Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Last night was the event I have been waiting on for months. Let me rephrase that. I would love to see Red since it's been 6 weeks since we have even been in the same time zone, but last night was the next best thing. The new season of Sons of Anarchy started last night. I love this show.

My nightly phone call to Red had to take place a little earlier than most nights since the show would be on during our usual talking time. Red decided she would watch it also, so we could text during the commercials (we can't help it, we're in love). I mentioned that she would be completely lost. There is four years of backstory, but she didn't mind.

I can't do that. Any show I'm watching, I have seen from the beginning. From the very first episode. I cannot jump into a show in the middle. It bothers me. I mean really bothers me. I feel like I'm missing something and it keeps me from enjoying it. For example, the show Friends lasted 10 years. For seven of those years, Ross would occasionally scream, "We were on a break!" Only people who had been watching since season three got the full appreciation of that statement. Sure, they could have it explained to them, but it's just not the same. Red insists that I am being ridiculous, but I think this is one area where she just doesn't understand me. Luckily, she loves my quirks.

I love the show Big Bang Theory, but haven't seen it in almost two years. There was a period during one of our moves when we didn't have cable, so I got behind. I watched it up to the season four finale when Penny wakes up in bed with Raj, but haven't seen an episode since. I just can't watch them out of sequence. I can watch the reruns on TBS, but I won't watch season five or six until I get them on DVD.

I think this stems from my hatred for spoilers. I cannot stand to know anything that is going to happen later in a movie or TV show. The writer's and directors put a lot of thought into creating a mood and deciding how to reveal something to the audience. Learning it early takes the pleasure out of it.

This is why I am very reluctant to watch a movie with someone that has already seen it. Most people aren't very good at keeping their mouths shut. There aren't many people that are rude enough to just tell you the ending (although, I have met those people), but most seem to have to give some sort of commentary.

Years ago I was watching a movie when a friend came over to borrow something.

Seeing what I was watching:
BOB: Ooh! I love this movie.
ME: Don't say anything. I don't want you to give anything away.
BOB: Don't worry. I hate when people do that, but watch this part right here. What just happened is very important for later.
ME: (clicking TV off) Seriously?
BOB: (confused) What? What'd I say?

In that short phrase, he had just given away the end of the movie. He had pointed out the little clue that was meant to be referred back to later in the movie. I didn't have to wonder at that point because he pointed it out. The entire mystery of the movie was gone.

My mother is one of the worst. ( I love you, Mom.) I will not watch a movie with her that she has seen, especially if she really liked the movie. Every few minutes she exclaims, "Watch this part right here. This is good!" or "Pay attention here. You really don't want to miss this part." Not only am I already looking at the screen when she says this, but I am tuned into the movie. I don't need to be told to watch it, I am watching it. Plus, she blurts out the surprises seconds before they are revealed. She doesn't do it on purpose. She just gets excited.

As the camera begins to pan the room, you can see the feet of the killer. The music begins to pound as the camera slowly moves it way up his body. After 90 minutes of trying to figure out who the killer is my mom, unable to contain herself any longer, blurts out, "IT WAS JEREMY!!!"

Now they were about to show us the killer in a few seconds anyway, but the pleasure of watching a movie is not in knowing the identity of the bad guy, but in the way the story is told. There was a reason they were slowly panning across the room. It was to build anticipation.

Seconds after this scene,
she was eating Tarantino's face
I go to great extremes to know as little as possible about shows or movies I will be watching. If I see a movie trailer that looks interesting, I put it in my phone to add to my Netflix queue and then avoid seeing any other trailers for it. I don't want to learn any additional details. The less you know, the better the movie is. I don't even read the movie descriptions on the Netflix DVD's that I don't remember. If it showed up, then I apparently wanted to see it. Do you have any idea how great it was to watch From Dusk 'til Dawn not knowing that it was a vampire movie? There was no warning. It blew me away. Had I known that ahead of time, I would not have enjoyed it as much. I would still have enjoyed Selma Hayek in her little outfit, but the surprise at the end of the runway was awesome.

When it comes to TV shows I have to be especially careful. I don't watch commercials and even have to be careful what magazines I pick up. Since I watch very few shows when they are actually on, I am typically a few seasons behind. I didn't start watching Dexter until it was three seasons in. I was catching up on DVD and opened a magazine in a doctor's office where I was met with a picture of Dexter standing over the casket of his girlfriend in season four. Great! Rita dies! I did NOT want to know that.

Sons of Anarchy is one of the few shows that I watch as it is on. I'm watching the current season and have watched from the first night it was on, so there is not much chance of spoilers. However, I occasionally miss an episode and have to wait a few days for it to come to OnDemand. When that happens with a popular show, it gets difficult to stay in the dark about the contents of the episode.

Last year, one of the deputies walked into dispatch and asked me if I watched Sons of Anarchy. I told him I loved that show and he got all excited and said, "Can you believe they killed Piney last night?!" I tried to not show the seething hatred for him on my face as I told him I had not seen last night's episode yet. He quickly apologized and then proceeded to tell me the rest of the plot line.

I once read that watching TV burns less calories than sleeping. If that is true, then why is it so much work?

22 comments:

  1. Great post! I myself do like to hear little tidbits here and there about my favorite shows, they keep me going when they're on long breaks, but I definitely do not like being spoiled on major plot lines. Not sure who would like that, to be honest. haha

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    1. I do my best to avoid them. I want to be totally surprised. When Harold Perrineau from LOST and OZ walked in on Sons of Anarchy playing the part of Damon Pope last night, I was very excited. He is awesome. I had already learned Jimmy Smits was joining them this season, so I wasn't surprised at that one.

      I love the surprises.

