Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Spoiler Alert: When Ross was in China he started dating some chick

SPOILER ALERT: I’m going to tell someone they can go fuck themselves at the end of this post.

It usually takes me days to write on this stupid blog. For instance, I started the Frank Herzog/State of Play post a month ago. I usually get distracted by old Law and Order re-runs like the one that’s on now about Ice-T busting up a meth lab in a day care center. But right now I’m responding to something I just heard on NPR 2 minutes ago.

They got dozens of complaints yesterday after they reported that Kal Penn is leaving House to work for the Admin now that his character had committed suicide. Folks were upset since they had Tivoed the show and the Penn offing had been ruined before they had a chance to watch. They complained that NPR (see comments)should have prefaced the report with a ******SPOILER ALERT****8***.

That’s wrong. Spoiler alerts expire the moment the television show ends. They are extended as a courtesy by those who have special access to a scripted show’s outcome and could subsequently ruin that for other people. If you choose to record the show to watch later you cannot expect all discussion of that show to be put on hold at your convenience. The only exception is for sporting events or other shows which air live.

Those who still tape shows with analogue recording devices came to this realization about 20 years ago. Currently, DVR saturation is only at 27% in the United States. I would need it to cross into the 60%-70% area before I could accept the type of spoiler alert demands that are currently being requested. If Entertainment Weekly or TV Guide or another one of our television ethics gatekeepers wants to establish a statute of limitations of, say, 3 days before we are allowed to talk about things that have already happened, then I will live with it. Until then, however, I maintain the embargo ends when the credits roll.

In addition, NPR is primarily a news outfit. They report the news. And even though it’s fluffy as shit, Kal Penn moving in to the Old Executive Office Building qualifies as news. Who cares if we have to find out that his character had to kill himself to make that happen. It’s a goddamned TV show.

Bottom line, I have no sympathy for those who get upset when their shows are ruined by public discussion after the show is over.

In fact, those people can go fuck themselves.

(EDIT FROM THE G: WAIT KAL PENN OFFS HIMSELF?????!?!???!?!??!! I hate you so hard.)

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