Dear Media: Please Stop Reporting Things That Ruin the Ending…


I’m talking about this.  Do not click or scroll over the link if you don’t want a beloved science fiction series ruined for you.  There will be no specifics below, so don’t worry.

Whether you’ve read the link or not, the basic gist is this:  a certain someone has confirmed that they will or will not return to a TV show, and the media has reported this fact with glee.

Why is this a problem?  Because the moment I know an actor or actress is or is not returning to a TV show, I know howhow the show ends.  In this particular case, that is bad news indeed because it means the emotion I would normally feel at the end of a show like this will never come.  I have
no reason to be emotional.  I know what’s going to happen before the series is even over.  In this case, the season has already been filmed, which means whatever has happened at the end is already written into the narrative.  Nobody is surprised.  Nobody has to find a way to get this person out of the show (or keep them in) without pissing off the fans.  They’ve already settled the issue.

None of this has anything to do with spoilers in and of themselves.  I don’t have a problem with the media talking about things that have or have not already aired.  I do have a problem, however, when the headline is the spoiler.  In this case, that’s exactly the problem.  The headline doesn’t say “Will X be back next fall?  We Ask X About It” or something like that.  It just says “X will be back next fall” or “X will not be back next fall.”  Unless I stop reading stuff on the Internet, I cannot avoid this bit of information.

Color me pissed off.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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