Hi, my name is Michelle, and I’m a nerd.
I just wanted to get that part out of the way so I can introduce you to what will hopefully be a regular column, Beahm Me Up, in which I discuss nerdy things with you all.
And as I’m writing this on May 4 (May the Fourth be with you), a day before seeing the results of a decade’s worth of buildup from the ever-impressive Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems appropriate to discuss something that, by nature, should not be discussed: spoilers.
Obviously, there are no spoilers for “Avengers: Infinity War.” I’m writing this column before seeing it for a reason, after all. So proceed without fear. Unless you don’t know the twists in “The Sixth Sense,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” (This paragraph will be denoted with a spoiler warning, despite the most recent of these movies dating back to 2009.)
I see a lot of new movies every year, and most of the ones I actually go to a movie theater to see are the ones almost everybody else is going to the theater to see.
“Star Wars,” “Black Panther,” “Wonder Woman.” (For the record, I freely admit that I’ve given up on other movies in Wonder Woman’s live-action movie universe. My final hopes for that franchise were brutally dashed by “Suicide Squad.” Can’t wait for Diana’s sequel, though.) Rarely do I get to see these movies on opening weekend, due in large part to my aversion to overcrowded theaters.
This means, as with “Infinity War” now, I have to live in a world in which millions have seen a movie I haven’t and are sharing their thoughts and feelings online.
I work online and a fair amount of my free time is spent online. Do you know how many spoilers there are online right now, tempting me to just read the review, click the link or watch the .gif?
It’s a little terrifying because I try to avoid spoilers the way my mom tried to avoid the live shrew her cat brought in that one time. I don’t even like to hear if someone liked or didn’t like the movie I haven’t seen yet. Getting close to the release date, I will usually stop watching promotional material released by the studios since they tend to spoil half the movie in the trailer. (I’m still mad the Hulk’s presence in the movie was revealed in the “Thor: Ragnarok” trailers.)
How do I avoid spoilers, though? With “Star Wars,” it’s easy. There’s a Chrome extension that will literally hide all “Star Wars”-related content from your browser when it’s activated. I used it before seeing “The Force Awakens,” and it worked pretty well. As far as I know, there is no such extension for Marvel spoilers, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that is about No. 2 on the list of things people will spoil — at least when “Game of Thrones” isn’t airing new episodes.
As someone who likes reading the daily “Morning Spoilers,” courtesy of i09 — despite the name, it’s usually more media-related news than actual spoilers — it involves a lot of hitting the “Page Down” button on my keyboard and viewing web pages with squinted eyes.
I also hurriedly scroll past many Facebook posts, avoid Buzzfeed altogether and type in specific YouTube URLs to view my favorite channels while bypassing the homepage with its trending videos. In reality, most people I know are aware of my fanatical avoidance of spoilers, but in the case of some people who like to threaten to spoil things just to get a rise out of me, I have unabashedly “hummed” over their comments to avoid hearing it.
(Spoiler warning for the next paragraph.)
There comes a point, though, when too much time has passed, and even I admit I’m not due that courtesy anymore. For instance, I didn’t see “Sixth Sense” until I was well into my 20s, and I’d long since learned that he was dead the whole time. If you don’t know by now that Snape kills Dumbledore, where exactly is that rock you’ve been hiding under located? And I’m pretty sure by this point, babies are born with enough knowledge to quote, “Luke, I am your father” — even if that’s not an accurate quote.
When is that cut-off point? A week isn’t long enough. It’s unrealistic to expect every fan who doesn’t want spoilers to see every movie within a week. We have lives, after all, that can’t revolve around movies. Also, going to the movies is expensive. But waiting until a DVD/Blu-Ray release date is unreasonable. I feel like a month is a good length of time, and I say that knowing it took me longer to see “Captain America: Civil War” in theaters.
What do you think? How do you avoid spoilers, if at all? How long is too long to not post spoilers online without a “Spoiler warning” tag, or to stop making allowances for that friend who just hasn’t yet bothered to see “Justice League”?
Feel free to spoil that for me, by the way. I have no intention to watch it.
Send me your thoughts, and tell me what nerdy topics you think I should write about, at firstname.lastname@example.org.