Unanswered 17: Spoilers

Header image for Unanswered Show 17 "Spoilers" featuring a still from the movie "The Sixth Sense"

“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” so the infamous phrase goes, and whilst you often have it told to you before a job interview or going on a date, it also applies to a good book or this year’s must-watch box-set TV show.

Inspired in part by the fuss whipped up around the farewell of Breaking Bad, Steev and Nick delve into the dangers of time-shifting our entertainment diet, either by circumstance or by design. If everybody is talking about a thing you haven’t yet seen but want to check out at some point, is it possible to enjoy it unspoiled by others steamrolling their experiences over it? Is it your fault if you chose to do something else instead of grinding through the popular culture checklist, and do you deserve to have the kimono flashed open in your face for not keeping up with the rest of the class?

We try very hard not to spoil the TV shows and movies we cite along the way.

Download Show 17 [MP3, 27.9 MB]

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Show Notes

Further material



3 thoughts on “Unanswered 17: Spoilers

  1. Great discussion, guys. I am wondering, is there a tipping point where a plot point or a twist in a work becomes so widely known that it ceases to be a spoiler and just becomes part the background radiation we swim in?

    I’m thinking of things like the ending of A Christmas Carol – I’ve never read the book or seen the straight film adaptions but through parodies and references I know exactly what happens, and I’ve known for so long I can’t even identify who spoiled it for me first.

  2. Hi Peter, thanks so much for being a regular listener.

    Should there be a “statute of limitations” on spoilers? My immediate thought was to suggest as soon as the copyright expires and the piece becomes public domain, which is all well and good with the classics but can you imagine waiting over seventy years for Prometheus to be fair game?

    Once a book or film or what-have-you becomes a keystone in popular culture, it often moves from just being a story into a parable of sorts. We use it as an example to explain something about us. We understand what is meant by calling someone a ‘Scrooge’. It is not just a detail tucked away in a book, nor simply a character, but a part of our lexicon carrying a weighty definition. The thing is that takes time. To break out from even the most virulent internet meme into patches of meatspace, let alone a western or global consciousness, requires a work to be pretty special to appeal to so many people. There will always be people who don’t know the story—and more are born every day—and so they won’t get to experience it in the same way, but perhaps they will be approaching it differently; not simply taking in another piece of entertainment, but peeking behind the curtain of their culture.

    Feedback is always welcome so drop by anytime!


  3. Pingback: #34 - Lord Have Mercy, Lord Have Mercy | 2 Grown Men

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