Netflix just launched a whole site dedicated to spoilers, even a “Spoil Yourself” section that reveals crucial plot points from film and television. Click at your own risk of course.
So, spoilers. Do you avoid them at all costs, or cruise sites for tiny crumbs of spoilery tidbits. Ever spoil someone accidentally, or even on purpose?
Heather Hogan: I have a lot of feelings about spoilers, but my main feeling is: I hate them. This is no joke. For the last two Harry Potter books, I went on vacation the week before to an island with no wi-fi and refused to watch TV or listen to the radio or anything that whole week, and then on the night of the book release, I drove back home, bought the book, ran to my car, and barricaded myself into my bedroom until I was finished. I know I am an insane person, though, and so I get that it’s my responsibility not to get myself spoiled. If something is so important to me that I don’t want to know the details about it until I can see it with my own eyeballs, I can’t go trolling around on Tumblr and pursuing Twitter and lolling around on Facebook. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!, right? But it’s on me.
Grace Chu: Oh I look around for spoilers, especially conflicting reports, and post them all over social media. It drives people nuts.
Valerie Anne: I hate getting spoiled, but I’m with Heather; if I can’t watch something that I care about live, I avoid Tumblr until I watch, or avoid Twitter that night to avoid the livetweets. For things I care slightly less about sometimes I seek out spoilers, kind of like reading all the side effects on a bottle of medicine before taking it, to try to prepare for the worst (read: Glee S6), but for the most part, I avoid them. One of my biggest pet peeves about the entertainment industry is when they spoil their own shows; if someone is possibly dead after a season finale, don’t show them bee bopping around in your promo for the next season. I do wish Twitter had a feature (in itself, not as an extension) where you could block certain hashtags for certain periods of time. That would make avoiding spoilers a little easier, for me at least.
Elaine Atwell: I will scream at the top of my lungs to drown out the sound of spoilers. On the other hand, I love reading really good, smart TV criticism, even of shows I don’t watch, so sometimes I spoil myself. Like I’ll see something that says “spoilers ahead!” and be like “Oh, it’s cool I totally trust my eyeballs to see the offending spoilers and stop the information before it reaches my brain.” But luckily I’m also really forgetful, so like I know someone is going to die on Six Feet Under but I no longer recall who.
Kimberly Hoffman: The only time I ever actively sought out spoilers was in middle school when I was watching Dawson’s Creek. I needed to know WTF was happening between Joey and Pacey at all times. But being spoiled about a mega cliffhanger is the worst, and even if I stay off Twitter, I see it from someone on Facebook who can’t contain themselves. My friend Ace is shears behind in Pretty Little Liars, like at one point seasons behind, and he’d text me “Why did Mona do that?” “Is he dead?!” And I would just be like that lady in the Parent Trap who’s like, wiping down the counters with a rag and opening and closing those shutters to spy on them and is all “Not saying a word, not a single word!”
Eboni Rafus: I hate spoilers. I love living in Los Angeles, but one of the few downsides is that because of the time difference it’s really easy to accidentally come across spoilers the day my favorite shows airs. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Spoilers are everywhere! You have to be vigilant. East Coast viewers just don’t care that us West Coasters are three hours behind. To be safe, I turn off my wifi at 5 pm on Thursday nights. I’m not even joking. I shut that shit down! I refuse to have Scandal spoiled.
Dana Piccoli: I have come to accept the fact that I am going to get spoiled from time to time. Being on social media as much as I am, and writing about entertainment, it’s nearly impossible to avoid. For example, I was spoiled on the big Chicago Fire death minutes before the show even aired. I must confess, I have accidentally spoiled a few people about Pretty Little Liars in the past. I felt so terrible. One must never assume everyone is up to date on shows. I now ask, “Are you caught up?” before I let the feels take over.
Bridget McManus: I only want spoilers on shows I’m not watching. I know what happened in the Breaking Bad finale despite the fact that I only actually watched the first episode of season one.
Karman Kregloe: I love spoilers. I seek them out! Knowing what’s going to happen in a show or film doesn’t ruin it for me at all. I think having that information allows me to study the construction of the story even as it unfolds, so I feel both entertained and educated when I finally watch the “spoiled” show.
Or maybe I just enjoy the fleeting sense of omniscience.
Lucy Hallowell: So we just, I mean ten minutes ago, finished the second season of OITNB. Until Netflix started releasing shows all at once I didn’t get too worked up about spoilers. But with kids my life doesn’t allow for binge watching. If my wife and I are able to watch two hours of TV together a week we’re doing really well. So, OITNB’s first season was the first show where I got super annoyed about spoilers because the hype ruined the show for me. I was expecting it to be impossibly good and it just couldn’t live up to all the breathless tweets and Alex Vause swooning that filled up my timeline. I tried harder in the second season but spoilers are impossible to avoid entirely. It’s a bummer for sure but until I ship the little ones off to college I am resigned to having at least some shows ruined.
Trish Bendix: Once I became a West Coast transplant, I realized I would have to stay off the internet certain nights and times, which can be a little difficult when you’re getting alerts from lesbians telling you something shitty has happened to a character or Jodie Foster came out on the Golden Globes. But I don’t really get angry because I suppose once something has aired, it’s fair game. It’s hard to have a discussion about something that has happened in a show or movie in a timely fashion if you have to wait for the whole world to catch up, so using SPOILER ALERT is, sometimes, the best you can do. And, truly, if I learn something spoilery, it doesn’t mean I won’t still read or watch it.
Ali Davis: I can’t stand spoilers. I’m still mad that I never got to be properly shocked by Psycho because everyone in the world assumes you’ve seen it or at least know what happens, even if you’re twelve. I hate spoilers so much that if I already know I want to see a movie, I’ll even avoid watching the trailers for it. WHY DO YOU PUT MAJOR PLOT REVEALS IN THE PREVIEWS, MOVIE PEOPLE?! And I’m right there with the others on staying off of Twitter and Facebook on big show nights. Someday when I run a studio I’m going to run suspense shows a whole night early on the West coast and make the easterners go through clamping their eyes shut and sticking their fingers in their ears until they catch up on it.
Jenna Lykes: I do my best to avoid spoilers, mainly because they just make me really sad. I’m the type of person that gets so 100% immersed in a story that I almost never see big plot twists coming before they actually happen. Sometimes that makes me feel like an idiot (especially when people I’m watching with are all, “Oh, yeah, I knew that was going to happen half an hour ago!”), but IDEGAF because that moment of surprise is so worth it. Writers write stories the way they’re meant to be consumed, right? They build on certain things, they hint toward other things–all in a very purposeful, specific way. Spoilers ruin the magic of stories.
If I can’t avoid spoilers, I try to convince myself that they’re not real. I was SO sure that Eddie McClintock was just trolling fans with all that Pyka nonsense pre-season 5. You can imagine how well that turned out for me. (Never over it.)