Saturday, June 27, 2015

Curses, Spoiled Again!

Recently, I settled in for a free weekend of HBO provided by my cable service, a perfect opportunity to catch up on programs I no longer watch on a regular basis since I dropped the pay network last year. This afforded me the chance to binge on season 5 of GAME OF THRONES. Of course, this meant I had to commit to 10 hours of TV viewing that I could have spent...well, living perhaps? Enjoying the summer? Emerging from the darkness to the sunshine and, perhaps, breathe fresh air?

Nah....... That stuff's overrated.



The ramifications of binging aside, I dove in head-first, immersing myself once again into George R.R. Martin's world by way of pay cable, a show with that miraculously maintains a high standard each and every season, a credit to show-runners David Benoiff and D.B. Weiss. It didn't take me long to get hooked all over again.

I had been very careful to avoid any press and social media regarding this show, knowing I would catch up to it sooner or later and wanted to preserve that sense of discovery and wonder these creators have gone to such painstaking lengths to bring to the audience. Now I was reveling in it.

In the midst of all this, I received my latest copy of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY,  a publication which I have a love/hate relationship. Thumbing through the first few pages on my own Iron Throne (okay, it's the porcelain version), I fell directly into the hate designation when, without warning, I turned to an entire page devoted to the events of the final episode of GOT which aired not five days before. I closed the rag immediately and tossed it across the room, but not before I was unfortunate enough to glance at the first item concerning the death of a major character. I didn't read how or why, only that it happened. EW had just spoiled my GOT weekend. As for that sense of wonder and discovery I alluded to before? I got robbed.

Thanks, EW, you stinking, cheating rat bastards.

I was livid by this gob-smacking, but I pressed on and finished the show. This "big reveal" didn't completely ruin my GOT weekend, though it certainly tainted it, much like knowing the outcome of a sporting event before you watch the match. There was much more to the season other than this pertinent plot point (also revealed by EW). However, the predetermination of the fate of the particular character
loomed throughout the remaining episodes like a pesky audience member sitting behind me while I'm trying to watch CITIZEN KANE that keeps yelling, "IT'S A SLED! IT'S A SLED!"

I have a policy concerning spoilers.
NO.
NO means NO.

Granted, I didn't pay for GOT this time around, but that's not the point. HBO allowed this free weekend. There wasn't a caveat attached to it, stipulating that you may watch what and as much as you want, but we're going to tell you what happens first.

People watch TV differently these days, especially when full seasons of shows are available now . They can create their own viewing schedules. In order to fully enjoy the experience, one has to avoid the minefield of the thoughtless and uncaring.

Spoilers in in criticism or reporting is a sign of bad writing or in EW's case, bad journalism (though I am talking about EW, after all). This lack of restraint showcases a writer's weaknesses who is unable to fill a review/article/ column with originals thoughts or insights. As EW struggles to be relevant, it often frolics in the this shallow pool, barely managing to remain afloat by pandering to any flotsam or jetsam swimming by.

Those not in the media AKA The Great Unwashed of which I am a filthy card-carrying member, is even worse. I'm afraid I am in the minority of having qualms about spoilers. Insensitivity be damned, say the masses. It boils down to the arrogance of the privileged, those who already devoured their puddings and cannot wait to pontificate on what they've ingested long before you can even take your first bite. I've discovered this to be a by-product of the binging experience. Gorge on whole seasons and ruin it for anyone taking their own sweet time. For those who watch the old fashioned way, one episode at a time, there sometimes lurks an air of superiority as well, as though this rite of passage allows certain rights the rest of the peons are not privvy.

Fuck that.

Spoilers are an insult to creators and audiences alike. Those who engage in this practice have a lack of integrity and decency. Anyone out in violation of this what I consider to be heinous act, I would punish thee GOT style. You must atone for your sins. Those of you have seen GAME OF THRONES this season, partuclularly the finale, know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't, far be it from me to tell you.

That would spoil it.





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