miss_s_b: (geekiness)
miss_s_b ([personal profile] miss_s_b) wrote2017-04-17 09:59 am
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What counts as Spoilers?

The lovely [personal profile] ruthct21 commented on a post of mine yesterday (more in sorrow than in anger, I think) that she was going to have to avoid reading my stuff if I wasn't more careful about spoilers for Doctor Who, as she's somewhere in South America and hasn't seen the new episode yet. This came as something of a surprise to me, because I thought I had been pretty careful about spoilers when posting about Doctor Who... But then it occurred to me that Ruth and I might have very different definitions of what constitutes a spoiler. SO:

Poll #18215 What counts as Spoilers?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 47

What counts as Spoilers?

An episode of X show was on
0 (0.0%)

An episode of X show was on and I liked/disliked it
2 (4.3%)

An episode of X show was on and A, B, and C characters appeared in it
17 (36.2%)

An episode of X show was on and it resolved a cliffhanger from a previous episode (without saying HOW it resolved the cliffhanger)
5 (10.6%)

An episode of X show was on and it resolved a cliffhanger from a previous episode in the following way
45 (95.7%)

An episode of X show was on and it contained the following general types of plot device
19 (40.4%)

An episode of X show was on and it had these specific plot points in it
43 (91.5%)

An episode of X show was on and this is EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN IT
45 (95.7%)

An episode of X show was on and it didn't involve enough ticky boxes and that makes me sad.
22 (46.8%)

pseudomonas: (Default)

[personal profile] pseudomonas 2017-04-17 09:11 am (UTC)(link)
If the cliffhanger was something that couldn't reasonably be expected to be resolved this episode, or A/B/C were not characters that appear pretty much every episode, then those too are spoilers.
pseudomonas: (Default)

[personal profile] pseudomonas 2017-04-17 09:15 am (UTC)(link)
(obvious extreme example: if A was a character thought to be dead, then the fact of their appearance is itself spoilersome)
Edited 2017-04-17 09:16 (UTC)
nickbarlow: (Default)

[personal profile] nickbarlow 2017-04-17 12:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I think that's fine, and I think there has to be an expectation that any discussion of an episode beyond 'like/dislike' is going to contain some discussion of things that happened. The line for me is somewhere between 'X's performance as Y was good' and 'X's performance as Y was good, especially when they became the monster of the week', or the difference between describing Derek Jacobi as playing Professor Yana and Derek Jacobi playing the Master.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

[personal profile] rmc28 2017-04-17 01:23 pm (UTC)(link)
This is what I was coming here to say :-)

I wouldn't normally regard "people in episode" as a spoiler, unless they are unexpected people.
solarbird: (zoe-and-doctor-who)

having zoe in a new episode would certainly be unexpected

[personal profile] solarbird 2017-04-17 04:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes. And for me, appearing in the teaser/trailer makes them expected. (But some people avoid teasers/trailers just for that reason.)
vampwillow: skyline graphic (Default)

Re: having zoe in a new episode would certainly be unexpected

[personal profile] vampwillow 2017-04-17 08:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I never watch trailers for any TV show *or film* because they spoil it for the actual thing. It's akin to reading the final chapter of a book before you start page 1 - totally silly.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

Re: having zoe in a new episode would certainly be unexpected

[personal profile] matgb 2017-04-17 11:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Except if a trailer tells you the ending it's a very clear sign it's a really bad film, I don't recall ever seeing a trailer for anything actually good that in any way revealed major plot points or twists, let alone an ending.
vampwillow: lion logo (film)

Re: having zoe in a new episode would certainly be unexpected

[personal profile] vampwillow 2017-04-18 05:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, yes, but I've seen a number of trailers where they show what will actually be the final big explosions and stuff IN THE TRAILER. #pointless!
conuly: (Default)

[personal profile] conuly 2017-04-21 05:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Agreed.
londonkds: (Default)

[personal profile] londonkds 2017-04-17 10:19 am (UTC)(link)
I agree with pseudomonas that mere character names can need spoiler cutting if it is the surprise reappearance of a previously established character. (Even if they've been in trailers, because some people are so spoiler-phobic that they try to avoid official trailers.)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)

[personal profile] tree_and_leaf 2017-04-17 11:44 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, that's true. There would be a big difference between "Luke Skywalker is going to appear in The Last Jedi" and "Obi Wan Kenobi is going to appear in The Last Jedi" (but the last assertion is not actually a spoiler because I just made it up.
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)

