LRRcast - Spoilers

Talk about this week's LRRcast and what you'd like to see in future ones.
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Paul
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LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Paul » 08 Jun 2015, 12:13

On this weeks LRRcast James, Paul and Ian sit down and discuss spoilers. Do they ruin a movie or TV show? How do we avoid them? And what's the statute of limitations these days?
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby unpronounceable » 08 Jun 2015, 14:57

I was trying to think of the oldest, well known, pop-culture, spoiler I know, and the best I could think of was Soylent Green.

Spoilers are a really tricky thing, because for some pieces of media, simply knowing there is a spoiler can be a spoiler in and of itself. There's one thing in particular I'm thinking of, and knowing that something is going to happen would significantly change a first impression of it.

Something you didn't really talk about much were spoilers for video games. Games have more than just the plot, and it can be really easy to randomly stumble across spoilers for them. Consider any of the Souls games. Knowledge is extremely important in them. Knowledge of enemy patterns, weapon locations, hidden areas, and trap triggers is extremely powerful in those games, so learning about them from outside the game can certainly be considered spoilers. Hell, after spoiling myself on Demon's Souls, I made a point of not spoiling myself on Dark Souls, and I'm pretty sure I had a better overall experience for it.

Then there are some things that are unquestionably better experienced without any foreknowledge. The best thing that comes to mind is The Stanley Parable. I played the mod, but haven't played the full release, and I have no doubt that learning about it would diminish my experience when I do play it.

Spoilers are tricky.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby metalupis » 08 Jun 2015, 18:26

I am one of those people who will look up the plot of media (movie, tv show, game) either before I watch it out when I'm 1/3 of the way through it, I think it has to do with enjoying watching how the narrative is built and fits together more than trying to figure it out as it goes

So yeah, I never worry about spoilers and sometimes activily seek them out before I watch something
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Duckay » 08 Jun 2015, 21:03

I know for my part, it's difficult to express why people should watch one of my favourite movies. It's brilliant but it's best to know as little as possible about it going in, so I end up relying on, "Just trust me, it's best to not know"... which in itself gives away that there's something to know.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby ritchards » 08 Jun 2015, 22:10

With trailers, they can be spoilers, but often you need context for it. One time I watched a trailer after the movie and was "that's from the end! that's a huge giveaway!", but that was because I knew it.

On the other hand, if you remember the trailer, you might remember that there was that big sequence that hasn't happened yet, so the ending is probably...
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby the_lone_bard » 09 Jun 2015, 00:23

I have a few opinions having JUST finished watching the podcast.

So, first up, it's actually surprisingly easy to avoid spoilers now without Tweeter. I've only ever used Twitter to contact Graham or someone about LRR problems, the occasional "Tweet at this thing to win!" but I don't browse it.
I haven't seen Age of Ultron, or the last two episodes of GoT. I have no clue about them, when Ian in this podcast says "XXX is in Age of Ultron" I went "Who's that?" and now I've forgotten their name, so lucky me. Reddit's managed to avoid spoiling it, friends have tried to talk to me about it and the conversation goes "You seen AoU yet?" "Nope, don't spoil it please." "Ahh it's great, come tell me when you have seen it." and while it might be different for people with 60000 Facebook friends, with my 30, that's safe too, people there aren't the type to post big spoilers.

So, second point is about GoT. 3 or 4 episodes ago, I wasn't up to date, I'd seen all the leaked episodes and then just ignored it, and apparently 2 more episodes had come out. And holy shit did Reddit and the internet blow up with trigger warning and "THEY WENT TOO FAR WITH SANSA THIS WEEK!"
I've read all the books, I know that they're drastically changing peoples stories, hell we're ahead of where the books ended Danys story as far as I know (Unless she's been absent from the last 2 episodes, we were right at the end of Dance with Dragons.) but when I seen that, without spoiling the book version since it's drastically different, my thoughts were "Holy shit, did they actually put Sansa in the dog scene? Did they keep that in, holy shit..." and no, they completely changed that story-line around. It was sort of an anti-spoiler, because everyones sudden panic and rage at it made me think it was possibly the most horrible scene in those books put on TV with a beloved character, and it wasn't. It was something entirely differently awful, and I kind of enjoyed that.

Now third, this is a unique problem I've had, and I'm kind of surprised James didn't mention it since he's the reason I'm watching The West Wing right now, but then again, James is much smarter than me and probably didn't go to the wiki twice while watching the show for the first time. So, I LOVE this show so far, it has some of the best writing and subtle character development I've seen. And two HORRIBLE pieces of writing. I'm going to try not to spoil many things here, but beware that there is some level of spoiler. So, Danny... The HEAD OF THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORE, pretty consistent side character for 2 or 3 seasons (I'm marathoning it, they blur together.) and in a will they wont they storyline with a main character... Then just gone. I know these things happen, actor dies, is stuck filming other things, wont sign a new contract at that pay, whatever. But the show never aknowledges it. And that was also fine, but then, after half a season, occasionally characters start to mention him, but never in a "He's gone" way, just in a "You mean like when Danny herped a derp?" type way. And after a few times, I couldn't take it anymore, so I hit the googles to take me to the wikis because I had to know, did this guys actor die? "He returns in episode (2 episodes from where I was at the time.) with proof of -majour plot spoiler-" THAT pissed me off. Yes it was stupid going there in the first place, but Cmon, both the show writers and the Wiki writers. Show writers, it took 2 seconds of throw away dialogue "Dannys on asignment here." if you're the head of the white house press core, you don't just up and vanish and never get talked about again, cmon. Wiki writers, what the hell guys, you don't say what episode a character apears in and spoil that episode and by proxy the next 4 episodes in a single sentence.

