When is a spoiler not a spoiler? When a spoiler for something that doesn’t actually happen in a movie or television show falls in a forest, does anyone hear it? The revelation this week that GI Joe: Retaliation was delayed in part to reshoot scenes that would change a crucial plot point in the movie – which revealed said plot point – has gotten me thinking about the nature of spoilers that aren’t quite spoilers.
We live in a media world where ignorance is, apparently, anything but bliss: Spoilers abound, and speculation is king. The idea of just letting a story unfold on its own terms seems old-fashioned and, at times, naive, if not downright impossible. Why can’t we just sit back and let ourselves be entertained?