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In an age of on demand, TV on DVD/Blu-ray and DVRs, it's a lot more difficult to know where the spoiler line is. If a show aired three months ago, is it ok to talk openly about the season finale cliffhanger? A spoiler warning may be in order, regardless. And Netflix has altered the game even further with their own original content, which they're releasing a season at a time. Which means, those who are taking their time with House of Cards, for example, which arrived at the streaming video service less than a week ago, run the risk of being spoiled the longer they take to finish it.
Of course, there's the matter of common courtesy, which the woman in Netflix's new ad lacks. In fact, she seems to find it necessary to blurt out the biggest spoiler whenever she sees someone watching something she's seen before.
She learns that it's not as satisfying when she's on the other side of the spoiler.
Netflix is certainly finding the humor in spoiler chatter, but it's also particularly fitting that they should offer the polite warning to viewers to, "Watch responsibly." Meaning, be kind, don't spoil. And if you're trying not to be spoiled, I guess, avoid people like the woman in the above ad.
If there's one downside to Netflix releasing their shows a season at a time, it's the increased possibility of spoilers. It's also increasingly frustrating for those who do scramble to watch every episode as quickly as possible. I binge-watched most of Season 1 of House of Cards last weekend (and made it through the rest this week), which means I'm in the clear for being spoiled. Of course, it also means I have to be careful about what I say to people who haven't watched or finished yet.
On a related note, Netflix's ad - and particularly the woman in it, who seems intent on spoiling things for people - reminds me of a recent bit on Portlandia, which is just a big conversation of people spoiling things for people. You can watch it below, but be warned: it contains actual spoilers from popular TV shows and at least one movie. Watch responsibly.