Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageWhat's the point of watching TV when you have to wait an age to talk about it?Patrik Theander

This article doesn’t contain any spoilers whatsoever for Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 10, Mother’s Mercy.

By now you probably know that Season Five of Game of Thrones ended with the shocking … no, wait, we can’t talk about that. But it was days ago! Surely we can … No, we can’t. We just can’t.

Perhaps even more traumatic than witnessing the season finale – for those who have – is the inability to talk about it for fear of social recrimination. Spoiler-alert culture is taking all of the fun out of watching and talking about television.

For a long time we all watched TV together. Audiences gathered around the box to consume an appointment-based viewing schedule of programming. They consulted weekly TV guides to see when and where their favourite shows would screen. If they were missed, they simply would not be seen. Plot twists were news because they happened to everyone at the same time.

Now, with popular foreign programs being screened direct from the US on subscription television, and made immediately available via streaming services and (albeit illegitimate) peer-to-peer downloads, content is frequently available concurrently around the world.

For Australians, this means viewing happens at conventionally odd, often inconvenient times. I watched Game of Thrones on Foxtel’s Showcase on Monday at 11am AEST.

For those unable to watch in real-time, trying to make it through the day without having someone ruin the narrative has become a veritable minefield.

If you are consigned to the potential spoiler zone, it seems the only way to protect your naivety is to don a How I Met Your Mother-style Sensory Deprivator and avoid social media – hell, any human contact – at all costs.

imageBlock it all out.How I Met Your Mother, CBS

The pressure to consume new episodes immediately, if you want to enjoy them unsullied by spoilers, is immense.

But what is the statute of limitations on spoilers? When can you comment on what you’ve watched? And at what point is our fear of ruining other people’s television experience hindering our own?

After I watched Game of Thrones on Monday morning I wanted to talk about it. I went on Facebook and crafted a fond farewell to my favourite character. Then I deleted it. I knew it would not only spoil the viewing experience for my oblivious friends, but also engender the kind of hostility I would prefer be directed at the Night’s Watch.

More than 24 hours later, however, despite having ample opportunity to watch the episode, many Facebook “friends” remain adamant that all comments regarding the Game of Thrones season finale are embargoed. Chatty followers have been unceremoniously deleted, disappointments voiced, names called. “Don’t ruin it for me! You’ve been warned!”

It’s one thing for media outlets to tag related reviews and coverage with “SPOILER ALERT: S05E10!!!” to ensure that readers do not unwittingly learn more than they would like.

We wouldn’t complain about spoilers in a political piece if we weren’t up to date with the news, but revealing a fictional story arc in a news headline is just malicious.

There is even merit to fan claims that episode catch-ups – that is, the “Previously on Game of Thrones …” recaps at the beginning of each episode – can serve as spoiler-alerts. With a cast and storyline as complex as that in Game of Thrones, refreshers are often necessary reminders of past events, but they are also unintentionally indicative of plot points in the forthcoming episode.

If you care enough about a television program to be upset about it being spoiled, and yet do not watch it in a timely manner, you cannot be distraught when others discuss it on social media.

Especially if you are likely to turn to Facebook or Twitter with your appraisal when you finally get around to watching it.

As distributive avenues proliferate, and audiences fragment away from the living room, television audiences are increasingly consuming content in a disjointed, isolated manner.

Watching TV, though an increasingly solitary activity, is most enjoyable when shared with others.

If you can’t talk about it, what’s the point?

See also:

Alexa Scarlata receives funding from Melbourne Networked Society Institute (University of Melbourne).

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/spoiler-alert-culture-is-taking-all-of-the-fun-out-of-television-43331

Vital Signs: Shorter meetings but longer days – how COVID-19 has changed the way we work

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Prime Minister National Cabinet Statement

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victoria outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment an...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Reinventing The Outside Of Your Office

Efficient work is a priority in most offices. You need a comfortable interior that is functional too. The exterior also affects morale. Big companies have an amazing exterior like university ca...

News Company - avatar News Company

Kaspersky and Ferrari partnership: tailoring cybersecurity for an iconic brand

Kaspersky is commemorating the 10 year anniversary of its strategic partnership with iconic, global brand - Ferrari. The cybersecurity company is a sponsor of the brand’s Formula One racing team...

News Company - avatar News Company

Instant Steel Solutions Review

Are you keen on having the right guidance, knowledge and information about the right kind of steel purchases for your industries? If yes, then you are in the right place. There is no doubt that ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion