What is a spoiler? A plea from a Schmoe
Up until just a few months ago, I was a Schmoe like you. I visited JoBlo.com every day to get my dose of movie news and reviews. Sure, I had aspirations to be a writer or even a filmmaker, but reality bogged me down. All I knew was that I loved to write and I loved movies. So, when an opportunity to work for the very site I visited became available, I jumped at the chance. So, a little under a year later, here I am.
But, I have learned a hard lesson along the way: spoilers can ruin a movie fan's day. If you learn a secret or a plot detail before you have seen the movie, it can destroy that movie going experience. For some, this is a big deal while others (like me) would love to learn every detail about a movie. For me, finding out how a movie is made and the lengths the filmmakers go to in order to surprise fans is an intricate and fascinating process. So, when I joined the staff here at the site, I made it my goal to not ruin the movies for you. We all try our best to inform you and give you the latest on every detail about the movies you want to see. But even with vigilant and tireless effort, there are still spoilers that sometimes make their way through. Sure, if we stick something in an article title like GUESS WHICH SITH LORD IS REALLY A SKYWALKER, we are breaking that trust between reporter and reader. However, that raises a very distinct and interesting question.
What is a spoiler?
Before the Internet, a spoiler was when someone told you about something in a movie or TV show before you had seen it. I remember that my first movie experience that was truly ruined by a spoiler was THE SIXTH SENSE. My father had seen the movie on a business trip and told me the twist was that Bruce Willis was really a ghost. At first, I was shocked. Then, I got angry. I had not seen THE SIXTH SENSE yet, but I wanted to. No, I wasn't going to see it that weekend, but still, I was hoping that when I did see it, that huge turn of events would have still gotten me like it did those who saw it on opening weekend. That is a spoiler.
With the proliferation of media across Internet, cable, radio, magazine, and every other possible mode of communication in this modern age, a spoiler is as easy as stumbling across a link or a text message that reveals that Rosebud was the sled from CITIZEN KANE. Oh, shit! Did I just ruin that seventy-year-old movie for you? I am such an asshole!
That is my point. it is impossible for every single movie or television show to be protected by a spoiler warning. It is just not feasible in this day and age to expect those around you to know you have not seen something. Sure, if a TV show kills off a major character and someone tells you the very next day, that person is undoubtedly a douchebag. But, if season five rolls around and someone says something that references an event from season four, you my friend are shit outta luck. Yeah, a lot of people like to wait until the full season of a show is released on Blu-ray or DVD so they can watch it all in one sitting, but that is your choice. If you accidentally find out the events of something that aired months or years ago, that is no foul.
I used to live by a simple spoiler rule: one season later for a television show or one year for a movie. If you are told the events of a movie that was released a year ago, that is no longer a spoiler. A full year is enough time for you to have seen a movie or a television show. In fact, with most movies and shows hitting home video or online streaming sooner and sooner, you could even truncate that to six months.
So, yes, spoilers suck. Those who intentionally seek out chances to ruin movies for people are the cinematic equivalent of a cock-blocker. But, if you are visiting a movie news website, you are playing with fire. We strive to report on movie news and that includes sequels and reboots. So, if we report on CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE NEXT AVENGER and talk about certain characters who have died, and you haven't seen it yet, I have a question: why the f*ck are you reading an article about the sequel? That is on you, buddy. But, if we don't warn you about a spoiler for a movie that has not been released or has just hit theaters, that is on us.
So, I guess my question to you is this: what do you consider a spoiler?
Oh and if you want to see a graphic with many of the "top movie spoilers" on it, CLICK HERE!