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Call for Comments: Mystery Boxes, Spoilers, and Fandoms | Vox Populorum
From Hannah: Before I was on the show, we received a suggestion for a show topic on how popular culture fandoms react to spoilers from listener Jessi Bencloski. Spoilers are tricky, especially in big fandoms such as Harry Potter, Lost, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones. Part of what drives (or drove) those fandoms, especially once fan communities emerged online, was the discussion of what could happen next but also the careful avoidance of true spoilers. At the same time, these same fandoms thrive on (at least certain types) of spoilers: who is returning for the next film/season, vague hints from spoiler websites like TVLine about future plot developments, etc. And, besides striking the balance between theorizing/discussion and outright spoiling, we of course have questions of how long should we wait to talk about spoilers? Should I not reveal the plot twist in Jane Eyre to new readers, even though it was published in 1847? If a show is predicated on twists like The Good Place (the best