Avoid­ing spoil­ers new skill in to­day’s In­ter­net TV world

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - By Michael Oliveira

TORONTO — Sandy Vasquez faces a bit of a dilemma on May 26 when new episodes of Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment start stream­ing on Net­flix.

As the founder of one of the show’s most pop­u­lar In­ter­net fan sites, she’s feel­ing some pres­sure to watch all 15 episodes as soon as pos­si­ble and start post­ing screen­shots and other con­tent to her Tum­blr blog.

But she’s also cog­nizant that some of her reg­u­lar read­ers won’t be binge-view­ing on the 26th and may want to visit Vasquez’s site, The Bluth Com­pany, with­out be­ing bom­barded by spoil­ers.

As a huge fan her­self, she’s not that keen on blitz­ing through the new episodes at light­ning speed ei­ther.

“I’m still think­ing about it but I kind of want to space it out a lit­tle bit, be­cause it’s like some­thing spe­cial you’ve waited so many years to see,” said Vasquez.

“You don’t want to waste all the ex­cite­ment and watch the en­tire thing in one day.”

Vasquez asked her read­ers how wor­ried they were about see­ing spoil­ers and many sug­gested they needed as long as a month to catch up on the new Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment.

“But I’m sure some­one’s go­ing to spoil it for me,” she said.

The need to use spoiler alerts and ex­er­cise cau­tion when talk­ing about new Net­flix shows is an is­sue, ac­knowl­edges CEO Reed Hast­ings, but he ar­gues it’s not re­ally a new prob­lem. Read­ers have sim­i­lar chal­lenges dis­cussing a new novel if friends aren’t read­ing at the same pace, he noted.

Net­flix users just have to fig­ure out how to care­fully have spoil­er­free con­ver­sa­tions with their fel­low TV and film fans, Hast­ings said.

“It does cre­ate new so­cial norms, which the In­ter­net con­stantly does,” he said.

“There’s 100 things like this where the new tech­nol­ogy of on-de­mand In­ter­net gives us new things we have to feel our way through.”

Beau Wil­limon, who de­vel­oped and pro­duced the po­lit­i­cal drama House of Cards for Net­flix, ar­gues the pop­u­lar­ity of catch­ing up on shows with DVD box sets or dig­i­tal view­ing has al­ready taught view­ers how to avoid spoil­ers and also how to avoid ru­in­ing shows for oth­ers.”

He ar­gues TV fans who make it a point to block out spoil­ers gen­er­ally can do so, for years even, if they’re lucky.

FOX

Jef­frey Tam­bor (left) and Ja­son Bate­man in Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment.

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