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?

Comments  

Redbird
# Redbird 2010-05-29 17:31
"What do you consider a spoiler?" That's the real question, isn't it. I suppose I have a fine line I (now) walk between teaser and spoiler. I like the preview clips at the end of each episode, it gives me something to think about for the next week. I generally don't watch the extended preview clips Alice posts, because, like you, I had come to watch for them in the episode instead of taking in the show. Participate, don't anticipate. I was really into spoilers (e.g., casting, story lines) in the weeks leading up to Season 4. But, when I saw Castiel's entrance in Lazarus Rising, I really wished I hadn't seen some of those spoilers. To experience that revelation in the moment would have been fun! So, I avoided the spoiler sites for Season 5. However, those teasers are tempting. I'm generally okay with reading interviews with the writers or cast, because somehow I don't see them as that spoilery. As a said a really fine line between spoiler and teaser.
Suze
# Suze 2010-05-29 18:10
I'm a reformed spoilerholic too, I stay away trom the hard stuff now but I reckon the odd network teaser won't hurt ... I can stop anytime I want to, I can ...

One of my Tru Blood fancying mates is so hardcore she won't even watch trailers for next week's episode, which seems a bit extreme to me as the anticipation is half the fun in my book and the show's not going to blow their own cover with any huge reveals. I don't actually go looking off the path for spoilers as Redbird is right, too much too soon spoils the fun! ;-)
joelsteinlover
# joelsteinlover 2010-05-29 19:15
I don't go out of my way to avoid spoilers, but I don't go hunting for them. I like the extended preview clips that Alice puts up, I've never had a problem with watching for them--I recognize them when they come along, but I guess I'm alone so far in being able to not watch for them.

But hmm, it would be interesting to go without spoilers for a week. I may try it. I won't try it with the premiere because that will be anticipated for weeks, but maybe the second epsiode in the season? and if I like it, maybe I'll try it again!
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-05-29 19:50
Spoilers are a must for me. I need to know what to expect so I'm not expecting too much and then get disappointed. Of course, most spoilers are made to give people the wrong idea, so you always have to consider the source.

I think the network is fairly honest, if you don't read too much into them, and of course, Alice is very up on the correct stuff. Really hope she does a spoiler page some day. That I would consider very reliable. :-)
gentlesoul
# gentlesoul 2010-05-29 21:56
"So, I've made it through the whole of Season 5 almost entirely without spoilers."

Congratulations! Moi aussi =)

I didn't even watch most of the promos, much less the preview clips... *sigh* it was SO hard... But, you know, sometimes when my hands just wouldn't stop shaking and my eyes just wouldn't stop twitching, I'd watch the clips with the sound turned off... lol :-)

Oh btw, I didn't even read your article completely because I'm scared there will be spoilers (even teeny, tiny ones) =D
maggie
# maggie 2010-05-30 03:13
(I've made it through the whole of Season 5 almost entirely without spoilers) Really? how did you do that? !!! I wish I could :-)

In the middle of the season 4 I was really spoilered, I always read the spoilers and later got angry with myself :-) and this season I read all kind of spoilers synopsis and watched pictures and sneak peeks.

I remember before middle of season 4 I wasn't spoilered and not because I was traying to avoid them, was because I wasn't in the fandom ;-) I loved the show but I didn't know like for example there were clips for nexts episodes, and in my country WB usually don't do a promo or trailer for the next episode.

But you know, I think, well for me, I enjoy more and episode without spoilers cause for example for the episode 100th I watched the 3 sneak peeks the photos read the synopsis watched the 2 promos and the "space promo" :roll::

So, I think for season 6 I'm going to avoid the spoilers.. or try well at least the sneak peeks, but after the 1st episode
Eva ala pinkfox
# Eva ala pinkfox 2010-05-30 07:55
I greedily devour every spoiler I can lay my hands on and I enjoy them. And I am probably the only one here, but I have no plans of reforming... :evil: :twisted:
Karen
# Karen 2010-05-30 10:16
Hi Faellie
I use to check out the spoilers, but for season 5, I decided to try and go without any spoilers. I liked the element of surprise. My station that aired the show never previewed the next weeks episode, so that helped. I was maybe about 90% successful but I was content. I’m going to try again for season 6.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-30 14:27
Faellie, hi, I never thought about this, actually, but I have to say I agree mostly with what Redbird said (Hi, Girl!!).
The teasers don't scare me and I read episode descriptions, as they normally don't feature spoilers that might ruin the experience.
I am pretty sensitive with essential parts, though. When a friend told me about one sequence of a movie this ruined the whole thing for me and I was furious. But that hasn't happened so far with this show, as everyone who might know something usually is tight-lipped.
And when I can't watch an episode the next morning, because my internet provider gives me trouble, anything I can watch instead of the episode will help me survive, as pathetic as that may sound.
Cheers, dear, Jas
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-05-30 15:38
My name is Bevie and I am a spoilerholic. But I'm happy to be and have no intentions of quitting! :o

I don't go insanely looking for spoilers, but I will read them and I do read SpoilerTV.

