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My Rules on Spoilers

Let’s get this straight. NOT EVERYTHING IS A SPOILER.  This Sunday I posted this tweet:

“I’ve been typecast as a straight dude for 20 years,” @Michael_Rooker, just now, on the phone as he drives to Atlanta for #WalkingDead.

Suddenly, I got a bunch of tweets calling me out for spoiling the show.

Give me a break. Firstly, the fact that Rooker is coming back has been all over the fan press.  Secondly, I don’t say WHEN he’s coming back. And, thirdly, we know this character is still alive, he cut off his own hand to survive, and he’s holding a grudge – if you don’t know he’s coming back already, you’re a moron.


Later that evening, I posted a photo on Facebook of the green explosion from that evening’s Game of Thrones, with the caption:  “I have loved many explosions in my life but I just might love this explosion most.”

Once again I was besieged by the “Thanks for spoiling it, dude!” comments.

A screenshot is also not a spoiler. I’m not giving away any major plot twists, revealing a character death, etc.  I don’t think anyone’s enjoyment of Game of Thrones was diminished in any way by the shot.

The point of all this is people need to limit their parameters of what they consider a spoiler. We, the fan community, have become incredibly over-sensitive, looking for spoilers at ever turn.  And, when everything’s a spoiler,  that unfortunately makes an light of when someone is actually spoiling something.

I too, don’t want important things spoiled. I liked going into Cabin in the Woods not knowing what was coming – I think it was important for my enjoyment of the film in that particular situation.  I hated when Roger Ebert gave away a shocking plot twist in the first paragraph of his review for SUPER.  But every single plot point in every story ever told is not a spoiler.

So, before we call something a spoiler, let’s just think for a second, is this really something that’s going to diminish my enjoyment of whatever the movie or TV show is? Usually, it’s not going to affect it at all.  I’m going to enjoy that next episode of Hardcastle & McCormick just as much, whether or not I know George Clooney is making a cameo in act two, or there’s going to be a green explosion in act three.

Also, if you don’t want something to be spoiled, especially a TV show the night it’s on, STAY OFF THE FUCKING INTERNET.  Quit blaming others for your own addiction to reading your Twitter and Facebook feed.  If you still have the finale of American Idol on your DVR and don’t know Phillip Phillips won last week, stay off your computer and TV and wear blinders when you pass newsstands so you won’t find out.

Oh, shit. Sorry. I just spoiled that one for you too.

And, finally, I’m considering this a contract of sorts with people who follow me on Facebook and Twitter.  You’re being warned.  Here are the things I do NOT consider a spoiler:

  1. Plot twists or endings of films that have become more well known than the movies they’re in, i.e. Sixth Sense, Soylent Green, Crying Game.
  2. Stunning plot twists in TV shows – i.e. Charlie’s death in Lost – once they’ve become a part of the online cultural conversation, often a week or two after the show airs.  (Yes, I know this screws my European followers, who often don’t get TV shows until months after they air here – but you also don’t get creationists or anti-vaccination whackjobs, so I guess we’re even.)
  3. Winners of reality show seasons the day after the finale airs.
  4. People who get kicked off a regular episode of a reality show after the Pacific feed airs. (If this upsets you, it doesn’t mean I’ve spoiled it, it means you need to get a life.)

If you’re at odds with any of this, feel free to unfollow me on Twitter or unsubscribe on Facebook.  If it does not, let’s continue the fun conversations we’ve been having.


© 2012, James Gunn. All rights reserved.

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