Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Spoilers spoil everything

I guess that's why they are called spoilers. I think spoilers are understandable when I'm reading an article on a television show the day after it airs (and I haven't watched it yet), and the writer mentions something that happened in the show. If I didn't want to know what happened in that episode, I should have stayed away. However, I think it's quite another when a network, in its promos for an upcoming episode, ruins what is supposed to be a surprise.

Case in point: the last two episodes of Heroes. (This is the point you should stop reading if you haven't watched the episodes.)

In promos over the past week, we have been told that we would find out who Claire's father was in last night's episode. However, a discerning viewer could strongly suspect it was Nathan Petrelli based on the promos showing the arm of Claire's father as he picked up the phone. The shot showed his forearm, clad in a pink button-down shirt rolled up casually, exposing dark hair on the arm. Who dresses this way in the show? Nathan and...well, that's about it. What's so disappointing about this is that the reveal, without that clip, would have been a good one. It wouldn't have made me gasp, but I certainly would have been a lot more surprised than I was.

Two weeks ago, there was a lot of internet chatter that George Takai would be joining the show. I don't have a problem with the show letting that information get out--I'm sure they thought bringing on Mr. Sulu could help with ratings. However, the informational blurb the network ran along with the episode said that Hiro's father would be appearing. Since Hiro is Japanese, most viewers probably immediately figured out that Takei would be playing his father. So when Hiro and Ando were "kidnapped" near the end of that episode, it wasn't shocking when his captor was revealed to be his father, played by George Takai.

I'm sure that the creators of Heroes can't be happy about this. So why is NBC ruining all of the suspense for the viewers? Are they sloppy? Stupid? Or do they think spoiling the surprise helps their ratings in some way? I remember a few years ago, the creators of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful wouldn't share "coming attractions" for the next week's episodes with soap opera magazines, arguing that it ruined their ability to tell the story. They eventually relented, but have kept those spoilers cryptic. I'm beginning to think they had the right idea to begin with. Sure, I love watching "scenes from the next episode," but not when it makes actually watching the next episode redundant.

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