The phrase “spoiler alert” is so commonplace these days that I heard it used several times this past weekend by girls attending my daughter’s 10th birthday party. Spoiler alert: I think spoiler alerts are unnecessary.
But I realize I may be in the vast minority here. See, I don’t mind spoilers for two reasons:
1) My days, like so many people, are completely filled with STUFF. Things to do, places to go, deadlines, obligations… STUFF. To figure out if there is a movie, book, or TV show out there that might actually be worthy of my dwindling free time, some bit of research is required. And that may include revealing what is so special about that movie, book, or TV show. A spoiler. Then there is the other reason…
2) I simply don’t mind.
In my opinion, the best movies, books, and shows, are the ones where you know what is coming and still love the way they did it. A particularly stylish take, an ingenious presentation, incredible dialog or acting, or just amazing storytelling. Even if I know that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father, I am still capable of being enthralled by the way the story plays out.
Isn’t that why so many people can watch the same movie again and again, or read the same book many times? You know what’s going to happen, you just love the process of getting there. And isn’t that why so many stories get remade (rebooted, as they say in Hollywood)? Because mostly we want to know where the hell this train is going. We don’t have a lot of free time to just hope for the best.
I used to love reading Roger Ebert’s reviews of movies, even though he’d often give away some important plot point. But if he loved a movie, I could usually be assured that the journey was entertaining. Not always good — I am a fan of Mr. Ebert but we did not always see eye-to-eye — but entertaining.
Don’t even get me started on things that are so mundane that no amount of revealing could spoil their already rotten material (reality TV, I am looking at you).
Now, like I said, I assume I am in the minority here. So don’t expect me to post plot outlines of my books in advance, giving away all the secrets, hoping you’ll still want to go on the journey. Because I know there are many people who hear ‘spoiler alert’ and run screaming, holding their ears.
But, you know, if you want to give away the ending to Breaking Bad (No, I haven’t finished it yet. SORRY.), tell me the complete plot of the new Godzilla movie, or let slip the final act of Hugh Howey’s Sand series, I’m cool with that. I still want to see how it all plays out.
Call me spoiler-proof.