In a brave and interesting social experiment, the directors of HBO’s Westworld, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa joy will attempt to combat the culture of spoilers by spoiling the entire second season even before the first episode airs.
The plan is to release a video which lays out the entire season 2, plots and all to the community and those who are interested can watch ahead and then protect the rest of the community to help distinguish between a theory and a spoiler.
Westworld was in a unique position during its first season. The show used a number of tricky storytelling devices, including multiple timelines and characters depicted as human, but later revealed as robotic “hosts.” The reveal-heavy nature of the program gave rise to a cottage industry of online speculation and theorizing, particularly in the active Westworldsubreddit. There, fans of the show did what they do best, digging through the details and uncovering the show’s biggest surprises well in advance. Given the copious press coverage of those theories, even casual viewers could have the show’s reveals ruined without doing too much digging.
The concept that came from the Game of Thrones model allowed the Westworld creators to come up with the spoiler video idea and while it might seem like madness, there is some logic to the madness. The video represents a choice, for those who pursue forbidden knowledge, they are welcome to watch that video, while for those who want to stay pure, they can choose to avoid the video.
The choice of not watching the video would allow the fan to be more emotionally divested in the series. With the release of the video, spoiler-heavy sites such as Reddit might be avoided altogether. All in all, what Nolan and Joy are trying to do is to evoke a sense of camaraderie between the community members with a guardian system that hopefully prevents too many spoilers from being leaked.