Photo: Via Netflix.
Maybe spoilers aren't such a bad thing after all?
That's the radical new philosophy behind a new site from Netflix, dedicated to the art of the spoiler. Among the features is a video player that selects WTF moments from the annals of film and television at random, allowing users to spoil some seminal twist endings from films and TV shows like The Hunger Games and Lost. There's also a quiz that answers the question: "Which spoiler are you?" Are you the unwitting Clueless spoiler? The conniving Coded spoiler? The boisterous Power spoiler?
That the streaming giant is looking to destigmatize the act of spoiling makes perfect sense. Its model of rolling out entire series like House of Cards and Orange is The New Black in one fell swoop, along with the advent of DVRs, have marked a real paradigm shift in the way we watch television. Viewers are no longer beholden to network time slots, which means we no longer have to experience television as a collective.
Sarah Bunting — who's covered television for over a decade and is the founder of Television Without Pity — agrees. "I think the way that we watch TV now and consume it, not as much in this serial weekly way, is making spoilers less of a problem, and less of a concern," she says.
Viewers seem to agree. Netflix asked around 2,000 of its subscribers how they feel about spoilers, and 76% have accepted them as part of the current viewing landscape, while 94% would continue to watch a film or TV show whether it had been spoiled for them or not. Bunting believes that most people are more concerned with the ride, rather than the destination.
"If you really love the show, knowing what's going to happen shouldn't completely blight your enjoyment of it," she told us. "Suspense is not as big a factor in why people choose to watch a show anymore. People are content to see how the show is going to arrive at the big event that’s been spoiled."
Could Netflix's campaign be the first major step towards a spoiler-free world? If we all accept spoilers as part of a new reality, maybe our Twitter feeds will stop being the Sunday night landmines they are today. We're not sure how this saga will play out, but if you know the ending, we're all ears.