[personal profile] tree_and_leaf 2017-04-17 11:57 am (UTC)(link)
It was a somewhat hypothetical example! :)
londonkds: (BLOOD AND TITTIES FOR LORD CHIBNALL!!! ()

[personal profile] londonkds 2017-04-17 10:21 am (UTC)(link)
By contrast, I thought it was unfair a couple of years ago when a person on my reading list got yelled at by somebody for mentioning the name of a well-known actor who was a guest cast member, who had never appeared on Who before and was playing a single-episode character of no continuity relevance.
dancefloorlandmine: (Constantine)

[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine 2017-04-17 10:41 am (UTC)(link)
There was always a rush to hit 'Stop' on Dr Who before they did the "in the next episode" trailer, which would almost always reveal major plot elements of the next episode. In some cases, knowing what the monster-of-the-week is will actually be a spoiler - e.g. if they're a 'villain-behind-the-curtain' - putting their existence in a trailer or discussion will pretty much negate the "wonder who the villain is" sense of wonder.

My partner always avoids trailers, discussion of episodes, etc - she wants to see each episode tabula rasa, so as to discover it second-by-second. Much like when you're reading a book, and discover the plot word-by-word. (Books that reveal major plot points in the back cover copy are bloody annoying, too.)
(Except if it stars Liam Neeson, and bad things happen to him, because, especially in Next Of Kin, he looks like her husband did when they met. Also, if bad things happen to animals.)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2017-04-17 10:45 am (UTC)(link)
Usually I would not consider all of these spoilers, but there's certainly circumstances under which they could be. Times like someone who is known to be a fan of a particular character who is supposed to be dead mentions how amazing and surprising and great this episode was!
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2017-04-17 10:52 am (UTC)(link)
Sorry, my phrasing is unclear! I meant "not all of these are spoilers but some are"!

[personal profile] theandrewhickey 2017-04-17 01:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I think that certainly *could* be a spoiler, but doesn't have to be.
For me, at least, the concept of spoilers only really works for certain kinds of entertainment -- ones where the plot is the main appeal, and where that plot is predicated on a surprise twist somewhere.
To take two murder mystery examples, it would be *very* easy to spoiler The Murder of Roger Ackroyd -- so much so that it would be impossible to discuss anything at all about the book sensibly. On the other hand, you could recount every event in The Name of the Rose and not, I think, spoil the story one iota -- the pleasure from that comes almost entirely from the way the story's told, not from the events that happen in it.
Personally, I take the attitude that very few things can really be spoiled -- I like the way in which old books and plays were called things like "The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates."
I think it really does have to be on a case-by-case basis though. I've told people who want to read Philip Purser-Hallard's Devices books not even to learn the *title* of the second book until they've read the first, because it's a massive spoiler for a genuinely amazing twist half-way through the first book...

[personal profile] theandrewhickey 2017-04-17 01:41 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm a very longwinded person ;)
ggreig: (Default)

[personal profile] ggreig 2017-04-17 11:30 am (UTC)(link)
I like that more people consider it spoilery to resolve the cliffhanger than do covering everything-in-the-episode (as of the time of writing this comment, anyway). Maybe they're relying on TL;DR?
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)

[personal profile] redbird 2017-04-17 02:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I ticked the ones that I am reasonably sure count as spoilers; things like "specific plot points" depend both on what the specific plot points are, and the context. "A major character is murdered" is likely to be a spoiler—but not if the character in question is the president of the United States and the episode is set in November 1963.
bob: (Default)

[personal profile] bob 2017-04-17 03:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Most spoilers are about the destination not the journey. The journey is the thing which keeps me entertained.
A blow by blow recap of an episode may ruin the journey but then again its not the actual actors doing it.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

[personal profile] matgb 2017-04-17 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
That's basically my take: I enjoy Columbo despite knowing who did it, I can happily rewatch or reread a mystery novel I know backwards, and generally you know the lead cast will survive the Moment Of Extreme Peril before an ad break but the how is entertaining.

I have sometimes skipped to the end of books I'm not sure I want to finish, found that the ending is interesting and gone back to find out how they got there: I've also just given up entirely on a book because the ending was even more dull than the first few chapters, I'm fine with that.