So, I’ve made it through the whole of Season 5 almost entirely without spoilers. I’ve mostly found out the title of the next episode the week before it has been shown, when Alice puts up the preview clips. Occasionally I’ve had a casting spoiler: for instance, I did know that Ellen and Jo and Ash would be coming back, either from a headline somewhere or from the first line of a comment on this site, and I was also fairly clear that Ellen and Jo weren’t going to survive. Other than that, I’ve not read the episode descriptions, not watched the preview clips, not gone looking for casting sides or plot hints. I’ve kept away from the spoilery bits of Supernatural TV (ie pretty much all of it) and Spoiler TV (definitely all of it) and from the speculation on this site about what might be happening.
There was of course the difficulty that on one occasion the show itself was determined to provide spoilers in the form of preview clips. The end of Fallen Idols showed preview clips from the following three (three!) episodes. Nothing to be done about that except refuse to watch them more than the once, when they passed by in a bit of a blur.
All this restraint on my part was very different from the way I did things in Season 4. I found Supernatural during the Season 4 hiatus and worked through DVDs and downloads of three and a half seasons in little more than a month. I then came up against the immovable barrier of the weekly broadcast schedule. Let me tell you, for the second half of Season 4 I devoured every spoiler there was: all the preview clips and anything else I could find. Impatient? Me? Tell me at once why you would think that. But I still had to wait for the episode to be broadcast. And once I did watch an episode, I found that at the start of the episode I was concentrating on ticking off everything I already knew. That’s the preview clip! There’s the credit for so-and-so! I didn’t know that other so-and-so would be in this episode! That’s another preview clip! How does that bit of action fit into the episode description? OK, that’s the last preview clip over, now I can settle down and watch.
This all had a certain nerdish charm to it. But I’m not a nerd. (Stop that silence at the front. Also stop that sniggering at the back.) It had a big drawback, though, which is that it got in the way of appreciating the episode for itself, and I knew that while I would probably watch each episode lots of times, I’d only get one chance to see each episode for the first time. Also, none of it made Thursdays come any sooner. So I resolved during last summer’s hiatus to stay away from spoilers for Season 5. I’m happy with the way it’s worked out, even though it meant that I was pretty much absent from here for about three weeks over the showing of the last two episodes. (Work-related issues took me away from my personal internet access, and I saw the last two episodes a week after all the rest of you saw the final episode. No, I was not amused by this delay, why do you ask?)
During Season 6, I’m going to try to take the same approach to avoiding spoilers, once the season starts. It should be doable, even though I’m aware I’m missing out on the fun the rest of you have swapping speculations about upcoming episodes. But I’ve come up against a problem I didn’t expect to have this soon: there are already spoilers out for Season 6 and I’m not sure what to do about them. I don’t mind that I already know that Misha will be back, as the sight of Dean and Sam’s little nerdy angel friend is always a happy one. But what about that Season 6 synopsis from the CW? To read or not to read? Can I really stay away from something everyone else will know, with all its attendant speculation and meta, for the whole of hellatus? I doubt it, although I haven’t given in just yet. If I give in on that, what else will I give in on? One day at a time, right?
Now I know that Alice gallantly deals with spoilers on our behalf, putting up casting news and preview clips, with all the appropriate warnings. I appreciate the sacrifice she makes on behalf of the site. Sometimes she has even seen whole episodes almost a week before the rest of us. What kind of sacrifice is that?
But what about the rest of you? Do you read the episode description and watch the preview clips? Search out every nugget of advance information available on the internet? What is a spoiler for you: the official episode description, preview clips, casting information or plot information? Do you think you enjoy an episode more or less because of spoilers? What if the spoilers you get are wrong or misleading, as were some of the spoilers for the Swap Meat episode?
And are you going to spoil yourself for and during Season 6? (Have you already spoiled yourself for Season 6?) Does the information in the CW synopsis for Season 6 constitute a spoiler anyway? And just how do you comment on an article about spoilers without giving away any spoilers?