) that was too late to join in the conversation, and I ended up... being naughty. I buy music happily and legally from Amazon and I wait for films to come to cinema - I find that isn't a problem because they're not part of an ongoing storyline, I quite happy just discussing them with UK friends. But TV... I've bought 3 season boxsets of Community and 2 of Fringe that I would never have even been exposed to without resorting to dubious means! (they may be on some fancy channel I don't get). So for me, the solution is simple - air them the next day. Or, make them legally available online (I'm broke so they'd have to be really cheap though!)

I am guilty of the first-line-of-the-comment thing, though I try to avoid doing that when I remember. Retrospective reviews is as fine line as well - as someone only just catching up on Alias, I appreciate people pretending it's all new even when it's not!

Anonymous said...

I got the DVDs for season 3 in the mail from Netflix before the finale aired which complicates this even more.

sunbunny said...

Downton got spoiled for me too. Thanks, Tumblr. I knew Stevens was leaving, but until I saw that fateful post I entertained some hope of him moving to India to find himself or something. Hehe funny image.

I actually read an article a few months ago that said some people enjoyed things more when they knew what was going to happen. If a show is really stressing me out, I've been known to search for spoilers, but I generally avoid them.

Awards show spoilers always get me since I'm constantly online at random news sites. A lot of the ceremonies are filmed out here, shown back east LIVE and time delayed for us. That makes NO sense.

Oh, and it's slightly off topic, but it always bugs me when books are made into movies or TV shows (GoT, cough cough) and people complain about spoilers. Deathly Hallows had been out for YEARS before they made that movie. Pick up a book, it won't kill you.

Josie Kafka said...

I have really specific memories of certain spoilers I encountered--important ones from Buffy, BSG, and Torchwood all come immediately to mind. I remember exactly where I encountered each one.

One of my favorite spoiler moments, however, was due to complete idiocy on my part. I started watching Buffy just as it was going off the air; after the fifth season premiere, I suddenly recalled a line from a review of the show I'd read years before. I was dead certain that the review contained, in large bold letters, the question: "Did Buffy really kill her sister in the graveyard last night?"

And so, on my many-years-later first watch, I spent all of Seasons 5, 6, and 7 waiting for Buffy to kill Dawn. It made for exciting viewing, to say the least.

I love a good tease and hate a bad spoiler--TVLine (with a few notable exceptions, including Downton Abbey) is right up my alley.

But, like Jess, I don't use social media. That saves me from being bombarded with someone else's idea of information worth sharing. And I've gotten pretty good at blindly deleting comments on episodes I haven't seen yet.

Having said that, I'm not sure how many shows I watch for which being spoiled would be a big deal. I don't mind Walking Dead spoilers at all. I can't be spoiled on Game of Thrones; I've read the books. Vampire Diaries--I'd hate to be spoiled on that.

But I think VD is the only show I watch religiously where what happens matters a lot. My other favorite shows are more about how people react to what happens, and how they feel about it later. Does that distinction make sense?

sunbunny said...

Josie - something similar happened to me on True Blood season...3? 4? The one with the witches. I read (or I thought I did) that Eric died. I don't have HBO and I don't download things illegally (because I don't know how) so I had to wait almost an entire year before finding out he made it through the season just fine.

Jess Lynde said...

Josie, that definitely makes sense. One of the critics I follow once said she has three basic reactions to shows: (A) I want to know what happens to these people, (B) I want to know what happens next, and (C) I want to know what happens next to these people, with (C) being the ideal (the best combination of plot and character).

I definitely have mixed tolerance for "spoilers" depending on the show. For some shows, I won't even watch the previews for the next episode, because I just don't want to know anything about the upcoming episode. I want to go in completely blind, with no expectations. Lately, I've been doing that with Justified and The Americans. But I always watch the previews for The Walking Dead. For some reason on that one, I like having a sense of what's coming next.

PlatinumRosebud said...

