By Mark O’Brien
In 2004 I was sat in a pub with some friends, discussing the recently released The Streets album A Grand Don’t Come For Free – 11 years on and Star Wars is the topic of conversation down the local.
My mates hadn’t heard the album back in the day but I had and I loved it, so I proceeded to run through the whole thing, revealing the musical plot, including what lyrical revelations were unfurled at the end.
Today, a lot of people haven’t read any tit-bits from the up-and-coming Star Wars movie either.
And no doubt they have friends like me who are spilling the finer details to their annoyance.
I didn’t think twice about divulging the secrets of The Streets album all those years ago.
It’s not like it was the most intricate, mind blowing revelation but my friends were disgusted at me.
I hadn’t meant to tell them but I lost the run of myself in the excitement of trying to communicate to them that they really should listen to what is still a pretty fantastic album.
They listened to it anyway and I’m sure they enjoyed it although one of my friends has since referred to me as: “Mark, The Ruiner of Things”.
To be honest, I was puzzled by their over-the-top reaction and in this on-demand era we now live in, my puzzlement has turned to frustration. Possibly even anger.
Does knowing what happens in a book/TV show/Film/Rap concept album really dilute your enjoyment of it?
According to this study by the University of California, San Diego, it emphatically doesn’t. In fact, it enhances your enjoyment.
Today, people can watch whatever TV show or movie they want on Netflix, whenever they want and that’s great but it means that you have to tiptoe around discussing any of these shows lest someone hasn’t gotten to that part yet – even if said show is years old.
What a load of crap.
As we speak the ‘No Spoilers’ brigade are at their most vociferous as the release of the new Star Wars movie approaches.
In fact, you can even download an app for your browser that warns you when you’re about to read something that may reveal even the slightest detail about the new movie.
No doubt, lots of people will be using this since the embargo on reviews was lifted yesterday and the internet was flooded with reviews of that reveal very minor aspects of the plot.
I lapped up every one of those reviews.
I want to know as much as possible and to be honest, if someone told me everything that happened before I got a chance to see the film, I’d want to see it even more.
Knowing what happens makes me even more excited to see exactly how it unfolds.
I’m obviously in the minority. I read the last page of books. I’ve been known to read the whole plot of a film on Wikipedia before I watch it.
If anything, it makes me look forward to watching it even more when I know what’s coming.
These same people that give out about spoilers will most likely watch the same film or show several times and it doesn’t spoil their enjoyment of it.
In fact, some films can be even more enjoyable the second time around – Fight Club instantly springs to mind as an example but I won’t say why because someone might give out to me for ruining a film that they haven’t seen even though it came out in the last century.
We’re talking about insignificant things. Movies, TV shows, books.
Does it really matter if we know what happens before we see them?
No, it doesn’t.
There are a whole load more things in the world to get angry about than someone telling you that Luke Skywalker is Han Solo’s and Chewbacca’s lovechild #SpoilerAlert.