John Davies is a senior corporate partner at leading commercial law firm Thrings. As a TBE columnist, John regularly addresses a topical news or business-related issue. This time he’s hoping for a happy ending.
I’ve just had a conversation with Kate Westbrook, one of my partners at Thrings. Kate and I have been working about three feet from each other for the past 18 years. We’re colleagues in what we agree is a great team. But we don’t necessarily agree on everything.
Case in point: ‘Game of Thrones’. Kate recently announced that while scrolling through her Twitter feed she’d learned what was going to happen in Westeros in a forthcoming episode. Despite not having watched it, she was fine with that.
As someone who hates getting spoilers about things I’m yet to watch, I, on the other hand, would not be fine with that.
My wife does very little to annoy me but she does have a habit of clicking the Sky ‘i’ button so she can read about programmes we’re just about to watch. Half the time the information gives the whole story away. The twists and the turns. Gone. The hero that’s going to die. Revealed. Why would anyone want to know this? Kate’s argument is if it’s a good story, it’s a good story and it’s worth watching despite advance knowledge.
Something happened to me which makes me right on this. In 1996 I went to see a film called ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ featuring a very odd Quentin Tarantino and a rather foxy George Clooney. I knew absolutely nothing about this film; I’d literally walked in to the cinema to find it was the only film with spaces left. And I loved it because the film took a turn I wasn’t expecting, on a surprise journey I hadn’t anticipated. Had I known the story beforehand I suppose it would have been enjoyable, or ‘fine’. But ‘fine’ doesn’t cut it. You want it to be ‘brilliant’. Spoilers have the habit of turning ‘brilliant’ into ‘fine’.
There are exceptions, of course. I’d read ‘The Hobbit’, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and every one of Harry Potter’s adventures before the films were released. But generally speaking, it irks me if I learn the outcome of a film or drama series before I see it.
So tell me, is it just me who objects to spoilers? Am I the only one who won’t read on if there’s a juicy little morsel about an upcoming show? Do others ban radios, TVs and phones in the house to avoid hearing the result of a sporting event they’ve recorded and yet to watch? And surely there are people out there who, like me, stick their fingers in his ears and sing ‘la la la’ when family members, friends or colleagues begin talking about things they’ve yet to see?
Would you watch the final of ‘Bake Off’ if you knew the winner in advance? I for one wouldn’t.
I’ve just asked Kate and she said she would.
She is, of course, wrong.
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