Interesting post, Chris.

I guess i'm not much affected with spoilers.

A bit weird but for me, i'm more interested with "how it got there" than the result.

Otherwise, I could really kill the spoiler. :D

Juliette said...

I'm afraid I am one of those people who gets upset at GoT spoilers. I'm working my way through the books but they're very long and I really mean it when I say I don't have time! (Bear in mind I read for a living so it's not always very relaxing, hence all the TV).

I seek out spoilers for some shows though - lately, Alias (which is easy to do, obviously!). also Dr Who. I think it's the shows I find mildly frustrating because they don't go where I want them to, or they develop very slowly, that I look for spoilers for.

Lately Pinterest in the biggest problem - I can avoid Facebook until I've seen an ep usually (Christmas Downton was a challenge and I failed!) and avoid Twitter during a show airing, but pictures from the Walking Dead on Pinterest with character deaths mentioned when it hasn't been on over here and I've only seen ep 1 of season 3 are harder to avoid, especially as they appear on general 'Geek' boards that I want to follow for other things.

TJ said...

New Buffy/Angel/Alias fans beware. Spoilers ahead...

This is a delicate problem, and I think one of the reasons it's so hard to avoid spoilers out there is because there is a market for them. A lot of people seek them out, and if sites like TVLine didn't have readers who wants spoilers they wouldn't write them in the first place.

I used to be one of those spoiler seekers myself back in the Buffy days. The second half of Buffy season 7 and Angel season 4 and the whole of Angel season 5, I read the scripts weeks before the episodes aired. I regret that now, I wonder how I would have reacted when Faith came back, Cordelia waking up and her demise, Connor's return in Angel's final season etc... But I remember I felt so desperate. I needed to know what was going to happen!

Same thing happened with Alias, when I desperately wanted my favorite character spy-mom Lena Olin to return. I literally vacuumed the internet in search of info about Lena and if she would ever return to Alias. It got to a point where I knew everything about her, her movie schedule, her whereabouts, her holidays back in Sweden. It almost felt like I was stalking her...

Well, I got better. I'm now a determined spoiler avoider, and don't read any reviews before I've seen the show myself. I don't use FB and Twitter so I guess that's a big help as well.

Because, after all, I love a good surprise. And wasn't it a lovely Amy Acker-moment last week? I don't have any cats and dogs, but I think I scared my neighbors instead:)

That said, I think the worst spoiler is sometimes the shows themselves. With opening credits. If you see a name in the beginning of an episode with someone that is supposed to be dead or whatever, it totally ruins it for me. But sometimes they get it right. Amy Acker wasn't in the opening credits last week, was she?? And I distinctly remember the Revenge season opener where they omitted Madeleine Stowe's name, just to make you wonder if she was really dead.

The only time nowadays I get unwillingly spoiled is actually this site. And as someone said, there is sometimes unfortunate headlines that you accidently read. And sometimes spoilers from elsewhere get posted in here in comments...


sunbunny said...

TJ - Amy Acker wasn't in the credits! I checked the second time around. I love when they do that. I agree, sometimes the worst spoilers are found in the opening credits of shows. Shows that are a half hour generally put guest stars in the end credits, not the opening credits, which I think works better.

TJ said...

Good. I usually try to close my eyes when the opening credits comes just because of that. But that's not easy, sometimes they drag the credits well into half the episode...

Just a clarification.
When I said that most spoilers I get nowadays was from this site I meant it was only from comments by others. Billie & Co are doing a fabulous job not to spoil anything so the problem isn't there.

We can take Amy Acker as an example. This is one of those moments when you just dive in here to see what other people thought of her surprise return. And you read the review and of course the comments. Then someone might say: "Yes it was great that Amy is back, it's a pity though that it's only for three episodes because she has signed on to a recurring role in Vampire Diaries." I hate that. That's a double spoiler. I would immediately know that they would probably kill her off in PoI, and it would be no surprise for me when she shows up in TVD.

