It’s a big skiffy weekend, what with the opening of the new Star Trek movie and the season finale of Doctor Who. Spoilers abound.
It’s often argued that spoilers should have an expiration date. No one, for example, should feel the need to put a spoiler warning on the fact that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father, because The Empire Strikes Back came out on May 21, 1980 — 33 years ago. So there is a point at which spoiler alerts are no longer required, and people who complain about spoilers can be rightly ridiculed as solipsistic weenies.
But what is that point after which spoilers are fair game? Nathan Fillion thinks that spoilers shouldn’t apply to the previous season — which is to say, if season five is being broadcast now, season four is fair game. (It’s true that a lot of the complaints come from people who are several seasons behind, catching up on DVD or Netflix or iTunes.)
Me, I think that if you’re sufficiently invested in a TV show, movie or book that spoilers would affect your enjoyment of it, you have an obligation to consume that cultural product as soon as possible.
Which is to say: if you want to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness spoiler free, get your ass to the movie theatre this weekend. If you don’t want to be spoiled about “The Name of the Doctor,” make a point of watching it on broadcast TV Saturday night or, if like me you don’t have cable, download in from iTunes on Sunday.
Make a damn effort, in other words.
I think opening weekend is about the only spoiler-free window you’re entitled to. The following week, we’re gonna talk about stuff — about Benedict Cumberbatch’s Star Trek character, about who Clara Oswald is, about the Doctor’s name. If that’s too soon for you, then it doesn’t matter to you enough. Get a move on, or shut up.
Previously: Spoilers Don’t Matter.