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JJ Abrams, on spoilers:

Spoilers give fans the answers they want, the resolution they crave. As an avid fan of movies and TV myself, I completely understand the desire to find out behind-the-scenes details in a nanosecond. Which, given technology, is often how long it takes—to the frustration of the storytellers. Efforts to gather this intel and the attempts to plug leaks create an ongoing battle between filmmakers and the very fans they are dying to entertain and impress. But the real damage isn't so much that the secret gets out. It's that the experience is destroyed. The illusion is diminished. Which may not matter to some. But then what's the point of actually seeing that movie or episode? How does knowing the twist before you walk into the theater—or what that island is really about before you watch the finale—make for a richer viewing experience? It's telling that the very term itself—spoiler—has become synonymous with "cool info you can get before the other guy." What no one remembers is that it literally means "to damage irreparably; to ruin." Spoilers make no bones about destroying the intended experience—and somehow that has become, for many, the preferred choice.


Hear, hear!



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2009 04:13 am (UTC)
Amen, my brother!
May. 27th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
I thought he echoes my feelings quite well. Amen indeed.
May. 27th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
and somehow that has become, for many, the preferred choice.

Because for some people spoilers don't ruin the enjoyment! I totally get why people would want to avoid spoilers, but I don't get why people can't understand why some of us want them.
(Deleted comment)
May. 27th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
Just keep them away from me, and we're all good!

I think the key word in JJ's statment is "intended." Spoilers change the intended experience. You aren't getting what you were supposed to. But that's ok. You got something else, and maybe you like that more. That's ok.

I like cherry, you like grape.

That's fine.

Just let me have my cherry, thanks. You keep your grapes.
May. 27th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, for me, it's to each their own.

Honestly, I don't see how spoilers can't ruin a show/movie/book/whatever, but if they don't for you, then more power to you. I have no problem with you seeking them out and knowing them. Just keep them away from me.

Truly, knowing spoilers ruins a show so much for me that watching the show afterward only pisses me off. If I find out more than a touch of something, I won't even bother to watch. What's the point?

(That was rhetorical...it does not need answered. I understand that for many there is a point. Just not for me.)

I have come to accept that there is no way I can stay completely spoiler-free and be on the internet at all, so I no longer feel the urge to murder those that spoil me (much) but it still makes for a very, very bad day. My lightsaber used to be as red and the darkest rouge, but I've moved nearer to blue because there's just no sense in getting worked up over something I can't change. I will always get inadvertently spoiled a bit when some idiot doesn't properly label a post, so...whatever. And minor stuff like casting and whatnot really doesn't matter, so again...whatever.
May. 27th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, I've come to be pretty paranoid about watching what I say because I don't want to aversely affect anyone else's experience.

I'm just not someone who likes surprises, ha ha. Often shows will have clues to the mystery, taking for example Lost, which JJ mentioned . . . if I know the island's secrets then as I'm watching I'll notice the clues and be squeeful. While people who didn't know the spoilers would have to watch the episodes a second time to pick up on them.

Huh, I guess I'm just lazy. ;)
May. 27th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
I enjoy second viewings for just that reason.

Ie, TXF. I recently rewatched the entire series. I had no idea how early some plot lines started, etc. Fun to see!
May. 27th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
Before the internet I found I enjoyed watching programs a lot more. Once I found the internet the 3rd season of the X-Files, I thought were spoilers cool. Then I started to realize that I was expecting more from an episode from the spoilers or sometimes already had a negative view. They tainted my viewing experience. Previews especially the way shows use them now also give way to much imho (Sci-Fi Channel!). I now avoid spoilers as much as I can. My willpower is not that strong but I've found I get much more enjoyment out of a tv show or movie and use that as motivation. I know I enjoyed the Star Trek movie more not knowing anything about the plot. Spoilers are hard to avoid in fandom though and I accept that.
May. 27th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I accept that I will always get a few thrown my way due to attending cons, talking with other fans, unlabeled posts, etc, but I will never seek them out.

I prefer to see things with fresh eyes.

And, ooooh, XF fandom. How it changed the world, huh?

As they say, the be all and end all of internet fandom. Sigh...
May. 27th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
You know where I stand...the surprise is a big part of the enjoyment for me. As arctict said, I find myself with completely different expectations and that is often a problem for me. Like the movie that looks funny in the trailer but then you see it and they had put literally every funny moment in the trailer and there's nothing left. I like stories with a bit of unpredictability, and that is sorely lacking in many movies today as it is. Add spoilers and, for me, it messes it all up ;)
I agree spoilers can be out there as desired by the studio or creators, but I like when they are respectfully tagged so I can avoid them.
May. 27th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
I'm with you -- I love behind-the-scenes nuggets, but I want them after the intial viewing experience is over, so they enrich what I've already received rather than skewing what I'm going to get. And I'd rather have fun backstage anecdotes than spoilers anyway.

If the story is well imagined and well told, why would I want to rearrange the manner of its initial telling by getting key sections in advance, out of order and out of context?

Here's a thought: every time I pick up a book, I have the option of flipping to the last chapter, but I don't do it. If I respect the storyteller enough to read his/her work, I'm not going to commit the disrespectful act of spoilage -- unless the book turns out to suck (thereby squandering the initial respect), and I care just enough about my own closure to flip to the end for a final check before hurling the book against the wall. (Did that idiot ever get his comeuppance? No? Screw him!!)
May. 27th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
Excellent analogy, Beth! And I agree wholeheartedly with you and LPFF.
May. 28th, 2009 06:54 am (UTC)
Castle...watch'cha think?
To digress, what do you think about his new show Castle? Like the Cap'tn in this?
May. 29th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
Re: Castle...watch'cha think?
*points to icon*

I enjoyed the first season of Castle.

It started out trying a bit too hard with the snark, but after the roles solidified a bit, it gelled much better for me.

I tried really hard NOT to like Castle, because I didn't want to be that girl. You know the one who says, "OMG! Like, this show is soooo awesome because Nathan Fillion's in it and he is sooooo hot!" The one who thinks anything Nate does is gold. (Um...seen Water's Edge? I haven't yet, but I've heard...yeah...moving on.) So, I tried to be hard on it to avoid that. Couldn't do it. It's a fun ride and I quite like it.

I really enjoyed the season finale and I can't wait to see how they treat that. Yummy, yummy, yummy angst-fest ahead!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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