At what point is it OK to reveal information about a book, a movie, or television and not be justifiably accused of being a spoiler? A week? A month? Ever? How long are people allowed to take offense for being spoiled if they weren’t in any hurry to consume the content?
How about if someone says “I haven’t seen it but want to?” Had that happen a couple of times but I recognize it could crimp conversation.
My baseline would be when it changes format. For a film or TV show, that would be when it’s released to DVD. For a book, when it’s released as softcover.
That said, that’s for public discussions. If you’re privately discussing something, and you know the other person hasn’t seen it, no amount of time passing gives you the license to be a dick and give away the twist ending.
Without knowing how the other person feels about that
Me, I routinely waive all “spoiler” stuff because to me the fun of hearing my friend discuss the story beats any plot twists. Especially when they are not always twisty for everyone – anyone who has known an actual narcissist spotted the “plot twists” of Gone Girl chapters before they actually happened, which didn’t make reading it a bad experience, just different. I know someone who figured out the death of a major Harry Potter character books before it happened, just because she recognised the arc Rowling was using. Didn’t stop her from enjoying the books, but there was nothing to “spoil”.
How to you figure for something that premiered on a streaming service, like Netfilx?
They don’t get released to DVD?
I guess I figured that streaming services were further down on the distribution chain. Do their shows come out on DVD?
If we’re looking for rules of thumb, it’s a standard in the advertising business that they can’t call something “new” if it’s been around for six months …
I think it’s situational.
I’ve seen trailers for movies that contain all the stuff worth experiencing so that you get excited for the movie, but then spend 2 hours on it and come away with nothing that you hadn’t already seen. So I don’t watch trailers. But seeing a clip in a music video is different - it may make me want to see the context that the clip came from.
Hearing someone discuss what happened may be the tipping point that makes me want to experience how it happened, so I often don’t mind spoilers that way.
But some scenes are so intense / powerful and critical to the impact of the book/show that you shouldn’t even say what happened. I think those do not have a time limit. For example, Easy Rider is 50 years old now, but it still wouldn’t be right to give away the ending to someone who hasn’t seen it yet. That’s a case where you really need to feel the scene and it needs to be a surprise to get the full intense emotional impact.
I was just thinking about this scenario this past weekend, because I finally saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Since when it was released I was a) a kid b) rural and c) not able to find anyone else to discuss science fiction with, there were a lot of things I didn’t know.
I didn’t know they reused the main theme for ST:TNG. I didn’t know it took so much from 2001.
But one thing I did know was how V’Ger came to be called that, because it was all over the local movie reviews. The 70s truly were anotherer era, spoilers-wise.
My wife reminded me that Netflix sometimes releases a movie to theaters if they want it to be in contention for an academy award.
Netflix does release their stuff on DVD…
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen trailers and said, “Well, we don’t have to go see that one.” It’s probably 50/50 between the trailer telling the whole story (with all the good bits), and movies too gory/scary for us to be interested.
ETA: I love Hitchcock (except for Frenzy) and I wish the idea of using the viewers’ imagination (instead of spurting blood on screen) would return.
I’ve been pretty impressed with the Marvel movies. They set the tone and give you an expectation of a plot that has nothing to do with anything after the first act.
Oh yes! Hitchcock was a master of that! I’ve watched splattergore movies since I was a kid and that stuff never bothered me. But the ways that Hitchcock would set things up, with those simple black and white sets, and then suddenly throw a shock at you. That’s the only thing that ever gave me nightmares from a movie/TV show. There was no blood or gore whatsoever. No depiction of how the awful thing happened, that was up to your imagination to fill in. But there was plenty of suspense. You saw what was leading up to a bad situation, but then someone went looking for someone else to try to fix things before it was too late, opened a door, and you unexpectedly see legs gently swinging from a hanged body.
It sounds really tame, I can’t explain the impact, but the way the stories were woven made it so intense.
Somewhere in my DVD collection is Hitchcock explaining suspense, and weirdly, it depends upon knowledge, not surprises.
Something like if a group of people are sitting around a table and a bomb under the table goes off, that’s just a shock. But if a group of people are innocently sitting around a table but only the film audience knows there is a bomb, that’s suspense.
I had the opposite of a spoiler. Someone told me the world blew up at the end of War Games. I was stressed through the whole movie waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I think by not showing the splattergore, it allowed your imagination to fill in the details, which can be worse. I think it links into different parts of the brain. For example, I was really scared in Alien when they went looking for the thing in the airducts or whatever, and it turned out to be Ripley’s cat (am I remembering right?). But that kind of fear was OK with me. It was more of imagination than gore. It didn’t linger in my brain.
But the chest-bursting scene was horrible. I knew it was coming (just like you said!), and the idea of it just burned my brain out. I can still see it (I only saw Alien once, when it first came out), and I hate having the memory. I avoided the sequels, and horror movies in general, ever since.
But only the “popular stuff”, right?
For instance, I just looked for season one of Dark and couldn’t find a legitimate DVD\BluRay. (Granted, I generally don’t buy DVDs so I may not know where to look)
If it’s released on DVD, Amazon would have it… I looked too, and did not see it. This is the closest I found, on the German amazon website… the soundtrack:
That’s a real bummer, because it’s an amazing show. Almost worth shelling out for Netflix streaming by itself. I suppose you could do the free month and watch both seasons!
Maybe it will come out altogether on DVD after the last season airs? Cartoon Network is also sometimes weird about DVD releases of their shows. I know releases for both adventure time and stephen Universe lagged well behind air dates.