Even though I don't avoid spoilers, I still was surprised when Castiel showed up at the end of "Lazarus Rising" and announced he was an angel of the Lord. And I was happily surprised when Dean gave that wink and ganked ol' Zack.
Did suffer a lot though knowing a beloved character would die in "Swan Song" and thinking it would be Cas, Bobby or the Impala and was surprised it was Sam after all. Those sneaky sneaky writers! :-?
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-30 16:44
Any spoilerholics in need of therapy sessions? :lol:
I would need a place there, too, I guess
you're friendly, slightly insane neighbourhood shrinky
Lulu Z
# Lulu Z 2010-05-30 19:32
I'll confess to being a spoilerholic and also have no intention of quitting. I generally hate surprises so I like to know what i'm in for.
Being in Australia, i don't get to watch the episodes until everybody else has anyway, which means I'm completely spoiled before even watching the episode. I don't mind though, it still doesn't affect my opinion of the episode. It just means i know exactly what to expect.

Jasminka, I love your couch - I could have sworn it used to be pink and now it's red?! Is my mind playing tricks on me or did Alice change the colour?
xo Lulu
elle2
# elle2 2010-05-30 20:30
Faellie,

You are fun to read! I too pondered this very issue before and like you spent a period of time where I indulged in everything available (most all of the lead up into Season 4 and most of Season 4) including sides, and pics taken while filming with fans behind the scenes and all that.

Season 5 (and last year's hellatus) I vowed to avoid all sides...and that was easy as none were available anywhere (at least not on Supernaturaltv) so it wasn't hard at all (still, I pat myself on the back)

I don't consider the press releases to be spoilers (I'm not a purist b/c surely they qualify as spoilers) so anything futoncritic or cw puts up or even spoilertv since those are just cw press releases or tv guide or futon critic take your pick so I happily read those. Also, if there are picks released I usually click on them same with videos that are officially released.

Am I spoiling? Sure. Does it destroy my enjoyment? Nope. I don't mind speculation and read others' and write my own with full knowledge that very few know anything definitive and as for myself, I know nothing, it's pure speculation. I take nuggets from Ausiello and Kirsten with a huge grain of salt (several if I'm munching popcorn) and I read a little speculation from buddytv and supernatural tv but usually it's to skim it 'cause too often it's whiny and things never turn out as disastrous as those who whine about how Anna will ruin things, or Ruby is Sam's lover or all that nuttiness.

I love a little spoiling, I'll watch regardless and I have to say it makes the time go by a little faster and has yet to ruin a single episode for me. I'll still be hoping that at this year's comic con there's a little teaser given and someone posts it on YouTube...I do enjoy those.

Am I counting down the weeks...yup, not the hours or days yet but that'll come soon enough.

:-)
BagginsDVM
# BagginsDVM 2010-05-30 22:09
I'll read spoilers if I come across them, but I don't specifically search for them. Sometimes it helps to be a little prepared for what's coming... I'm not a big fan of surprises, especially unhappy ones. (yeah, I'm a bit of a wuss, I know)
Dawn
Faellie
# Faellie 2010-05-31 07:22
It's great to have so many comments with so many different points of view. Whatever works, works, right?

Gentlesoul, I didn't put any spoilers in my article that aren't already up on the front page of this site. And there have been no spoilers at all in any of the comments: that's a high level of restraint from the spoilerholics and I'm grateful.

I'll try not to be a holier-than-tho ugh reformed spoilerholic myself, and I'm sure I'll be spending some time looking wistfully over the fence at the fun that's being had in the run up to each new episode of Season 6.
Marie Winchester
# Marie Winchester 2010-05-31 16:46
I started watching Supernatural in 2005 when the first ever episode aired in the UK and from that point I watched every episode on ITV2 and never looked at any kind of spoiler. Until half way through season four, and the begining of season 5 when i just couldnt wait until Jan for it to air in this country, so i started watching it on the good old net :-) and soaked up every spoiler I could find before and during the season.

Although i will be watching season 6 on the net (Because September is to long to wait, nevermind next year when it will aired on Living TV)
I dont think i can help myself with spoilers, I may try for season 6..maybe, That isnt a promise :-?
ElenaM
# ElenaM 2010-06-01 00:17
"I then came up against the immovable barrier of the weekly broadcast schedule."

AMEN, Faellie! After blowing through the first four seasons by DVD & webstream, watching season 5 live KILLED me. I try to avoid spoilers, I love being surprised by the show, and you're right, you can only watch an episode for the first time once. Sometimes I'm just too weak, though, and break down. I avoid reading the episode description, and try not even to know which writer penned the episode so it doesn't color my expectations . . . but I have a serious weakness for the "sneak peek" preview clips, I have never been able to resist these for more than a day, and I'll watch them over and over until the episode arrives :oops:

I do think Dawn has a point in that sometimes it's nice to be prepared for bad news, though... I did encounter the spoiler that we'd probably lose Ellen & Jo in AAH, which was actually a good thing I needed the warning! Loved them both, and the ep was plenty upsetting anyway.

Great article, and so interesting to see everyone's points of view, spoilerphobes and spoilerholics and everyone in between. Thanks!
Freebird
# Freebird 2010-06-04 08:44
I found a good recipe for avoiding spoilers: work :sad: I figured when I keep myself busy it's easy ( :shock: ) to not roam the net for spoilers and watch the previews and trailers over and over again. When I first discovered Supernatural (Route 666), and my tv channel stopped airing it after S2, I watched all first 3 seasons in one piece, and that had the consequence of wanting more. Like a junkie. But since I have to wait a week or months for the next epi it's not so "bad" anymore. I even managed to avoid the last 3 epis of S5 including spoilers, and then watch them all in one piece, and that was AMAZING! It's definitely better watching Supernatural without knowing anything about the upcoming episode! And with time it gets easier, trust me :-)