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October 08 2002

AtS writer Mere Smith begs people not to read spoilers this year. Posting on the Bronzebeta forum she writes:

"in previous years i have -mere-ly gently admonished the spoiler-partakers, holding them in a certain... oh, i don't know... quiet but rabid disdain, today i'm going to actually plea with all Bronzers: please... don't read spoilers for this season. this sounds drastic, i realize, and probably a little on the desperate side, but i promise you -- promise you -- you'll thank me for this later."

They've got the entirely wrong idea. They should embrace spoilage. I do. I think it intensifies the enjoyment of both the Buffy & Angel shows. I dunno. It's kinda like foreplay, y'know? I mean the actual show's the BIG EVENT and the spoilers are kinda like being teased. *smirk*
My girlfriend, who I love very much, likes to read the last chapter of a book first, then read the whole thing. For me, this is insane. It's all about the buildup. And that's why I don't read spoilers.

Which is to say, to each their own. If it's a good story, it's a good story.
I love spoilers, but I'm not happy with the wildfeed summaries - they do take the fun out of viewing. I shouldn't read 'em. Wildfeed bad.
I read a few spoilers for Buffy last year, and it ruined a few episodes for me. So I haven't done it at all this year, and seeing stuff like Spike hugging the cross and Linwood's head getting lopped off were infinitely more entertaining than if I had known they were coming. I'm swearing off spoilers for good.
... of course the question now is, what are ME trying to hide this season? Something big must be coming. Now this is exciting.
Or maybe they're trying to make everyone think they've got something big to hide. Or maybe they do have something big to hide, and they think that this warning is such an obvious portent of the fact that something big is coming that it will make the cynical think that there isn't.

And so on and so forth...
spoilers haven't ever been about ruining the show, for me. they never give every single detail... the wildfeeds are about fleshing out the plot so that i can concentrate more on my favorite part of the shows: the dialogue. our actors are stellar, subtle, nuanced, genius actors!

so that's my two cents.
I like to think of spoilers like Cliff Notes. You get a summary of what's coming, so you know what to look for. There's also things that Wildfeeds just can't describe which make the experience that much more interesting. I was anticipating the hugging on the cross all episode, so when it actually came I was concentrating hard enough to hear what sounded like Spike's cigarette lighter just as the smoke began to appear. He was either burning from the cross, or he just lit up a cigarette. I don't know if it was intentional, but I thought it a very subtle added touch, if it was intentional, and my brain playing tricks with me in a way that it wouldn't have had my mind not been so properly focused by the spoilage, allowing me to concentrate on details.

Also, throughout the episode it was like watching Spike reaquaint himself with all his various 'masks' over the past several seasons. The most prominent of which was his vampy face from season two. Marsters did a great job of making it appear that Spike was trying to fake being the Spike he once was. He looked the part but just didn't have the confidence. Very subtle and very masterful portrayal. This is almost Stanisvlofskiesque in delivery. Internal to external. Marsters definitely deserves Emmy recognition, not that he'll get it, and again the subtleties of his performance would have been less significant to me on the first viewing of the show, had I not known what was coming.

I guess it depends on why you watch, what one's interests are in reading. For example, if I were to pick up Bram Stoker's Dracula (I've never actually read the novel) it would be to immerse myself in the usage of the vocabulary and the details of description. I already understand the plotline and the general differences between the main characters, because over the years other media has 'spoiled' me. Yet that wouldn't mean the work itself is potentially ruined for me. I'd appreciate it in other ways.

To each his own, I suppose.
Last season was my worst as far as spoilers went. I didn't go a day without checking the SpoilerSlayer website. And I couldn't help but feel rather envious when my friends got to watch the whole end-of-season arc with no clue about what was in store. I've been rediscovering the joys of relative spoilerlessness this season, when the first episode had an "ohmigodohmigodohmigod" urgency I hadn't felt that strongly since Buffy told Angel to close his eyes. The close analysis you enjoy on the first viewing, ZachsMind, I'm learning to save for my subsequent viewings. I forgot how much I'd missed being unspoiled.

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