Warning: this article contains spoilers. Meaning, it tells you what I think about some things before you might otherwise have found them out.
It has been a week of many spoilers. First came the miserable news that Helen Fielding, in an authorial power trip of George R.R. Martin proportions, has killed off Mark Darcy before the start of the new Bridget Jones book. Mark Darcy, the perfect non-perfect man. Reincarnated from Austen, clothed in a reindeer jumper, played by Colin Firth in a turn of such solemn, understated swooniness that I carried pictures of him round in my pencil case for most of year nine.
As devoted fans (I tell people my favourite film is Some Like it Hot, but it is actually Bridget Jones’s Diary and probably will be forever) we were already worried about the prospect of a third book. Would we have Bridget tweeting? Bridget twerking? Bridget starting her own fro-yo company and selling it from a van at boutique festivals?
But the idea of Bridget’s happy ending, well, ending all together, is a twist nobody was ready for. Plus it turns out Mark’s been dead for five years already, giving us no proper mourning period - so really it’s just as well that the spoilers emerged a week early, to prepare us before we all sat down with the book and a mug of Chardonnay to have our hearts broken on the first page.
After Darcy’s death knell came a day of Breaking Bad fans shrieking over the final episode – or more accurately, Breaking Bad fans shrieking over other Breaking Bad fans shrieking over the final episode, because they hadn’t seen it yet. “SPOILERS!” comes the siren, each time someone blinks in a way that suggests they might be about to spill some details.
But what is the grace period? A day? A week? Are there still people walking around with their fingers in their ears, humming, because they don’t know who shot JR? Back when everyone watched TV at the same time, remember, there were no spoilers. In fact, people bought TV magazines to get spoilers ON PURPOSE.
Personally, I’m just not that bothered. I still regularly skip to the last page of books to find out who’s still alive – in case I die myself before I finish it. I think there’s something to be said, in an uncertain world, for knowing a bit about what’s going to happen before it does.
After all, when you think about it, restaurant reviews are really just ‘food spoilers’. Doctor’s appointments are sort of just ‘life spoilers’. Traffic reports, GDP projections, utility bills: spoilers, spoilers, SPOILERS.
“I was going to check the weather forecast,” I might say next time I arrive somewhere drenched and wearing inappropriate shoes, “but, you know, spoilers.”