Thanks to the Internet and the way we consume media nowadays, we can get our entertainment virtually instantaneously. However, not many people have the time to actually consume it in a timely manner as others. There will be times when people will just have too much on their plate so they won’t be able to get to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones the day it comes out or have the money to go to the cinema to watch Spider-Man: Homecoming to see the weird relationship between Peter Parker and The Vulture. However, it would be unfair for these people to cry out when someone reveals something like, say, how Luke Skywalker is connected to Darth Vader. The film has been out for decades and that scene has become a part of pop culture already so that should be fair game already. If you don’t know about the entire “I am your father” moment from Star Wars, well, you do now because I just gave a massive spoiler about it!
But I think it’s okay for me to have revealed that twist in the story because, well, Star Wars and, specifically, that scene has been ingrained in pop culture for so long now. But what about more recent films and television shows? When will it be okay for people to discuss who is the latest one to get offed in Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead? When is it going to be not an issue to talk about Peter Parker’s weird connection to The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming? It’s generally difficult to say but that did get me thinking that there should be some rules in place regarding spoilers and when it should be okay to talk about major plot points. I mean, the onus can’t be always be on the one’s who have already seen the thing? At a certain point, there should be a time when it’s going to be the other guy’s fault for not being in the know.
So, with that in mind, here are my proposed set of rules as to when it should be okay to openly discuss spoilers!
Rule #1: One must put a warning on your posts when revealing spoilers
Now, I don’t really have a major hangup about knowing spoilers ahead of time. My thinking is, if a movie or TV show is really good, it shouldn’t matter if I have prior knowledge about what’s going to happen. If something relies too much on the twist, then it’s not really that good to begin with. It’s the journey and not the destination, in a sense. However, I do understand that a lot of people have a major hangup about learning about plot points or, in extreme cases, even the most minor details of a film. This is why it’s required on 3rd World Geeks to put up a SPOILER ALERT if the post is going to reveal something about something recent.
This should actually apply to all posts and blogs as well, especially if the movie or show was just released. Because of the way social media has become part of everyday life, people should be more careful. I know you might be excited about something you saw on TV very recently and you want to convey your excitement to as many people as possible. That’s fine but at least have the common decency to give others a chance to avert their eyes! Put the SPOILER ALERT at the start of your posts and stuff. Make it as visible as possible.
In fact, if you’re with a group of people and you’re about to dive into spoiler territory, it may be a good idea to mention to everyone that you’re going to do so before diving right in!
Rule #2: You must make a one week allowance before opening discussing spoilers for new movies AND home video releases
I know someone who got upset at a friend of mine because the latter revealed the big twist of Psycho. Yes, Psycho! The film that was released in 1960. The Psycho that has become a horror classic and its big twist it had becoming a kind of horror movie trope by now. The one that actually got a prequel television series fairly recently and got that weird shot-by-shot unnecessary remake in 1998.
That person was extremely upset when he casually mentioned that Norman Bates was actually dressing up as his mother! But I don’t think the “spoiler-er” didn’t do anything wrong because Psycho is extremely popular and I’m betting that some movie fans who haven’t watched it already knew about the twist. In this case, ithe “spoiler-ey” has no right to be angry. He never mentioned that he was planning to watch Psycho ever and, in fact, he never had plans to watch this 50 year old film before!
But how should we handle spoilers for movies in general? Well, for movies that have just been released in the cinema, I would say one week is sufficient time before you don’t need to bring out the spoiler warning when talking to people. By this time, everyone already had enough time to watch the movie and they should’ve been able to do just that with 7 days. Heck, by that time, the next big movie may have already been released, making last week’s movie old news!
However, I will add an amendment to this rule, stating that no spoilers should be released one week after the movie has been made available for home viewing. By this time, most of the immediate hype for the film has died down. Even the people that hadn’t watch the film during its theatrical run may have forgotten the spoilers that were revealed then. So the rule should also be re-implemented at this point in time. Please take that in mind as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be released sometime in August! No one reveal the twist about Ego then, okay?
Rule #3: You must wait two days before revealing any spoilers from “regular” television shows
I haven’t seen an episode of Game of Thrones. It’s true! It’s one of the most popular shows in the world right now and probably the epitome of geek fantasy at the moment but I haven’t mustered enough time to actually watch it. I do have plans to catch up eventually but I just don’t have the time yet. Thankfully, I don’t have any hang ups about spoilers so I can watch the spoilers today and not really care about when I get to the good stuff.
However, that doesn’t hold true for most Game of Thrones fans. I know people who watch it the instant it comes out but not because of their insane love for the show. Rather, they want to watch the latest episode because it’s incredibly hard to avoid spoilers as there are so many of their friends who just love giving their reactions on the Internet of the episode immediately after watching it. I mean, it’s all fun and games to take a video of your friends watching The Red Wedding… but if you told them about the Red Wedding before they watched it, it wouldn’t have gotten the reaction it did.
Now, because it’s much more easier to watch TV shows on demand, there are a lot of people that like to slack off and not watch the latest episode as it comes out. But I don’t think they have the right to get mad if they hadn’t caught up with the show after three days the episode has aired. Most of the time, new episodes have to be seen and discussed the next day of work. It’s practically expected of you to know what happened by then.
Because of the demanding schedule of some people, I think it’s only fair to give a little leeway. Therefore, I say that it should be okay to talk in detail about the latest episode of a popular show two days after it’s aired. That should give everyone enough time to get the episode on Netflix or download it via scrupulous and unscrupulous means (wink, wink).
Rule #3: No spoilers should be openly discussed within 30 days after a “binge watch” television show has been released
Daily and weekly episodic shows are so last year! The wave of the future appears to be just dumping an entire season’s worth of episodes at one time! This has worked really well for Netflix as most of their produced television programs like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards have excelled partially because of this strategy.
This does bring up an interesting question regarding spoilers. Because of the unique format, when can you actually talk about major plot points for shows like this? Unlike daily and weekly episodic programs, you’re kind of expected to plop your butt on a chair and spend, at most, an hour watching it. But you can’t expect everyone to just burn through 13 hours of the same show. Some people love to binge watch House of Cards and Orange is the New Black while others may want to take their time and digest it, watching maybe 2 or 3 episodes in a day. So, when can you discuss spoilers for shows that are meant to be binge watched?
I think there should be a 30 day time limit before you can discuss spoilers for these kinds of shows. That should be more than enough time to polish up an entire season’s worth of a singular show. Also, if the show is any good, I would expect people would be eagerly watching the next episode as soon as possible so they can find out what happens next. If it isn’t any good, well, then the fans that stopped watching wouldn’t care if they got spoiled, right?
But, what do I know? Like I said, I don’t really care about spoilers!
When do you think people can talk freely about spoilers? Let me know in the comments section below!