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  2. Brett this is so funny! If I had to choose one movie that TOTALLY blew my mind with a "plot twist" it would be Dusk till Dawn. I had NO IDEA! That was a riot. Other movies that I went into knowing NOTHING about were Fight Club (mind-blowing) and The Matrix. I really love that.

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    1. All great movies. The end of Fight Club was fantastic. I can't imagine how I would have liked it had I known.

      I'm happy you can relate.

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  3. I guess we'd best not watch movies together because I'm told I have a big mouth and a tendency to give things away in movies. What else would you expect from a chatterbox?

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    1. Yeah. I would get irritated very quickly. I would still be nice, but I wouldn't come over for movie night a second time.

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  4. I am so like this with all things TV. I DVR so much, that I am always behind. When I used to watch American Idol and back when Survivor was new and newsworthy, I would literally have to avoid all news outlets (radio, TV, internet), until I watched them, so I would try to watch them live if possible. Now, I still try to watch the "somebody gets kicked off or wins the whole thing" ones as soon as possible so I can avoid hearing. I can never avoid everything, though, and I usually end up hearing what happens in some shows, which I just hate. I JUST finally watched the last season of Friday Night Lights, and a friend who loved the show kept asking if I saw it and wanted to talk to me about it so bad. She was good about not ruining it, and because nobody in the world still watched that show, I didn't hear anything about it, so I went into it uninformed. I am so glad, because it was so good and well made it would have been a shame if I knew everything going in.

    Damn, I could keep going on this subject for pages. Sorry.

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    1. It sounds like you totally understand my position. Thank you.

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  5. your mom sounds like an annoying movie-watching buddy, but I bet she's a total doll, no?

    Mine is the same way. Makes me smile.

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    1. My mom is awesome. We just don't watch many movies together any more.

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  6. I hate when people give away surprises with movies or TV shows, even books. The only thing that I do want to know, is if there is a happy ending, because I hate when there's a sad ending and there won't be a continuance of it to make it happy. If there isn't a happy ending, I just want to know so I don't waste my time. haha

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    1. It shocks me when people do that. Sometimes it is an accident, but it is usually because they are assuming that you already know, but they didn't ask.

      As for the happy ending, I am the opposite. If I know that there will be a happy ending, then the ending is already wrapped up. All there is left to watch is how are they going to get there. I watch a lot of foreign cinema and many other countries do not follow the romantic American ideal of how movies are made. Most American movies have the protagonist as the victor at the end. I enjoy not knowing if s/he will be able to win.

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  7. Trailers are the worst for giving away stuff

    As sheriff, you had every right to shoot that man.

    Did Red enjoy the show?

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    1. Yes! I've seen that many times. When the movie builds suspense for the audience to learn something, but they already know because the trailer gave it away, I doubt the director is happy how they cut the trailer.

      I am not sure if she enjoyed it. There is so much back story, I doubt she knew what was going on for most of it.

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    2. I did enjoy it, but not enough to get hooked. Too dark.

      And yes, Brett, I could follow it. You who only watch whole series' from the beginning may not know this, but... most serials are written with cues to the back story riddled throughout the current story, so that newcomers can follow well enough to know what is going on. And perhaps to get them interested enough to read the back story.

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    3. I know they leave clues. I just don't enjoy that as much as seeing the story develop for myself.

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  8. I'm the same way, I did that with Lost, everybody said how good it was and season 3 was getting ready to start on TV so I rented the first 2 seasons. I can't start one in the middle. I'm currently watching Warehouse 13 on Netflix. I watched it for awhile then my cable provider took away SciFi so I missed some. So I'm starting over because I don't remember where I was and I'm afraid I'd miss an episode if I guessed.

    My favorite movie is the Shawshank Redemption. I think the reason I loved it over anything else is because I had never even heard of it and I caught it on TNT or TBS awhile ago. I knew nothing about it and was completely shocked at the end (don't want to spoil it for you, just in case). While I do watch previews now, I completely understand the not knowing anything when you watch shows.

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    1. LOST was a difficult one. I did exactly the same. I started a few seasons late and had to get caught up before I could start watching it on TV. Early in the series, Jake and Kate find Charlie after being attacked and Jack was struggling to revive him. It was written to be a very emotional scene as we watch and wonder if Charlie is going to make it. Well, since I had seen commercials for the show in the current season that Charlie was in, I knew he would live. The moment was lost on me.

      Shawshank Redemption is one of the greatest movies ever made.

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  9. Ha! i made my dude read this post because he thinks that i am bonkers for refusing to watch trailers and previews for movies that i really really want to see for that exact reason - it's an experience, and when you know a part's coming up about which someone said 'ohmygawwwd, wait til you see the part where the naked guy jumps out of the trunk!' (synopsis of GQ spoiling The Hangover) it's just never as funny as it would've been...on a related note: the new Wendy's commercial where the smarmy idiot gives away the ending to all the movies they're trying to pick from? I get literally annoyed like the guy is sitting next to me in person...

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    1. I have thought the same thing when I saw the Wendy's commercial. I would have slapped him.

      I love that there are other people out there who think the same way. I want the experience and the less we know, the better it is. After watching a show, I won't even watch previews for the next week.

      I hope your dude better understands now.

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  10. I am SOOO sorry if I gave away Jimmy Smits' character to you! When you said you missed that opening scene, I thought you had just gotten into it late, and didn't realize you could catch it later.

    Also, this argues against your logic for not wanting to watch Doctor Who. Doctor Who, as a Time Lord, is never operating in a coherent sequence, so you could pick it up anyol'where!

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    1. I am sure that even with Doctor Who, there are things about the show that are already understood by its audience and are not explained in each episode.

      Jimmy Smits was not a problem. I did not he was going to be in this season since I had avoided all commercials for the upcoming season, but it was alright.

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