It’s nearly impossible to remain unspoiled these days. I’m talking, of course, about television spoilers.
I’m not an anti-spoiler fanatic. I’m not the kind of person who will plug my ears and start humming to myself like an insane person if I hear a group of people talking about a show I haven’t seen yet. Unless it’s Outlander. (But honestly, I think we all know that Outlander is the exception to every rule, so let’s agree to leave it out of this discussion, shall we?)
Sometimes spoilers enhance or inform my viewing in a meaningful way. I love watching movies of books I’ve read and seeing how the actors and directors interpret a familiar story. And thank goodness for this year’s Bachelorette spoilers, because once I’d heard that Jordan and Robby were the final two I could move on with my life without having to suffer through hours more of JoJo’s incredibly faux tears.
But I don’t want to know exactly what’s going to happen when I sit down to watch a movie or a show. If I’m reading a series, I nearly always start with the first and work my way forward. It’s easy to stay spoiler-free when you’re reading. There generally aren’t any trailers or clips beckoning me from You Tube. If it’s an older book and I mention it to a group of friends, most likely no one else has read it, or someone might say they like it and we’ll move on. But if I mention that I’m watching old Buffy episodes on Netflix for the first time, someone will inevitably shout something like, “I’m still mad she didn’t end up with Spike.”
To which I’m thinking, “Who is Spike?” But when Spike finally does show up in Sunnydale as Buffy’s sworn enemy, I realize that I’ve been truly spoiled rotten. But this is really no one’s fault but my own. Buffy has been off the air for thirteen years, after all. It’s amazing that I’m not more spoiled than I am. The trick, I’ve realized, is not to tell anyone when you’re watching an old show. People are filled with such nostalgia for shows like Buffy that they can’t help but reminisce about old friends. And the idea of talking about it with someone who’s never seen it is too hard to resist.
But what do you do about spoilers for new shows? Case in point: This past Wednesday, Netflix dropped a teaser video along with the release date for the new upcoming Gilmore Girls episodes. In this case, it’s not other people I have to watch out for, but myself.
I’d already promised myself absolutely no Gilmore spoilers. I love the show, and I want to go into the final four episodes completely fresh. I want to keep my expectations as low as possible. I don’t want to get my heart set on an ending or a course of events and risk being disappointed. I just want to hang out with my friends Rory and Lorelai one more time. I want no plot hints, no teasers, nothing.
But the “play” button beckoned on the teaser videos.
Instead of clicking it, I put my rules in place. I would not watch this teaser. I wouldn’t watch any Gilmore teaser. When the episodes drop (all four at once), I will stay off all social media until I’ve finished them. I don’t want to know the final four words until I see them for myself in my own sweet time.
I would be strong. I would keep the viewing experience pure. I would not be weak. I could wait until November 25th to visit Stars Hollow again.
The “play” button beckoned.
I tried to be strong. I left the room. I came back in. I distracted myself with food, and work, and exercise.
After 73 minutes, I cracked and hit play.
I got a glimpse of Stars Hollow, I heard the famous “la la la’s” of the score, and I saw Rory all grown up and Lorelai being Lorelai.
It was glorious. One minute and twenty-nine sections of perfection.
And then I rewatched it about fifteen times. (Okay, sixteen. Okay, more like twenty-five).
I’m hopeless. I’m spoiled rotten.
And who am I kidding? I’m loving every second.