That was just a fictional scenario of course, but you know what I mean.

Sometimes you root for certain actors/actresses and Amy is one of them. And I don't want to miss the surprise element when they show up.
Again Alias springs to mind, I was totally unspoiled when Amy turned up there, and I loved it...

Another one that I am trying very hard to not get any info on, is Mark Pellegrino, which I love when he shows up in, I think, probably every show I follow. This week was no exception when he turned up again...and I am not telling which show:)


sunbunny said...

Juliette - You are DRASTICALLY not the kind of person I was complaining about. I was complaining about idiots. I've read your blog. You are not an idiot. :) I managed not to have the GoT books spoiled for me because (I'm 100% serious) I didn't care one speck about them before I started reading, and then once I started, I finished the first four in a week. I did nothing else. I barely slept. I might have showered once. I don't think I even checked my email.

TJ - I hate casting spoilers too. They can be so hard to avoid though! (PoI, Following spoilers ahead) When Annie Parisse was assigned to be Kevin Bacon's partner in The Following, it was like, whoops, there goes Stanton. Three days later, there went Stanton.

TJ said...

Sunbunny - I know Annie Parisse was a hard one to avoid. But you know what, somehow I did! It must have been a miracle though, as I regularly check the news, checking out my sites on the net, and I consider myself as a person who knows what's going on. I must have been just lucky in this case...

Josie Kafka said...

Although this doesn't count as a spoiler, TJ's mention of credits reminded me of how much I hate the "previously on" segments of some shows. SPN is particularly bad at this--the "previously on" segment gives a pretty good indication of returning guest stars, themes, even possible resolutions to on-going problems.

TJ said...

Yes, the "previously on" can be very irritating.
Again, Buffy comes to mind, when in season 7, Faith's return was totally spoiled by the "previously on Buffy". Well, I knew she was coming back, but that segment featured clips with Faith from the show 4 years earlier!!
For me, previously on, means like last week?


sunbunny said...

I'm being such an elitist bitch, but previously ons sort of bother me because I feel like, if you haven't been watching the show, you don't deserve to know what's going on. It also drives me ABSOLUTELY INSANE when they include them on DVDs. Don't they realize we marathon these things? I don't need to know what happened in the last episode, I just watched it!

CrazyCris said...

Spoilers for Angel! :p
TJ, to be fair to that Buffy episode... if you watched Angel at the same time then you MUST have know she was coming to Buffy seeing as how she left LA in Willow's company! ;o)

I think the previously ons are only useful after a long hiatus... and I too wish they'd edit them out of the dvds! But that would be extra work and no one wants to do that! :p

Scott Riggan said...

(re: previously ons: "If you haven't been watching the show, you don't deserve to know what's going on." (LOL, sunbunny!)

I think I was 6 years old the year I found my Christmas presents, not yet wrapped, in my parents' bedroom. That Christmas was miserable because I knew exactly what I was getting and had to feign surprise and delight.

Our curiosity compels us to "peek" but it's ultimately disappointing and robs the storytelling of its power to surprise.

Dustin said...

