Spoilers. The very word is enough to put many readers on edge. Heck, some people probably didn’t click this story simply because of the above picture, combined with the word “spoiler” in the headline. After all, the term is designed to make readers sit up and take notice. Whether it’s bolded, italicized, put in parentheticals or obnoxiously peppered throughout an article, the term “spoiler” has become synonymous with fear. But need it be? How much do spoilers really affect our relationship with a TV show? For that matter, what exactly constitutes a spoiler to begin with?
Well, in its simplest form, the word is meant to indicate an unexpected or drastic plot development that fans may not want to be aware of before watching the episode, season or series involved. But how unexpected or drastic the event needs to be in order to be considered a spoiler is completely subjective. Some people want to know nothing — not casting or even an episode title — while others are fine with just about anything. What makes things more complicated, is there’s no apparent journalistic standard when it comes to spoiling. Certain outlets will list spoilers in headlines while others ban them entirely. (Indiewire has a strict “no unmarked spoiler” policy in all reviews, essays and articles other than episode reviews.)
All of the above is the subject of this week’s Very Good TV Podcast. Indiewire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers discuss what the word means to them, how wary they are of being spoiled, some of the worst spoiling moments they’ve encountered and why no one can settle on a general policy to adhere to — other than “Shut the hell up.”
Don’t forget to subscribe to Very Good TV Podcast via Soundcloud or iTunes. Follow Indiewire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news — as well as the latest reviews and analysis on all the best television shows out this fall, not just “The Leftovers” — plus check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, don’t forget to listen to Indiewire’s other podcasts, Screen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, as well as Indiewire Influencers, hosted by Editor in Chief Dana Harris and featuring various guests relevant to anyone tracking independent film or entertainment in general.
– Liz takes a deep — and fun! — dive into comic book adaptations and why they’re better served on television.
– Did you catch the latest episode of “The Leftovers”? Amy Brenneman shares Laurie’s secrets in this interview.
– “Fargo” Season 2 is underway. Relish every episode with Indiewire’s reviews.