bill-swift - December 11, 2012
The "Spoiler Alert" has become a common courtesy in online journalism to inform the reader of upcoming information that might ruin the surprise of a movie, TV show, or book. If, like me, you like to be surprised by the events in a narrative you can either stop reading or skip that section. But something I've noticed lately is that a lot of bloggers have decided to not give a crap. I recently saw the latest James Bond film Skyfall (which is awesome). Though I enjoyed the film I already knew that (Spoiler Alert) the M character played by Judy Dench dies at the end. How did I know this? Because a review of the film had as its title "Skyfall: We Say Goodbye To M". Now, I didn't even read the review but just scanning the page for a story I've already had a wonderful moment in the film ruined by a careless writer. Another example comes from last week's episode of 30 Rock in which (spoiler alert) Jack Donaghy's mother Colleen dies. How did I know this? Because some idiot writer wrote a review called "30 Rock Recap: So long, Colleen."
I'm going to be honest, anyone can be a blogger. But to be good blogger takes talent as a writer. I'm lucky to work with a group of fine writers here at Egotastic! Unfortunately, a lot of other sites don't have our high standards. There are ways to imply the spoiler without saying it. You could say, for example, "In Skyfall we see James Bond the cold-blooded killer experience the impact of death personally. It perhaps makes him think of the mothers of all the countless goons he's gunned down over the years," or something like that. Instead you have some hack writing reviews in his basement saying, "M dies at the end and this makes James Bond sad." I learned this basic lesson when I wrote movie reviews for my college newspaper when I was 22. That's great that you got to see the movie at an advanced screening, but those of us without press passes have to wait a week. So, please be responsible and stop ruining movies for the rest of us.