Yes, Phil’s talked about them before but I’d like to open that book once again: spoilers.
We’ve all probably encountered them at one point of our lives or another, ruining a book, movie, or video game before we’ve had a chance to enjoy it. “XXXXXX is a XXXXXXX” in THE CRYING GAME. “XXXXX is XXXXXXX’s XXXXXX” in the Star Wars Trilogy. “XXXXXXX’s XXXXXXX is in a XXXXXXX” in SE7EN. The list goes on.
Before it used to just be the bad luck of overhearing someone else’s conversation. Now with the instant transmission culture of Twitter and Facebook and the Internet in general, spoilers are everywhere.
How sensitive are you to spoilers? Does the journey matter more than the ending, to paraphrase the old saying? Or does knowing the conclusion of something ruin it totally for you?
ROGER: Spoilers suck. Especially the stuff that you accidentally read or bump into on FB or Twitter, etc. If anything, it robs you of the pure experience. So when a big movie just comes out, I tend to shy away from social media until I get to see it myself. Cuz, you know, knowing Darth Vader is indeed Luke’s mother before seeing Star Wars just makes Star Wars less…Star Warsy.
IRIS: Does anyone really like spoilers? It’s always preferable not to overhear them. Before I went to see SIXTH SENSE, my friend told me “there’s the biggest twist at the end,” which got my wheels spinning and I had it figured out in the first 10 minutes, so I didn’t have quite the same experience as everyone else. On the other hand, we all knew the Titanic was going to sink in the end, but the story-telling still carried you through the movie. So I suppose a really well told story is entertaining whether you know the ending or not. After all, we can watch our favorite movies over and over when we obviously know what’s going to happen.
PHILIP: I don’t seek out spoilers but they don’t bother me. For me, whether it’s a film or a book ot other form of storytelling, it’s always been about the artist’s pov, the vision, the take that makes the story interesting. Even if I know how something ends or what the “surprise” twist is, I’m more interested in how the filmmaker tells the story–it is more about the journey. We all know pretty much how 99.9% of all romantic comedies are going to end, for example, but there’s a huge difference between WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY.
ALFREDO: I agree with Phil: FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY was an underrated masterpiece. For me, it’s about character and tone. If I love a character – oh, I dunno, say, just about everybody in “Withnail and I,” (yes, I will work that reference in to as many things as possible until someone finally breaks down and sees it) – I will watch them reading the phone book, if they do it compellingly enough. So, yeah, spoilers can be a drag, but it’s not the main thing. I’d watch Clementine in Eternal Sunshine re-dye her hair for the eighteenth time, knowing full well it won’t come out basic brunette, just ‘cause.
DHH: On the one hand, I agree with Alfredo and Phil: if I know the plot or “secret” of a movie or show going in, I can still appreciate the journey that the artists took to get there. In fact, when we go to see a classic play, we probably know how it’s going to end (SPOILER ALERT: things don’t turn out very well for poor Hamlet), but that usually doesn’t dampen our enjoyment. On the other hand, giving away the plot does sometimes violate the intentions of the creators, who, in the case of a “twist,” worked hard to subvert the audience’s perception of earlier events in the story. So, all things being equal, if you have the choice whether or not to spoil your friend’s experience of a movie or show, it’s kinder to keep quiet — for the sakes of both your friend and the artists who made the piece.
DAVID: I have a awesome power called “No Total Recall”. You can tell me an ending of a television series I’m currently watching and I’ll forget what you told me in a couple of days. Really handy in cases like these. But yes… I’ll be bothered by the fact you told me the ending or even a suggested ending in your theory… that means you suck.
JEROME: I might be guilty of the latter, David. Guilty a lot.