Imagine a world where nobody asked for, “no spoilers”. That was what it was like growing up in the 70s and 80s.
The exception that still stands is football results – the warning after the news before the sport report in case you don’t want to know the result.
I recall wishing that had been the case in 1980 the night JR Ewing was shot because I’d been to see a show and walked in to see the late night newsreader showing a clip of it.
We had a VHS recorder back then on the off chance we might miss a series finale on one of the three channels that occasionally proved handy.
These days, people are poking their eyes out to avoid reading any spoilers on their social media feeds and getting VERY angry should they see any.
I’m no killjoy and I don’t watch Game of Thrones but even I know what happened due to posts unsubtly hinting of death and demise. It’s Game of Thrones, what did you expect?
If you miss something on the night, why should everyone else keep schtum until you’ve seen it? How long is the appropriate period of silence? Should we ask when you plan to catch up?
No spoilers seems to be an unspoken rule exclusively reserved for a certain kind of series, the ones that will eventually crop up as a box set.
It doesn’t apply to every genre.
Soaps seem to have the opposite rule. I don’t know anyone who watches that doesn’t know what’s going to happen.
People don’t go berserk if you tell them what happened in the previous nights’ game shows, chat shows or Question Time.
I automatically assume people don’t want to know what happens in Broadchurch but won’t berate me for repeating an owl ripped its baby apart and fed it to the other babies on Springwatch.
I still know people who recoil in panic if you mention Breaking Bad – a show that finished almost two years ago – for fear you may reveal the ending.
For a generation who insist on publishing every detail of their lives immediately online, it turns out this does not apply to television dramas.
I think we should call for a time limit of when we can discuss finales.
Years and even months feel unreasonable but how about weeks? Days? Better still, hours.
And I’m not talking Jack Bauer.