Spoilers, eh? They are a much-berated side-effect of the internet, of catch-up and of TV on demand. But are they really that bad?
The likes of Netflix, blinkbox and Amazon Prime mean that telly-watchers are now discovering shows at different times. I have plenty of pals who only just stepped into the wild world of Westeros, five years after the fight for the Iron Throne kicked off. If you’re consuming TV out of sync with the schedules, spoilers can come from anywhere, from Wikipedia to well-meaning friends.
Yet even if you’re loyally tuning in and watching telly as and when it airs, you can still fall victim to the spoiler. Differing US and UK air dates often mean Americans find out vital plot twists hours, days and sometimes even months before we do (and vice versa). Unless shows are simulcast worldwide (and you’re willing to sit up until the early hours to watch each episode with our American cousins) a quick flick through your Twitter feed can, more often than not, abrasively bring you up to speed, whether you wanted to be or not.
Of course, there are things you can do to avoid the dreaded spoiler. There are apps now that filter your news feed or redact info you might not want to see. You could avoid social media – however impossible that sounds. You could never speak to any telly-watching humans ever again.
But is any of that worth it? Are spoilers really the worst thing? Does finding out who died last week in Game of Thrones or reading THAT Grey’s Anatomy shocker that is currently ALL OVER THE INTERNET, really ruin your enjoyment of a show? Could you still love Broadchurch knowing whodunnit? If you found out your favourite character died in Downton Abbey, wouldn’t you still tune in to watch the inevitable for yourself?
What do you think? Are spoilers bad? Do they really ruin shows – or can you still enjoy TV knowing a future plot twist? Do you do anything to avoid spoilers? And is it really possible to avoid them all?