Kate (mskatej) wrote,
Kate
mskatej

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How I feel about spoilers (spoilers for 3.11 of "The Wire")

I take my television very seriously. I like to see things from the beginning, I don't miss episodes, and I hate being spoiled.

I understand why people love spoilers. It's a whole side of fandom I miss out on: the speculation that surrounds them, the discussion about what's coming up, the excitement, the dread - all that stuff can be fun. (Even if it does turn out that the thing you were dreading isn't that bad.)

But for me, they take away from the magic of watching the shows I love. There's nothing better than having no expectations other than the expectation that you're going to enjoy yourself. (And if you don't, at least you can be comforted by the fact that you didn't suffer through weeks or months of dreading the episode). Wanting to be prepared for the bad stuff, like say, the death of a beloved character makes some sense to me. But when the really big, important, special moments happen, who do you think gets the most out of them? The spoiled or the unspoiled? How can it possibly have the same impact when you already know it's coming?

My problems with being spoiled are twofold: if it's something I want to happen, something great, then being surprised when I watch the show is too incredibly awesome an experience for me to ever be tempted to click on links to spoilers. If it's something horrible, I find myself waiting for it to happen while I'm watching. I find myself dreading it. It taints all the drama that precedes the event, and I hate that feeling so much it amazes me that so many people aren't bothered by it. Maybe they even like it? (Explain yourselves!)

Let's take "The Wire", which I'm currently watching. After I'd seen season 1 a while back, I googled Stringer Bell, because I was so taken with the character (and actor) I wanted to find screencaps. Instead of screencaps, I stumbled upon a major spoiler. On page one of google, I'm told that Stringer is killed in season 3. Lesson learned, I stopped trying to read about "The Wire" online. I will now wait till I'm all caught up before I do any research on the show.

Thing is, I've been waiting all season for Stringer to die. When it happened, at the end of the last episode I watched...okay two things: I burst into tears and sobbed for a while and I can't even imagine how much worse it would have been for me if that had taken me by surprise. Because while they built up to it and while it made sense from a storytelling perspective, to me Stringer was invincible, untouchable, way too cool, sexy and important to ever actually die. But even though knowing possibly made the scene more bearable, the awareness that it was coming up hung over the season like a black cloud, and when it finally did happen, the scene was less powerful than it should have been.

People who don't feel this way about spoilers can sometimes be annoyingly unsympathetic. Posts about how spoilerphobes take being spoiled way too seriously are about my least favourite posts in fandom, and whenever I see one I put a black mark against the poster's name. The attitude: "I don't care so you shouldn't care" can basically go and get fucked.

I'm really interested in your perspective on this subject (unless your perspective is "I don't care so you shouldn't" of course). Do you like being spoiled? Do you hate it? Why? Also, do this poll:

How do you feel about spoilers?

I am completely spoilerphobic
46(39.0%)
I don't mind being spoiled but I don't actively seek them out
23(19.5%)
I don't like being spoiled but I often can't resist the temptation
29(24.6%)
I love spoilers and read every one I can find
20(16.9%)


Tags: meta, polls, tv: general, tv: the wire
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