TV was a big deal for me at my house when I was growing up. I watched every single show that caught my fancy from Full House to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Growing up as a kid during the ’90s, we arguably had the best shows to watch. As I got older and shows started getting less and less appealing for me to watch, I’ve gotten pickier about my viewing habits. I don’t watch a ton of TV anymore and I barely have time to watch the ones I do watch.
When I hear critics and friends rave about new shows at the start of each TV season, I don’t immediately go home and check it out. I used to be more likely to give new shows with a ton of fan buzz a shot. Or if the preview of the show looks good, I go off on that to make time to watch it.
I partly don’t make time like I used to because I rather be doing something else when I’m home for the day or the show everyone is raving about is on a channel I don’t have a subscription to. This usually means I’d have to wait for Netflix to make it available for rental or streaming.
If enough people talk about a show or friends make compelling arguments about why I should watch a show they’re super into, I’ll head to Netflix and watch the first few seasons that are available. It’s only when I watch the first few episodes of a show that I become immediately hooked, and I kick myself for not getting into a show much sooner. This has been the case for shows like New Girl, Game of Thrones, and Arrow.
Everyone has been sitting at the cool kids table much longer than I have when I become an instant fan of a show quite late in the game. When everyone else has moved onto watching the current season or waiting for the next season to come out, I’m playing catch up.
I’ve consumed all episodes of New Girl, but missed out on the first six or eight episodes of the latest season. Missing those episodes of New Girl didn’t stop me from watching what’s airing now. I’m currently finishing up Season 3 of Game of Thrones and will be all caught up by the time Season 4 airs in April. As for Arrow, I’m still working on finishing Season 1, but will have to wait for the current season to make its way to my Netflix stream later in the year.
Typically, I try to avoid spoilers when I can. If it’s a show I really love and I want to be surprised, then I don’t want to know what will happen next. New Girl hasn’t been a problem on the spoiler front, largely because each episode can kind of stand on its own without having seen the previous ones. Arrow isn’t a huge issue with spoilers either, but the same can’t be said about Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones is based on the fantasy book series by George R. R. Martin, which is still currently ongoing. While I haven’t found the time to read the books and know everything there is to know of what happens to each character in the world of Westeros, spoilers abound if you haven’t been watching the show from the beginning.
Reading articles that recap the previous seasons are a landmine of intentional or unintentional spoilers waiting to go off. Even reading articles about actors who were on the show can provide unintentional spoilers when it may have been an actor whose character got killed off before I actually get to the episode where that happens. As someone who is relying strictly on sticking to the show, I’ve been wanting to wait and see what happens. Knowing even the tiniest thing that has happened in Season 3 when I haven’t gotten up to a certain episode yet drives me nuts. It’s worse when spoilers can even come from your own mother.
I got my mother into the Game of Thrones when she was reluctant to watch it. She thought all the show had to offer was just gratuitous nudity and violence. While the show does indeed have all that, if you look past the surface stuff, you realize the story is richly complex with its political intrigues and characters, who you have no idea what they’ll do next or what their true agenda is.
When my mom was fully on board with the show, she started reading the books on her Kindle. Being almost up-to-date with all the books, she’s now a walking spoiler bomb for me. My mom already knows what happens to key characters from Season 3 and it’s a never ending battle of, “I don’t want to hear it” or “Not another word!” I almost think she wants to gloat over knowing something I have yet to find out.
The relief will come when I finally watch the last two discs of Game of Thrones and will no longer need to wonder if an article I click on will end up unintentionally spoiling something for me or if my mom will blurt something out in her excitement.
Moral of the story? Get into shows sooner rather than later, especially if it’s known to be really good. It’ll be easier when you don’t have to avoid people who have already watched it and know what happens.
Ever get into a show late, only to realize everybody and your mother wants to spoil it for you?