British Columbia

Spoiler alert! The great debate around TV show spoilers

Is there etiquette fans should follow when it comes to hit television shows and spoiler alerts?

To spoil or not to spoil, that is the question

It's a challenge to avoid spoiler alerts when it comes to hit shows like Game of Thrones, so CBC's The Early Edition held a debate to determine if fans should even try to avoid hearing or sharing the latest dragon drama. (HBO)

If you didn't watch Sunday night's Game of Thrones episode and don't want to hear spoiler alerts, should you even leave the house today? Or go online?

As people live-tweet hit television shows and talk openly about episode cliffhangers around the water cooler, it can be a challenge to keep the lid on series' secrets. So the question is — is it OK to give away spoilers or should you keep your lips sealed?

Actor Omari Newton and North Shore News lifestyle columnist Andy Prest weighed in on the etiquette of spoiler alerts on CBC's The Early Edition and while their views on spoilers differed, readers can rest assured that no Game of Thrones spoilers were revealed during their debate.

Spoiled rotten

"I think you should be tarred and feathered," said Newton, who came out strong against spoilers. "It's kind of a lame thing to do to ruin that fun for someone."

The bare minimum, according to Newton, is an agreed upon statute of limitations on when people can reveal spoilers.

Newton may have come to this conclusion after unintentionally spoiling endings for fans during his time as an actor on the episodic television show Continuum.

"I once spoiled something on Twitter and the vitriol was unbelievable," Newton told Early Edition host Stephen Quinn. "And I thought, it's only a TV show. Nobody dies."

But the thing is, in Game of Thrones, people do die. 

For Prest, talking about the show and what happens to the characters is half the fun.

"The best part for me is going on Twitter and seeing what everyone's saying," said Prest, who appreciates the slew of memes and jokes people post online when it comes to a hit show.

"That's the best part of the season, seeing how people react to it." said Prest. 

Just give in

Prest said its not even a debate anymore, spoilers are out there and there is no avoiding them. 

"If you don't watch right away, or by Monday morning, you have to live with the consequences of your decision."

Despite Prest's preference, he respects that others might not feel the same way.

He said his colleagues give others the decency of letting them know they are about to discuss the latest Game of Thrones happenings and give them 10 seconds to clear the room or put on headphones.

If Newton worked with Prest, you can be sure he'd be putting on his headphones, to avoid the "awful" people who spoil his show.

But Newton and others be warned, logging online to distract from co-worker chatter might not save you from spoilers ... Twitter is coming.

To spoil or not to spoil, that is the question. Actor Omari Newton and lifestyle columnist Andy Prest debate avoiding or embracing spoiler alerts when it comes to hit television shows. 7:31

The Early Edition

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. 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.