I still remember my first spoiler, the morning after Return of the Jedi came out, some nitwit in my fifth grade class was going on about Luke and Leia being siblings. So that afternoon, I'm sitting in the theater watching and grumbling to myself about it.
Flash forward a few years when Star Trek 6 was in production and I was gobbling up every bit of news about the plot that I could find. Sitting through the movie was (to borrow Scott's analogy) just like the Christmas I ruined for myself by finding my presents before they were wrapped - it just wasn't as fun as it should have been.
It was Babylon 5 that next drove home to me the value of not being spoiled. Their "next time on" trailers often were very brief, didn't give details, and sometime were a misdirect when compared to the actual episode. I discovered the great joy of watching a favorite show without really knowing what was going to happen next.
I finally found my self control with Stargate SG1. Since I don't have cable, I had to wait for the DVDs to watch the episodes. I would litterally close my eyes on episode menus (because they would show a still shot from the ep that would often spoil), would close my eyes and say "la la la la la" during the previously on segments, and hold my hand up and cover the bottom of the screen during the opening guest star credits. It was just fun to have absoulutely No idea what was going to happen in the episode. (My wife thought I was nuts when I would do it, but oh well)
So I guess the soulutions is part self control, part that the industry needs to reduce the differentials in release dates, part shaming of those who spoil recklessly, and part acceptance that sometimes we are going to be spoiled.
PS Special shout out to JJ Abrams with his paranoia about spoilers for the next Star Trek film.
PPS Dishonorable mention in the FAIL category for the trailer to the film "Cast Away" which gave away that Tom Hanks ***spoiler alert*** returns to civilization by the end of the movie.

drnanamom said...

I guess I am the only person in the world who wasn't spoiled for the season three finale of Downton Abbey! I have been too busy to read things I guess. I have been spoiled and once totally spoiled something for someone and felt terrible. I also managed to do that with my blurb for one of my shows. It was just complete thoughtlessness and/or a very enthusiastic response to something in a show. I work hard not to do it now. It does feel like ruining someone's Christmas and who wants to do that?

Paul Kelly said...

The thing I often ponder is, why do actors feel the need to tell us when they're leaving a particular show? Is it for self-promotional purposes? In other words, are they essentially saying 'Hey look potential employers, I just left this really successful show and am ready to move on to new things. Please hire me."

Sometimes -- and I'm thinking mainly of soaps over here in the UK -- they actually telegraph it when stuff's about to go down. So the voice over on an ad will say "Tune it to see 'insert-character-name-here' leave in a blaze of glory". Even the actors themselves tend to mention months in advance when they're leaving. It's almost as if creating false tension and career promotion are more important to TV types than us actually being surprised/delighted by the story. Surprise endings seem to becoming a thing of the past.

Yet knowing what's going to happen can totally kill the tension. Just look at what happened with season six of Dexter. And imagine if we'd all known in advance who the final Cylon was in BSG, or what the hell Lost was all about. Those shows would never have recovered.

Sooze said...

I must be one of those who cares more about "how they get from point A to point B", since I often read the last page of a book before I start...no self control whatsoever. I also read the full reviews here of shows I am planning on watching, but haven't yet...even if I tell myself not to...I can't help myself!! And thus, I can't say I have ever been really disappointed about being spoiled.

TJ said...

Sooze - that is a completely different thing IMO. That's why reviews can be helpful to get you into a show. A good review is essential to good shows.

I remember back in the Buffy days, a few friends recommended me that I should really watch Buffy because it was soo my type of show. I was mildly interested, but suddenly they reprised Buffy on some channel immediately after another show I was following, so I thought I would give it a shot. The three episodes I saw was Bad Girls, Consequences and Doppelgangland, and then I gave up...I didn't get it at all.
My friends still said that I had to give it a chance from the START, and then something happened. I found on the net the lovely reviews of Buffy by Billie - and that convinced me that I really need to give this show a chance. And as everybody knows, the first season and half the second isn't that great, but then you get hooked. And what a wonderful ride it was...all thanks to Billie's wonderful reviews.
But of course, when I got into it, I read Billie's reviews after I've seen the episodes...

CrazyCris - yes, of course I knew Buffy was coming back, I was reading the scripts beforehand by then. But for someone who just follows Buffy, that Faith return was soo spoiled. You can see in the whole first act how the writers and the director intended the surprise moment: A girl runs in the woods, get rescued by (the introduction) of villain Nathan Fillion, girl gets tossed out of car, another car stops and Willow comes to the rescue. Then another character emerges from the shadows saying "Guess I'm back in Sunnydale" - surprise - it's Faith! which was totally destroyed by that darn "previously on".