Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Don't Spoil My TV Watching, Darnit!

The scenario:

Last week, the TiVo recorded LOST, but the fiancee and I didn't get to watch it until last night.

Some friends of mine from back on the East coast have had a mailing list, in one form or another, going for a little more than 10 years now. Lately, we've taken to speculating on LOST, like a lot of TV watchers.

This week, though, things reached the brink of a flame war because other members started discussing details about the show. It got even worse after I mentioned a scene that I saw, in isolation from the rest of the show, on The Soup. Mentioning that isolated scene I saw brought on more details from my friends.

And sadly, knowing those details spoiled much of the episode's tension. I can't really project how I would have experienced the episode if I didn't have that one small bit of information, but I can easily speculate that I would have felt a more tension without this small piece of information.

I've had exposure to spoilers about other shows, too. They didn't miff me so much. I don't know how much that lack of miffing might have done with my attitude about spoilers at the time or how much spoilage I felt this time had to do with LOST, as a show.

After some intense discussion with The Fza about genre TV and speculative fiction, I got some exposure to someone who didn't appreciate spoilers. For some reason, his feelings about spoilers came off onto me, too. But did the attitude, alone, screw with my appreciation of the show?

I've had a fair amount of exposure to information about the new Battlestar Galactica, but I haven't seen anything more than mistaken clips and the first few minutes of the pilot that turned me off. Nonetheless, from what I hear about the show, I have the feeling all this information won't dampen my appreciation for the show. People have given me a lot of critical acclaim about the show. So much acclaim, in fact, that everyday, I want to watch the show, more and more, and really look forward to when it enters our Netflix queue.

So if an episode of LOST can get spoiled enough to take away the fun of watching it, does that mean LOST really isn't that great of a show? After all, I've watched Charlie Jade at least two times through, and it just keeps getting better; I've watched episodes of Farscape multiple times without any loss of enjoy; and same goes for episodes of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel.

All the Matrix movies got better with repeated viewings, but how about the original Star Wars trilogy or The Sixth Sense after the first viewing. And how about watching all the Star Wars movies in story chronological order?

When and how does drama resonate enough that it gets better with more knowledge about the story or loses its power once the audience knows the order of events and the major plot points?

Does the first Locke flashback episode still resonate with us after we've seen it for the first time?

"UPDATE": A HILARIOUS STORY THAT ONLY LOST FANATICS WOULD UNDERSTAND AND SYMPATHIZE

Dead Things on Sticks: Rogers' Cable PVR is Evil

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