Tehee: Here's a spoiler alert: No surprise is safe

The Fresno BeeApril 16, 2014 

Here's a picture of King Joffrey from "Game of Thrones" because, um ... never mind.


Spoiler alert for those who watch "Game of Thrones" (but aren't caught up to the current season, because it's not yet available on the streaming service you're using, or because you were late getting into the HBO series even though everyone said you should because it's that good): The king dies.

So does a key character on the zombie series "The Walking Dead."

Also, mother.

Well, not your mother, but the mother, on the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," which ended its nine-year run on CBS this month with a semi-obvious plot twist that was ruined seconds after the show aired on the East Coast.

I didn't find out until the next morning.

We've been promised entertainment on demand and while it is here, it comes with a dark flipside.

Every plot detail, every narrative twist or surprise will forever be ruined.

You can thank Twitter and Facebook (and probably even CNN).

Spoilers like this were once the sole property of missed sporting games and award shows (aside from the occasional, "Who shot J.R.?" moment). For the most part, you could duck the water-cooler chitchat, cover your eyes and ears during the nightly highlight reels and get by without seeing the outcomes.

No more.

Moments after "Game of Thrones" aired Sunday night, a phalanx of bloggers (along with actual critics and regular fan types) started disseminating their breakdown of the episode across the Internet.

This is all particularly damning for those of us on the West Coast. Those on the other coast have a three-hour head start.

Most kind souls (especially the professionals) will offer up a "spoiler alert" to let you know what's coming, although The Washington Post led a critique of Downton Abbey under the headline "Lady Sybil's Shocking Death. Did It Have to Happen?"

But some spoilers come with no such warning. The onslaught of Internet memes for "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" were hard to miss on my Facebook feed.

Not that I cared.

It probably says something about me that I hadn't seen an episode of "How I Met Your Mother" outside of syndication and that I didn't care enough to watch the series finale, but I clicked the first link that promised to give away the big reveal.

I'm probably not alone.

This is the age of instant information that operates around the clock (to get back to CNN). It's easy to get taken in by the insatiable need to know … everything.

Only, that need supersedes experiencing something on your own, without comment or interaction from others.

Spoiler alert: Those experiences can be a joy.

This columnist can be reached at (559) 441-6479, jtehee@fresnobee.com or @joshuatehee on Instagram and Twitter. Read his blog at www.fresnobeehive.com

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