Avoiding TV spoilers is like a minefield - and the broadcasters are not making it any easier

TV is a medium that has thrived on conversations about our favourite shows, and we are now at risk of ruining what made these chats so fun, writes Iain Leggat

Avoiding TV spoilers in this day and age is like a minefield, and now broadcasters have decided to drive a tank over it ruining all of our viewing lives.

If this week’s taught me anything, it's that I am now to become an anti-social mute if I am to avoid any form of spoilers. Panic switching off the radio and TV just won’t cut it anymore.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Are we to punish someone who has decided to lock themselves into the prisons of Orange is the New Black (a wise decision), to then marvel at the sexy regency of Bridgerton a week later? According to BAFTA this week, yes.

Have broadcasters lost their manners? Or are they too desperate to have a say in every TV show nowadays? (Photo: Shutterstock)

(Turns out this wasn’t the worst thing BAFTA could have done this week)

BAFTA’s Must-See Moment Award (already a category I question for its sheer pointlessness) had me fizzing with incomparable spoiler rage on Monday.

After announcing the nominees, not only did they spread the news far and wide across social media, but proceeded to have broadcasters announce the category, reading aloud not one but two major TV show spoilers within the category.

Now picture the scene . You’re watching the morning TV, or having a cuppa with the radio on. Out of nowhere (sometimes literally out of nowhere) you will hear the words ‘spoiler alert’ followed by a two-second pause (if you’re lucky), then a spoiler for your favourite TV show.

Then the presenter shifts their tone from loveable breakfast host to smug dinner table companion, where you just know they're gonna take the spoiler tease a step too far. (Greg James and Dan Walker, I love you, but you’re letting the side down here.)

I can only jump so far for the TV remote, or hold my fingers into my ears for so long, before I question...is this worth it?

YES IT IS.

Have broadcasters lost their manners? Or are they too desperate to have a say in every TV show nowadays?

Why can’t TV take a page out of football’s book, and give a Match of the Day style warning when announcing spoilers? It’s become vastly easier to learn the day's results, but still there is a level of respect for those who want to enjoy Match of the Day in its purest form.

TV is a medium that has thrived on conversations about our favourite shows, and we are now at risk of ruining what made these chats so fun - the thrill of dancing around spoilers for your friends.

We must bring back this courtesy.

Am I now expected to become some sort of TV-consuming Goliath, when in reality I am just a petty little David? Armed only with a remote control for a weapon, and a post-lockdown schedule to contend with.

The current spectrum of streaming services was built and bolstered by our hunger for conversations about their exclusive shows.

“Have you watched House of Cards? What about Miss Maisel? Oh you must watch Miss Maisel. I didn’t bother with Orange is the New Black.”

Or my personal favourite: “Breaking Bad is now my mantra and Walter White is my spirit animal.” (An actually comment made to me, and I envision the shrine to Jesse Pinkman in their living room to this day)

Through these conversations we built a new love for the small screen. But crucially, it was our excitement that meant we felt a responsibility not to ruin these shows for our fellow viewers.

Now, in the era of ‘too much TV’, it doesn’t make it culturally acceptable to casually spoil, just because you didn’t get round to watching it within the first week.