Same thing with Sam. He goes off to do his thing, and the last line we ever hear with him on screen is "I'm gonna lose aren't I?" "Tomorrow they're gonna stone you in the streets, and I wanna be right beside you."
Then the character's just gone for a few seasons. Obviously he won, but at the same time, 2 seconds of throw away dialogue "Do you believe Sam won that thing?" "It was a surprise." there, done. So, again, start of the final season, I finally can't take it, did this guys character die? Same god damn thing. "Sam returns again at the end of season 7 after -character- wins the election." Gee, thanks wiki, I was up to "election day pt.1"... I know, in this situation it's my fault, but at the same time, 2 seconds of throw away dialogue to address these majour characters simply vanishing would have stopped it.

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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Twinklefeet » 09 Jun 2015, 10:11

Personally I don't care about spoilers at all. It's extremely rare for me to care about knowing information beforehand and even rarer for it to lessen my enjoyment of something. Even so I know that I'm in a minority and it's just common courtesy when talking about a show/movie/whatever to make sure you won't be spoiling anything for them.

I'm curious what people think of things that give you a large piece of info at the very beginning. Something like Columbo or Sunset Boulevard? Even something like Romeo and Juliet, where you're told in the opening narration of the play that things don't really work out. Spoilers seem to become less about what happens and more how it happens. Does that make any difference to how people approach the plot?
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Lord Chrusher » 09 Jun 2015, 14:20

While I was watching The Usual Suspects, I had the movie somewhat spoiled when one of the other people watching it said that Scary Movie parodied it.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby uberfail » 09 Jun 2015, 17:05

I spoiled the purple wedding for my self by reading in the Character lists in the back of the book that he died. That turned out to be my only reason to keep reading as I wanted to see how he died and wanted him to be dead.

On the Sixth Sense a friend told me the plot twist and I was like "Oh that doesn't sound like a spoiler." So he explained in more detail. So now I want to see it except that the twist is ruined so I don't really.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Duckay » 09 Jun 2015, 17:24

Twinklefeet wrote:I'm curious what people think of things that give you a large piece of info at the very beginning. Something like Columbo or Sunset Boulevard? Even something like Romeo and Juliet, where you're told in the opening narration of the play that things don't really work out. Spoilers seem to become less about what happens and more how it happens. Does that make any difference to how people approach the plot?


The biggest thing for me is how the narrative intends for you to experience the story. If the opening narration says that something happens at the end (this is the story of how I died, or what have you) or an early scene indicates the premise, that's not a "spoiler", it's part of the work. Saying that the main character dies in a film that begins with "this is the story of my death" is very different to saying that the main character dies when that's a major plot element later. At the same time, saying "he is killed by ______" is probably still a spoiler either way.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Twinklefeet » 11 Jun 2015, 00:47

Duckay wrote:The biggest thing for me is how the narrative intends for you to experience the story. If the opening narration says that something happens at the end (this is the story of how I died, or what have you) or an early scene indicates the premise, that's not a "spoiler", it's part of the work. Saying that the main character dies in a film that begins with "this is the story of my death" is very different to saying that the main character dies when that's a major plot element later. At the same time, saying "he is killed by ______" is probably still a spoiler either way.


Indeed, it's not that there aren't spoilers at all, just that what actually constitutes a major development can be subtly different. Though I have encountered plenty of people who don't appreciate a difference.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Gap Filler » 11 Jun 2015, 03:11

Hallmark of great storytelling is that prior knowledge of moments of tremendous drama should heighten, not lessen, the moment and the desire to reach it. If spoilers (have to) matter, clearly the storytelling's not good enough ("I heard this spoiler now I don't care" vis "I heard this spoiler now I wanna get to that bit"). Best rhetorics supporting position: Does knowing Darth Vader is Luke's father spoil the moment? What about knowing Aeris kicks the bucket or the ending of The Monster at the End of This Book?

Having said that, does seem rather arrogant for all I think it's defensible on the occasions I've bothered to turn it over.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Duckay » 11 Jun 2015, 18:34

A lot of it comes down to context of the spoiler, also. For example:

Once I was talking to a friend of mine about Game of Thrones. I told her that despite it being an extremely high-profile spoiler at the time, I didn't know what happened at the Red Wedding. She replied by saying, "Oh, when Robb Stark dies."

