Avoiding Spoilers

It’s harder than ever to avoid spoilers for shows or movies that you may be interested in watching. This past weekend, on Sunday, I went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the movie theater. It was only 4 days after it was released, but even so, I had concerns about how to avoid reading, or hearing, about the movie until I could actually see it.

I had a number of friends and colleagues who all rushed to see the movie on opening night. Afterwards, I was careful to only ask them if they thought the movie was worth seeing, while artfully dodging any other questions that may have inadvertently led to spoilers.

Even reading a review, or synopsis, about a show or movie can contain spoilers. Some authors are better than others about marking reviews and articles with a “spoiler alert” message. I recall once reading about the next season for a program I was watching, only to discover I could figure out everything that happened from reading the small synopsis for each episode. Talk about spoilers! And there wasn’t even a warning.

Sometimes, spoilers can be verbal, and can happen on radio programs, during interviews, or even with an innocent discussion. Or from a news source that’s totally unrelated. A colleague of mine, who incidentally is a huge Star Wars fan, shared with me how she was inadvertently exposed to a big spoiler for the previous Star Wars film in 2015. This colleague was being mindful to avoid any source that could potentially have information about the movie. Shortly before she went to see the movie, a big spoiler was randomly posted (with no warning), in a magazine about an unrelated topic, like gardening.

I’m not sure what the solution is, other than to avoid all news, social media, and casual conversations until after the threat of spoilers has past for you. Or learn to live with the disappointment. It’s almost impossible to control this type of information flow. Or to predict how and when it will appear. And at what point does a “spoiler” stop being a spoiler? Surely after enough time has passed, it’s ok to share certain things….

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