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What is the statute of limitations on spoilers in 2014?

We’re 21 days into a new year in the 21st Century. DVRs and PVRs are a thing. Shows on Demand is a thing. Free online viewing is a thing. You can watch TV on your phone, your tablet, your android, your fridge (seriously). You can watch what you want, when you want.

One thing that has not changed in today’s society is the amount of time people have. Sure, technology is helping us lead easier lives in 2014, but there are only so many hours in a day to watch your favourite shows. Twenty-five years ago, no one worried about spoilers, since most people watched TV live (unless you had a VCR that weighed fifty pounds and were home to hit ‘Record’). We now live in an age where viewers try to avoid the internet, the radio, the TV, other human beings, etc. for fear of spoilers. But how long can a person be held accountable before it’s okay to spoil a show without being publically shamed?

Let’s look at a specific example. Actor Damian Lewis appeared on Conan last week to promote his series Homeland. During the interview, Lewis described two types of people. One group includes those who ply him with drinks in hopes he’ll spill (literally and figuratively?) an upcoming storyline, while the second group is made up of Homeland fans who avoid Lewis at all costs to insure no spoilers for the ending of Season 3 (which gave me nightmares, btw).

First of all, who the hellz runs out of a room when this man walks in? Y’all be trippin’.

Secondly, the Season 3 finale of Homeland aired December 15, 2013. A whole year ago! Kidding, but still, it’s been over a month. I know this date very well because I spent that weekend catching up on the last five episodes of the season, while simultaneously jumping every time my cell buzzed. Seriously, the show is intense.

So, here’s my question. Is one month a sufficient amount of time to have passed to expect fans to be caught up?

Apparently not, according to Jennifer Lawrence. The actress fan-girled on the SAG red carpet this past weekend when Damian Lewis stood an arms length away. Lawrence had the appropriate reaction upon spotting Lewis, including total embarrassment and excitement, but then things went downhill.

Both reporters for Access Hollywood revealed the ending of Homeland’s latest finale after Lawrence had explicitly said she had only seen the first two seasons. Good luck getting that post-Oscar interview with Lawrence, AH. NOTE: Do not watch this clip if you don’t want Season 3 of Homeland spoiled for you.

Here’s the thing. J Law definitely made it clear that she had only seen the first two seasons, but I will give the reporters the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe they couldn’t hear her over all the red carpet commotion.

Lawrence did pre-empt her dismal up-to-date viewing habits by saying she was waiting for the DVDs. During Lewis’ interview above with Conan, Andy Richter explained that he was also behind on episodes, having moved recently and making the decision to wait until his new TV was set up to watch the entire season at once.

Whole season viewing is the new black, but it does leave the viewer open to spoilers. I am only on Season 3 of Breaking Bad (I know, I know, what am I doing with my life, where are my priorities, did I have a terrible childhood, do my parents not love me, yada yada). I’ve heard it all. Like Richter and Lawrence, I have an excuse. I got married recently and my new husband and I agreed to only watch Breaking Bad together. This was our first big decision as a married couple and it was a terrible one, because I would totally be done by now if I didn’t have to wait for that guy. I worry about his priorities sometimes. But, it was my decision and I’m living with it because I am an adult.

If Breaking Bad gets spoiled for me, which it very easily could, I will live with the consequences and take responsibility. Again, I am an adult. That’s what adults do. A month, in the case of Homeland, or months, in the case of Breaking Bad, is an appropriate amount of time for open season on spoilers in 2014. Still, I made sure to put a warning before the video of Jennifer Lawrence meeting Damian Lewis because in addition to being an adult, I’m also not a dick.

And I love you J Law, but you’re an adult too. Plus, you got to meet the real Brody and he hugged you, so my sympathy level is in the negatives right now.


Watch Conan every Monday to Thursday 12E/9P.