I was sort of annoyed about that because I had literally just said that I didn't know. It wasn't like it casually came up in conversation well-meaningly, I had just said I didn't know. On the whole, I didn't care because it didn't actually really hinder my enjoyment of it, I just felt like there was no need for it to be said.

Compare to when I was first playing the video game Dragon Age II. I had just started, when I got a phone call from someone (someone who knew that I had only just started playing), saying "Don't bother playing it, Anders blows up the chantry in Act 3."

In much the same way, I was annoyed by this because they obviously knew that I didn't have this information, and in this case, rather than accidentally blurting it out without thinking, they were deliberately seeking to ruin my enjoyment of the game.

Joke's on them, I actually think it works really well if you know that going in. But the fact was, they were trying to ruin my enjoyment of the game by deliberately spoiling it, which (whether it "counts" as a real spoiler or not) makes it a dick move.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby the_lone_bard » 12 Jun 2015, 01:28

You mentioning game of thrones just reminded me of something I still look back and laugh on today.

I was once sitting around a gamestore talking the GoT books with a mate who was reading Feast for Crows (No DwD released yet) at the time, and there was a third guy just sitting next to my mate doing his thing, wouldn't have even known he was there except a person is kind of hard to not see.
I say to my mate something like "Then after Dany goes off and does her thing" And I wanna be clear, I phrased it very much like that. This guy out of nowhere loses his shit. "FUCKING THANKS ASSHOLE! I HAVEN'T SEEN THAT YET NOW I KNOW KHAL DROGO DIES, FUCK YOU!"

I'm just sitting there and go "...I never said that, I said Dany goes off and does a thing, where the fuck did I say anyone died, but sure..."
"NO YOU'RE SPOILING IT FOR THE REST OF US FUCK YOU"
"Ok then, so this is exactly what happens for the next 4 books."

And I had no regrets what-so-ever in spoiling the entire series up to then for him, seriously, I didn't spoil anything and you're gonna lose your shit at me for it? AFTER sitting quietly and not saying a thing for 15minutes while 2 people talk about hte books half a foot away from you?

Not really related to the discussion, just a funny story I remembered.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby unpronounceable » 12 Jun 2015, 17:55

Gap Filler wrote:Hallmark of great storytelling is that prior knowledge of moments of tremendous drama should heighten, not lessen, the moment and the desire to reach it. If spoilers (have to) matter, clearly the storytelling's not good enough ("I heard this spoiler now I don't care" vis "I heard this spoiler now I wanna get to that bit"). Best rhetorics supporting position: Does knowing Darth Vader is Luke's father spoil the moment? What about knowing Aeris kicks the bucket or the ending of The Monster at the End of This Book?

Having said that, does seem rather arrogant for all I think it's defensible on the occasions I've bothered to turn it over.


The problem I have with accidentally getting spoiled on something isn't that I don't care about the story or whatever, but more that I can't discover it for myself. By happening across a spoiler, I can now never have a fresh experience with that piece of media. I can't tell or appreciate if my spoiled viewing is "better", because I don't know what a blind viewing is like, and thus can't compare the two.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Antitonic » 13 Jun 2015, 01:40

Spoiler tags and the like do help with the avoiding factor, but they still need to be marked. Even as simple as "I liked it when (spoilers for X) XXXXXXXXXXXX. That was cool.". I had a couple things spoiled out of nowhere because they weren't marked properly; for example, I had the ending of Dexter spoiled in the middle of a discussion of Heroes on an old forum I used to visit. It was spoiler tagged, but unlabeled.

In a similar, but far less of an impact, Ian's spoiler in the podcast should theoretically been prefaced with what it was referring to, so anyone looking to avoid everything to do with it could avoid it. It's only a minor thing, but still...
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby Duckay » 13 Jun 2015, 03:20

Unpronounceable, I was just thinking about that. I mean, I knew the famous spoiler before I ever read Fight Club, or before I saw The Sixth Sense. I still experienced those things for the story, but I will never know what it is like to experience them without knowing. I don't know whether that's good, bad or unremarkable. So, ultimately, I'm inclined to think that even if you think the story holds up whether you know or not it's better to strive to avoid spoiling people. But it's also not the end of the world if you don't. But don't call people and tell them a spoiler to make them not enjoy a thing, that's a dick move.
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Re: LRRcast - Spoilers

Postby JackSlack » 18 Jun 2015, 16:54

PS. The jerk that tried to ruin DA2 for Duckay? That was me. I'm not proud.

Weirdly, the most "WHAT?" spoiler thing I can think of was the US release of Garage Days. This was a smallish Australian film. Wasn't great, but had a certain charm. The Australian poster looked similar to this one.

Now, (and this is where the spoiler is) the US poster looked like this.

That entire tagline that takes up literally the entire poster? That's the spoiler. The band sucks. It's something you never even think about, swept up in the band's enthusiasm and drive. And finally, they get their big break and ... They're crap. They're completely, utterly awful. They don't CARE, mind you, they got their moment they'd hungered for. For them it's fulfilment. But they also know it's kind of the obvious end for them. It's awfully bittersweet and lovely.

Why the HELL would you spoil it so thoroughly? I do not get it.

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