Kill the Spoilers!

Brace Yourself

Funny, right? If only there were an app that would insert this meme directly into all the spoily social media posts, GoT or otherwise.

I generally steer clear of rants here on YoM – which, btw, RF claims to be a flaw. He thinks that rants sell. Well, fine. Here you go! One GIANT RANT because I simply cannot let this one go!!

A complete a*hole ruined GoT for me this past week. Who are these great geniuses who actually think they’re vaguebooking, with all their “Awwww” and crying emoji. You do realize that, even if you haven’t actually detailed every scene of a show, you can still ruin it for the rest of us. No? Well, I’ve told you, so stop!

Still don’t understand why I’m making a big deal? Allow me to explain.

The Performance/Expectation Conundrum

You see, satisfaction in any given scenario compares expectations with actual performance. Here’s a little chart to help you understand. P (that’s performance) needs to be greater than E (yes, expectation) for the result to be Delight. Sadly, that’s really hard when you’ve shared your opinions such that E is already off the charts.

customer-satisfaction-formula

This is reason numero uno why I don’t like to hear much about tv shows or movies before I see them. When all of my friends tell me that a movie is frickin’ hilarious, really high expectations begin to build in my mind before I even buy the ticket. Once I’m sitting in that comfy seat, popcorn in hand, lights dimming, that movie had better deliver some serious laughs or I’m going to be pissed.

Same goes for GoT. When I hear that it’s going to be awesome, or devastating, or intense, or whatever…my expectations suddenly set up the experience to be a letdown.

The (Kill)Joy of Anticipation

Anticipation is the process of imaginative speculation about the future. There are studies suggesting that the anticipation of an experience delivers greater satisfaction than the experience itself. Travel is the typical example, where planning and looking forward to the trip actually provide the greatest thrill.

While expectation is what is considered most likely to happen, anticipation is what we would most like to happen. (Go ahead, take a minute to take that in. If you’re the kind of person who posts spoilers…well, let’s be honest, I lost you long ago…but, if you are still here, it’s going to take you some time to absorb that concept.) Very similar, and yet totally different.

In the context of Game of Thrones, for instance, I have learned that it’s nearly impossible to formulate valid expectations. And yet, there is great joy (at least for me) in anticipating what the complex web of storylines will deliver from week to week. The conversation begins immediately after each episode, tends to wane throughout the week, but builds again in the hours preceding the next episode. Any hint as to the actual storyline prior to viewing immediately bursts the anticipatory bubble, thereby destroying all anticipant joy.

You, Mr/s Spoily McSpoilerpants make that happen! And no, it’s not something to be proud of.

West Coast is Best Coast

I’ve lived on both coasts, and even in the middle, so I can claim with reasonable authority that the West Coast is the Best Coast, yo.

west-coast-is-the-best-coast

You East Coasters might think you have the advantage because TV shows air 3 hours ahead of when they do here. I hate to break it to you – we can stream shows like GoT when they air for you. But why?! The sun doesn’t set here in Seattle until after 8:30 at this time of year. Do you think we’re just dying to get inside and watch GoT at 6 pm? What’s wrong with you?! It’s not even like I’m waiting 3 days, or 2 weeks, to watch. The scheduled airtime seems beyond reasonable.

But yes, that gives you great power. You’ve seen the show. You have the feels. You want to share. But, with that great power comes great responsibility…to not be a Biggie to my 2Pac! I will bust caps. (Chill out, NSA…it’s a metaphor.)

What Can You Do?

  1. Stay off of social media! What, do we have to set up some old school listservs so you can work through your feels with viewers in your time zone? Or, can you actually keep your emotions in check and offline?
  2. If you REALLY MUST declare your angst on Facebook, no matter how vague, at least do it AFTER a [SPOILER ALERT] notice. I mean, really, is that so hard?!
  3. Go outside and play! Honestly, none of us should be watching so much TV. The more we save those episodes for a rainy day, the fewer spoilers there will be.

Mostly, just don’t be a jerk!

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