New post type - "Should I watch this?"/Spoiler-free "Reviews of"
January 14, 2017 12:12 PM - Subscribe

I'm noticing something interesting which is that a lot of the first few posts in a thread tend to be something like "This is a spoiler-free description of whether or not this thing is worth watching"; People will go into a thread about a thing they've never watched to get a sense of whether or not the thing is worth watching and find spoiler-free reviews there written by other people who also do the same thing. I think this is an interesting observation & maybe something we want to support officially, because spoilers should be frankly assumed in general.

I think there's a lot of value in wanting to share whether or not you think a thing is worth watching. I definitely read FanFare specifically to find this information. But I am concerned that if people are withholding spoilers because they know that that's what they do and what other people do, it stunts the conversation. So maybe another type of spoiler condition for a thread, in addition to books only, etc., could be "reviews", to make a thread dedicated to users' spoiler-free reviews. This would have the effect of stimulating spoiler-filled discussions in actual discussion threads.

This is obviously not the biggest deal in the world but it's just something interesting I noticed so I thought I'd put it out there.
posted by bleep (14 comments total)
I don't like spoilers but I also feel like it's my responsibility to remain spoiler-free. I like this idea because I definitely go into threads with my hands over my eyes trying to get a sense of how well-received a show is and do not expect people to sensor themselves.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:47 PM on January 14, 2017

Another side of this could be a way to recommend an underappreciated, or unknown, movie, book, etc - not only a spoiler-free review but also a "why" type of recommendation - theme, story, acting, etc. I think some older bits of media (movies, mostly) get posted to fanfare because someone loved it, but there's not much conversation and it sinks. Being able to pull up recommendations - and categories, even - could help resurface these postings and generate discussion after the fact.
posted by jazon at 3:50 PM on January 15, 2017

I like this idea, although I suppose one could arguably post an Ask Metafilter question about this kind of thing, too. I've been wanting to ask people who have watched the show Persons of Interest about what parts of the kind of dumb-seeming first season I can skip in order to get to the apparently better stuff later in the show, for example. Anyways, I could see some value in "spoiler free discussions about a particular show / book series / etc" that aren't necessarily tied to a specific episode or season.
posted by whir at 8:16 PM on January 16, 2017

You could post an askme but it would be inappropriate for anyone to have a conversation about the show in there.
posted by bleep at 8:27 PM on January 16, 2017

Kludge suggestion: use "show only" even if there's only the show, and follow the show description above the fold with "I haven't seen this, is it worth watching?"
posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 AM on January 18, 2017

I'm just observing that this is an emerging pattern for discussion here. I'm not looking for ways to ask if a show is good. I'm saying that this is something people are already doing so maybe it should be supported and/or encouraged.
posted by bleep at 11:37 AM on January 18, 2017

I do this too, I don't really like conventional reviews, because I really don't want a plot synopsis, or even analysis of theme, rhapsodizing about the artistic merits, whatever. I just want some people who are picky about the shows they watch to let me know if it's well done.
posted by skewed at 12:29 PM on January 19, 2017

Incidentally, here's a good Person of Interest guide to skipping to the good bits.
posted by rewil at 11:42 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

There was once some talk about adding Projects-style votes to FanFare as a spoiler-free way of "endorsing" a piece of entertainment, but I don't remember if the mods shot it down or just put in on the back burner.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:46 AM on January 23, 2017

I feel like, for television category, the etiquette of keeping the pilot thread fairly general works pretty well -- most shows don't have an earth-shattering twist in the pilot, or if they do it's not something that will ruin the whole season to have found out since it will end up in the "last week on [show]" opening clips or main credits. With movie category posts, I don't think we have the volume of comments to warrant making multiple posts; either there are a handful or low double-digits comments thread, or a new blockbuster megathread. And I feel like a 'no spoiler' thread would be a mod headache since it would be such a subjective thing to decide what crosses the line of spoiler-ish to outright spoiler, as opposed to the current standards of show-only/books-included. Especially since we don't yet have "spoiler" as a flagging option.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:07 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

There was once some talk about adding Projects-style votes to FanFare as a spoiler-free way of "endorsing" a piece of entertainment, but I don't remember if the mods shot it down or just put in on the back burner.

I was thinking of suggesting this, although I think we'd need a plus and minus for context.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:52 PM on January 24, 2017

I find even the effort to avoid spoilers in regular episode threads to be eye-roll-inducing. I mean, we're there to discuss what happened in the episode. It's going to be necessary to mention what happened in the episode.

Otherwise every thread is basically:

"And that part where..."
"I have a theory about next week..."
"Does it have to do with the thing in the place?"

That said, I have also skimmed threads for shows I haven't seen to see if I might want to watch. And while I did so assuming the risks involved, I can see why other people would be more spoiler-squeamish.

Maybe what's needed is a sort of reverse spoiler-tag convention. Just as in regular threads on the blue, where people assume there are not spoilers, sometimes someone may post one but will preface it with "SPOILER WARNING," maybe people who are looking to leave spoiler-free general opinions on a show could mark their comments, "SPOILER-FREE THOUGHTS"?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:09 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think, for TV shows or books it might be nice to have an initial "overview" post that's spoiler free where a general description and reasons for choosing the work might be discussed and where people can use it as a place to recommend works. Don't think it would be so great for objecting to them though since that would involve more discussion and potentially require spoilers to be understood.
posted by gusottertrout at 6:57 AM on February 4, 2017

I think the major issue would be the front page filling up with lots of empty threads.

How about a monthly/quarterly "what's good this month?" talk thread rather than a specific piece of media?

But then that would be difficult for people to track down recommendations.

A separate "What's good here?" tab?

I like the idea because I've started to use the pilot posts to check out whether i should watch something.
posted by fullerine at 11:13 PM on February 17, 2017

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