Spoiler Alert! Debating Spoiler Etiquette

Listen

There are those who watch Breaking Bad who now know what happened in the final episode of last night. And there are others who haven't caught up and don't-want-anyone-to-spoil-it. The power-of-the-plot and anticipation over a gripping story are age old but is it time to cut the coddling and end the spoiler alert?

Read More to vote in our poll: Do spoilers spoil everything?



 

Spoiler-free is hard work and discovering a pivotal plot twist at the wrong time can be crushing

Last night's series finale of AMC's Breaking Bad has spoiler paranoia on high alert. Fans who are still episodes behind avoid the office watercoolers and social media --- just to keep the ending secret until they can catch up.

A spoiler can suck the magic out of a movie, book or TV show. But culture is all about sharing stuff; And some wonder if perhaps we've become a little too protective of plot.

To debate the merits of spoiler alerts, we convened three guests:

Matt Cohen is a film columnist with The Week magazine, and he recently took a bold stand in a column headlined Why we need to do away with 'spoiler alerts'. He was in our Washington D.C. studio.

Sticking up for "spoiler alerts" is professor of pop culture Robert Thompson at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

And, somewhere in the middle, is NOW magazine's Senior Entertainment Editor Susan G. Cole, in our Toronto studio.

Did you watch last night? Do you think spoilers spoil?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Follow us on Facebook. Or e-mail us through our website. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins, Peter Mitton and Nuruddin Qorane.



Musician MC Frontalot on Spoiler Alerts

Musician MC Frontalot makes fun of the spoiler alert phenomenon with an entire song devoted to revealing critical details of movies and even conspiracies. There are no spoilers for Downton Abbey or Homeland in this song, but turn the music down if you don't know how to get to The Planet of the Apes.

MC Frontalot got today's Last Word on the program, here is the video:

Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.