Friday, June 25, 2010

Are You Spoil(er)ed?

I have a love/hate relationship with spoilers.

Up until a year ago, I was an avoid-at-all-costs type of person, someone who'd go see a movie without reading reviews because I didn't want to accidentally find out the ending, who couldn't comprehend how someone could read the last page of the book first. I wanted the discovery, the real-time experience of seeing/reading/hearing something for the first time without prior knowledge.

Then Torchwood season 3 came along. I was absolutely pumped for it - I read the articles, I lurked on message boards, I speculated about the storyline. But as soon as it was released in the UK, I stayed away from any and all discussion of the show. The US broadcast was three weeks after the UK broadcast, and I didn't want to know what was going to happen before I could see it for myself.

But an innocuous post on a blog, purportedly about the radio plays that were running at the same time, blew my happy little bubble to shreds.

Someone on the blog posted a major spoiler, the death of my favorite character.

I clicked out of the site as fast as humanly possible, but the damage was done. I fought with myself for a couple of days, but finally went to IMDB to check, and sure enough, the actor had only four episodes (out of five) listed on his vitae.

I was crushed. I watched the show, but with an aching heart as I anticipated his demise with each episode that aired. And when it did finally happen - I was gutted.

So you'd think I'd go back to avoiding spoilers even more after that, right?

You'd be wrong.

I've become a total spoiler hound, anxiously awaiting each week's posting on the message boards for my favorite shows. I read the spoilers to reassure myself that things are going to turn out the way I want them to, or to prepare myself for situations that won't go the way I hoped.

But sometimes, as with the Torchwood spoiler, I wish I could rewind and erase what I've just found out.

For the past few days, my Twitter feed has been blowing up with news of another character death - again, one of my favorites, and half of a pairing that I was hoping against hope would end up together at the end of the show. Now, however, with this news, I'm facing the prospect of watching another favorite die, and spending the next three months knowing everything that happens on the show will end with this result.

It's not official, of course; I can't imagine the powers that be wanted to have details of how this storyline ends being blabbed all over the internet three months before the show goes off the air. There could very well have been multiple endings filmed, or dummy scripts created, in an attempt to keep the true conclusion under wraps. But signs do seem to be pointing in that direction.

So now I have to make a decision. Do I keep watching, with this knowledge in the back of my head, coloring every interaction I see between this character and the people around him? Or do I stop now, to avoid another Torchwood situation?

I still haven't decided. And as much as I wish I didn't know this particular rumor, I know I'll be back reading the spoilers tomorrow, if only in the hopes that I may find out the rumor isn't true!
So how about you? Do you read spoilers? Are you a last-page-of-the-book reader, or do you want the surprise of discovery?


Meg Benjamin said...

Well damn, now I'm going to be worried about the Torchwood characters (we just started watching season one). Tell me it's not Jack!

Kate Davies said...

Oh, shoot! See, even when I try to be cryptic I still give too much away. No, it's not Jack. And the series is definitely worth watching - just keep your Kleenex handy! It's not like Star Trek, where you're only really in danger if you're wearing a different-colored uniform. ;)

PG Forte said...

I'm a big fan of spoilers for TV shows and movies. A BIG fan. Huge. I don't do well uncertainty. If something bad's gonna happen, I want to know about it.

Oddly, I don't have nearly as much of a spoiler habit with books.

Meg Benjamin said...

I'm both--I like to know when nasty stuff is coming, and I do read the last page of the book. Which, of course, is ridiculous with romances because you know it's HEA!

Miz Angell said...

I hate spoilers. I have to avoid message boards and even twitter just to stop myself from seeing them. Even with Glee, I don't want to know what songs are in an episode so I avert my eyes when I even see the word before I've watched the episode.

I know what you mean about Torchwood though. I got to it late though, so any and all spoilers I might have seen flicked out of my mind as quickly as I read them.

But I see the tag at the bottom of your post, and having watched the show for years, still don't know who we're losing.

Am I better off?

Maia Strong said...

I have been known to skip ahead in books--generally to find the end of a scene that I find particularly tedious or annoying--but jumping to the end? FTW!? Never.

Spoilers for TV/movies... I'm on the fence. For me, it comes down to what show or what movie. I don't want to know what happens in Toy Story 3 (which is hard to avoid considering how much Disney Channel I watch sometimes). I don't want to know what's going to happen on Burn Notice or Psych. But there have been shows in the past where I wanted to know what was coming so that I knew whether or not it was going to piss me off. ::coughENTERPRISEcough:: Generally, unless there's a specific reason to read or watch spoilers, I prefer the excitement of the discovery.

Kate Davies said...

Hi Miz Angell - see, this is why I shouldn't post after bedtime. I've removed that tag. And yes, you're better off not knowing, I think. Especially since it's not an "official" spoiler yet, and could be completely wrong.

Sorry about that!

And Maia, I wish I had that self-control sometimes. There are things I know that I wish I didn't, even beyond the one big one that's on my mind today. And I wish I could watch with a fresh eye instead.

Maia Strong said...

Kate - I totally understand. I've often wondered what it would have been like watching the movie Jacob's Ladder without knowing the ending. But I knew the end before I even knew what the movie was about.

PG Forte said...

That's it. Now I'm gonna have to stalk your Twitter stream. Way to stoke my curiosity, Kate. I'll never get any work done now. lol!