Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spoilt and Twisted

Threadless strikes again. There could be many versions of this shirt out there now but this one, ironically, follows the spoiler rules laid out by College Humor.

I'll admit that I am guilty of spoiling (although I have made serious strides to my efforts to not spoil stuff in recent years). I don't mean to spoil surprise endings for folks and I apologize if I've ever done it to you. It is not what I set out to do. I just like answering questions completely and, honestly, why would you ask a question if you DON'T want an accurate/complete answer?  Furthermore, I read a lot of stuff that gets turned into TV shows and movies so that I often know how it (should) end already. Personally, I like a twist ending, especially if it is elegantly executed, but if knowing the twist means that I lose all motivation to see the show, was the show really worth watching?

Of the movies (and one television show) covered by the Spoilt shirt, I haven't actually seen A Beautiful Mind or The Crying Game but knew the twists already. 

Of course, some of the best practical jokes are fake spoilers. Nathan Fillion is rumoured to have phoned his Firefly castmates, Jewel Staite and Morena Baccharin, after screening the final cut of Serenity with Whedon to let them know "In this version, you DIE!"

Anyone got a spoiler story to share? I think my worst transgression was calling up a Vancouver friend one Sunday morning from London, England to discuss the most recent Coronation Street stunner. That's the day I found out that Canada's CBC network runs "Corry" about six months in arrears. :( Sorry, Mary!

Just in case talking about spoilers get your proverbial knickers in a knot, I would love to hear people's reactions to favourite or infamous twist endings whether they are literary, motion picture... and let's not forget series finales... Sopranos, anyone? or St. Elsewhere? (Should've included St. Elsewhere in my crossovers post too... the scene at Cheers is the first time I ever considered sitcom characters in the context of a drama.) 

The ending of George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss is my most memorable text-based surprise ending. I was rushing to finish the book before my 2nd year English class, skimming the last twenty pages or so while sitting at the back of my Organic Chemistry lecture hall. As the final passages sank into my understanding, I uttered a mild expletive only to realize that the acoustics in the hall had amplified my phrase into one of those perfectly timed silences. Didn't pass that class in the end but I don't think the swearing had anything to do with it.

I'd also recommend the short shorts of Fredric Brown if you're looking for clever twists. I bought the collected works a couple of years ago and although some of the stories amount to detailed dirty jokes, I have found a number of them to be extremely useful in demonstrating irony, paradox, and juxtaposition to high school English students who don't exactly like to read. Brown, coincidentally, did not like to write which is why his shorts are SO short.