Which Side Of The Gogglebox ‘Spoiler’ Debate Are You On?

Social media wasn't impressed by the Channel 4 show airing the shock ending of Mare Of Easttown, but isn't that part of the Gogglebox deal?

Gogglebox Mare of Easttown spoiler

by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

When does a spoiler stop being a spoiler in this multi-platform, streamed TV world of ours? It's a conversation that the internet can't quite figure out and, er, spoiler, it's not going to be solved by the end of this piece. So, in many senses we have sympathy with our favourite Friday night TV show, Gogglebox.

Gogglebox came under fire over the weekend from a few areas of Twitter, who were FUMING that the episode showed the ending of the most recent ending of Mare Of Easttown. And because we can't face that kind of Twitter blowback, don't worry, we're not going to tell you what it was.

But trust us, it's something that if you were just starting to watch the Kate Winslet series given all the praise it's had recently on NOW or Sky Go, you'd be quite annoyed about.

Of course, it wouldn't be social media without a disagreement, so many other Twitter users pointed out that how on earth is a show reviewing the week's best telly supposed to work without, yknow, showing the week's best telly?

It's a subject that's come up a lot for the show, which regularly shows the ends of films and featured Line Of Duty's most exciting (and therefore, yes 'spoilerific') moments every week the show was on.

Backing up those people defending Gogglebox is also the argument that we've lost the meaning of what SPOILER is. Can a spoilers really be a spoiler if the TV show has aired on TV almost five days earlier (as is the case with Mare and Line of Duty)? While SPOILERS AHEAD is written at the top of more articles than you can count, wouldn't a more accurate description of what we're reading often be 'Contains plot points from episode XXX'?

And for those saying, 'Well lots of people are just catching up!' who gets to be the arbiter of when we're ready to talk? Can we talk about Ian Buckells yet? Or are we still trying to not let people know Bruce Willis IS DEAD EVERYONE in the Sixth Sense?

In some ways I'm sympathetic when it comes to shows released on box set - I recently had no idea, for instance, they'd dropped the whole of Motherland on iPlayer and was frustrated when some people started talking through all the jokes I'd not yet seen, having only seen episode one (while others had completed the series).

And there is NOTHING more annoying than that person who turns up to work EVERY MONDAY having watched every episode of everything from the new Friday drop on Netflix and says stuff like 'Yeah but WAIT until episode six if you think that's scary'. Surely the idea that you watch six episodes in a day or tough luck is unrealistic? But then, again, for Mare and Line of Duty, that wasn't the case, so may seem more of a fair cop.

Because there's also a debate around what is and what isn't a spoiler too isn't there? Is even saying (as was the case this year in the episode with the OCG siege) THE LAST TWENTY MINUTES OF THIS EPISODE OF LINE OF DUTY WILL BLOW YOUR MIND a spoiler? Personally it made me a bit edgy and felt like it ruined the viewing experience a little even reading these comments on social media in the run up to the episode airing. But then, what? Are previewers supposed to just give a mark out of 10 and stay schtum? That doesn't help anything.

In Gogglebox's defence, they give quite a lot of lead up for you flick over for a few minutes if you're really that far behind or that bothered. And a friend who was recently catching up on Line Of Duty just tended to stop watching the last 15 minutes of the show, when they seemed to always show clips of BBC One show.

On the whole though, surely what we love about Gogglebox is that it's a TV show about TV obsessives for TV obsessives? Many of us have been put onto some of our favourite programmes by seeing them previewed on Gogglebox. And if you're in on a Friday night watching live, there's a chance you'll have also caught up over the week surely? And for those of us who had seen Mare of Easttown episode five as fast as we humanely could, it was brilliant seeing the reactions of the Goggleboxers watching what many have heralded as the best 10 minutes of telly since True Detective... it would seem remiss to not have it in many ways.

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