You’re Spoiling Breaking Bad Without Even Realising
Spoiling isn't just the act of revealing crucial plot points and twists. It's revealing that they happen at all.
The year is 1990. I am about ten years old. My dad, along with most of the country, is obsessed with Twin Peaks. After the finale airs in America, Australia as a nation waits with baited breath to find out who killed Laura Palmer. Two days before the episode hits our TVs, we go to a dinner party. My school teacher decides to tell everyone the ending.
Hitchcock zoom on my dad’s face.
I watch as he tries to constrain his anger at having the show spoiled for him before he got the chance to see it. The car ride home is a ranty one indeed. If he had bought us a pizza, it would have wound up on the roof.
At the time I didn’t really understand why he was so upset; it’s just a TV show after all. How wrong I was. Flash forward 23 years.
What Not To Do:
So you’ve just watched the latest episode of Breaking Bad, and you can’t believe how awesome and exciting it was. “This truly is the golden age of television,” you say to yourself as you open up the Facebook app on your phone. “I should probably share my feelings on that episode with everyone I know and also some people I don’t know.”
Before you post that pretty much pointless status update, think to yourself: “If someone hasn’t seen the episode, could this be a spoiler?” Chances are IT IS!
Even just posting “OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED IN BREAKING BAD I NEED TO SIT DOWN AND LET IT ALL SINK IN” is a spoiler!
Stop what you’re doing, stand still, and hose those feelings off.
“But I didn’t give anything away!” you say. But let me explain this to you: In the world of television, we all accept that characters are going to die, or at least have some sort of huge dramatic turn in their lives. The exciting part is not knowing when it’s gonna happen.
Shows like Breaking Bad revel in stressing us out, making us think that something really bad could happen to a character we love — but who knows WHEN it’ll happen? Well, thanks to your “cryptic”, “spoiler free” status update, all of your friends now know that something big goes down in the episode they’re about to watch, thus destroying the crucial will they/won’t they tension.
On behalf of all your friends, thanks heaps for that one.
If you really feel the need to discuss the show you have just seen, do it privately with a friend who has already seen it. Or make a little blog for yourself that clearly states its full of spoilers and then we can all read it after.
So far there have been about 60 episodes of Breaking Bad. That’s 60 hours of time that each viewer has invested in the show. That’s eight times longer than the average time it takes to give birth to a baby. That’s right: Breaking Bad is eight times more important than child birth. Imagine spoiling your friend’s birth by telling them how their child would end. Let them discover that for themselves!
And Another Thing:
Why do you even feel the need to tell people your feelings about this? Surely you have some more exciting things going on in your life that you could pretend to yourself we’re all interested in? It’s not like I’m hanging out to read your memoirs and they’re gonna be ruined by you posting pictures of your babies/food/legs on a beach. Spoil your life away! I won’t even really pay much attention! But please please pleeeeeeeease, for the love of Walt, resist the urge to post your thoughts about long-running TV shows online. I want Vince Gilligan, a professional storyteller, to tell me how it all ends. Not you.
Matt Banham is master and servant at mattbanham.com. He was awarded most improved player in his primary school footy team four years in a row.