Josh Charles Josh Charles

Spoiler alert: I like spoilers.

I won't go all J. Law on you if you told me what happened on the past two Mad Men episodes I haven't yet watched. I won't get irrationally angry at a spoiler-y tweet or headline, which was how I found out that Will died on The Good Wife (watch the episode here). I don't mind getting spoiled. People think it's weird when I ask them to tell me what happened or what to expect on a show, but I think it's weird how weird they are about spoilers.

Scoop on 39 must-see finales

Yes, a spoiler spoils the sense of discovery, but as Hitchcock famously noted, there is a difference between surprise and suspense. We overestimate the importance and experience of a surprise and can't see the trees for the forest the more obsessed we get with "reveals" in this post-Lost world. But the sequence of events we take to get there are just as, and I'd argue more, important and fascinating as the twist itself, especially if crafted well. The pleasure is not in the anticipation or reveal of the spoiler, but rather in the execution. Someone can spoil an ending for you, but they can't spoil the "how" and the "why," and every iota of detail on the road there. The "who" or "what" is never as vital, otherwise Law & Order: Criminal Intent would never have lasted as long as it did. A spoiler is nothing without meaning, and when the initial shock of it wears off, the thing that lingers is the context around it. 

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