If you don’t want any spoilers whatsoever, maybe you should stop reading for good. Gawker offers this bon mot and others in their manifesto piece on the scourge of web (and not in-print) writing, the dreaded *SPOILER* Note in the intro to this piece, they actually spoil with out warning, a major event in HBO’s Treme, which is kinda weird, gauche and annoying, but we are talking Gawker.com here, so fair game.
We’ve had previous discussions here on Rowthree on the sensitivity of what is a spoiler, and how often to issue warnings. Too many and you are in the crazy land of John Malkovich’s head, but too few and you tend to piss off people reading. We issue a blanket all bets are off spoiler alert when we review films on the cinecast, other podcasts dance around the issue without being able to really talk about a movie. The point has been made in several places that something like Tree of Life is almost independent of spoilers due to the nature of the film, but the ending of Chinatown or Empire Strikes Back is one that I certainly wouldn’t want being told to me before I see it. Too late if you watch a lot of pop culture mash-ups I’m afraid. It’s a balance.
Here are some of the highlights of the the manifesto article which postulates no spoiler-warning be necessary while writing about the Movie/Show/etc. on the web. I’ve cropped out the highlights because in the article they illustrate each point with a major spoiler:
Time limit for a theatrical movie release until spoilers are fair game: The DVD release. (Movies that are overly formulaic are exempt from this clause.)
Time limit for a TV show Cable/Network from initial broadcast: One week.
Time limit for a Reality TV fodder/crap from initial broadcast: One day.
None of these time limits apply to anything that appears in a movie trailer or season preview.
Anything that happened in previous films in a franchise or previous seasons/episodes is fair game.
Basic information about the characters, setting, and plot details are permissible.
Nothing in a movie or TV show that is based on the life of a famous person, or history can be a spoiler.
What consists of a spoiler to you? How careful/sensitive are you when reading movie news or review online? Do you like spoilers during podcast discussions of films? Who Shot JR (hint, see above)? Discuss.