Ask Dayton 77 – Spoiler Alert!
I was following G and T members on Twitter and saw a discussion of spoilers. What do you think is a good length of time to freely discuss full content for: 1) books, 2) TV shows, 3) movies and 4) comics?
Also, do you have rules you follow regarding reading industry websites, news and social media to avoid the spoilers?
Oh, here’s a question that’s not going to generate any sort of first-world butt-hurt. Not at all.
There’s never going to be a consensus on a topic like this, because nobody involved is starting out from the same spot on the track. Not everybody gets to see a movie on opening night, or when a TV show first airs, or when a new comic drops at the shop. The people who do are either going to be considerate of those in their little circle who are “less fortunate,” or they’re not, and the criteria for what constitutes “considerate” shifts like Jell-O on a waterbed aboard a cruise ship in a hurricane.
(What? Fuck, I don’t know. Strawberry Jell-O, all right? Who gives a shit? FOCUS, people.)
So, when it comes to how long to wait, the old “best judgment,” “common sense,” and “try not to be a dick” axioms are the general rules I try to follow.
Personally, I try not to post spoilers for anything out in the open, unless we’re talking about something that’s been around for quite a while. I mean, you know Taylor was on Earth the entire time, right? Kristen Shepherd shot J.R., and Bruce Willis was dead for the whole movie? Harold and Kumar do make it to White Castle, and so on. When I wanted to talk about something on a message board where spoilers were a possibility, I either stuck to threads which were clearly “marked as ZOMG! CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!” or else I used whatever “spoiler code” function the board might utilize.
When it comes to news sites and other places where encountering spoilers is a possibility, I tend just to avoid those places if I’m trying not to be spoiled, but I don’t get too worked up if I run into or across something, because if I go to one of those sites, it’s my own dumbass fault, right? For example, with the most recent Star Trek movie, I didn’t read articles posted at sites like Trek Movie or StarTrek.com. Since I started writing Trek for Pocket, being spoiled on this or that Trek movie or episode is a basic hazard of the job, but for the new JJ-Trek movies—and since Pocket’s not presently doing any tie-ins to those films, I just wanted to go and watch Into Darkness like a regular fan. The only trailers I watched were the ones they showed on TV. I wasn’t actively avoiding spoilers, but neither was I going out of my way to gather information on the flick.
Then, two weeks before the movie opens in the U.S., somebody on Facebook who’s living in the U.K. just posts a one-line spoiler for the film’s biggest “twist.” To be honest, I wasn’t mad at that guy so much as I was at the people who made the decision to go with a staggered release schedule that guaranteed all the secrecy surrounding the film’s production was for shit.
Can I get a “Whoops” for that?
One thing I don’t get is the whole “live-spoiling” movies or TV shows while people are watching it during its first broadcast. If people are in a chat room or on some other private communications venue with their friends while all that’s going on, then more power to them. But just throwing out spoilers in real time to wide-open Twitter or Facebook? I don’t get the appeal. I can see the fun to be had in a “Tweet-along” for a favorite cult movie or something similar, but if I’m watching something for the first time? I’m not interested in shooting the shit with anyone while I’m trying to enjoy the story. I don’t want to talk to people I like during times like those, much less anyone scattered across the vast social media echo chamber. That goes double if we’re talking about a movie or TV show where there’s liable to be large amounts of wanton bloodshed and gratuitous nudity and sex. You interrupt me during Spartacus at your fucking peril, okay? I’ll be with you after I’m done watching. Until then? Just hold your fluids.
Yes, I’m aware that some people are going to take exception to my viewpoint, and trust me when I tell you that I’ve allotted at least seven or eight nanoseconds for being grief-stricken at their disappointment. I’m not calling for anyone to stop, or that they should be “prevented” from doing what they do. They’ll keep doing what they’re doing, and I’m just going to go on comparing them to a gaggle of twelve-year-old girls (or their mothers) standing around shrieking because Justin Bieber just took the stage after forgetting to zip up his fly.
Hey, don’t look at me like that. If the Crocs fit, wear ‘em.
(I’m reminded that this will be the last “Ask Dayton” until after the big convention in Las Vegas, which is now less than two weeks away! Kevin and I are looking forward to hanging out with Terry, Nick and Mike, along with as many of you as we can. See you there!)
Related articles across the web
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.