friendship

Spoiler alert: The days of spoilers are numbered.

Daily Mail. You naughty, naughty website, you. Spoiling The Bachelorette like that. Buggering up my night with a teen who’s not given much to chat, but will occasionally (very, very occasionally) deign to watch telly with us.

Do you have ANY IDEA how hard it was not to slip up when we tuned in last night? I knew all along who won, thanks to those pics you published, but I had to play it like I was an expert reader of buffed body language. And that’s not easy for almost two hours.

Do you have any idea how loudly I tut-tutted my opinion that you’d ripped off your own audience because everyone loves the suspense of the ‘I choose you’ moment? Or how difficult it was trying to listen to a discussion on spoilers on ABC breakfast radio, only to have the host call Sam Frost a ‘he’? It was torture because, let’s face it, this is awkward territory for Aunty.

Under normal circumstances, when would the ABC ever going to go so low-brow as to chat about The Bachelorette? Nope, it took you and those pics of Sam and Sasha snuggling up in the hotel room 10 storeys up, and an injunction from Channel 10 (two words here: Horse. Bolted.), to make that happen.

Last night, The Daily Mail spoiled Sam Frost's final rose ceremony.

So I started the day embarrassed for the ABC host and cross with you.

But then I thought about it some more. I checked the figures: more people tuned in last night to see Sam and Sasha seal it with a pretty lengthy pash than watched the finale of is immediate, and unspoiled,  predecessor, The Bachelor (1.52m vs 1.48m). Granted, Sam Frost is golden talent, but still, it suggests the spoiler wasn't such a spoiler after all - for the ratings at least.

And pretty much everyone I work with was like me - they'd seen the pictures, but tuned in anyway. Because even though we knew who won, we all wanted to see the moment Sam ditched soccer player Michael Turnbull for the chiselled, stubbley loveliness of builder, Sasha Mielczarek.

Spoilers didn't happen back in the olden days. Appointment television was all we had. We all watched the same thing - and where I was from, that meant either the ABC or CBN8-CWN6 (known more simply in the Markey household as 'Channel 5' and 'Channel 6' despite the fact there was one snowy channel between them on the hand-cranked dial that featured nothing - Channel 5.5??).

When Number 96 gave Australia its first flash of full frontal nudity - OMG!! heart palpitations - everyone talked about it because everyone was watching, and everyone was watching at the same time, including me and my little sister who'd snuck down the hallway to peek through the crack in the lounge room door.

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But that's not how it is any more. Now we're watching what we want, when we want.

Game of Thrones is notorious for online spoilers before the episodes are aired.

Now I can binge on Game of Thrones while my bestie is deep into Friday Night Lights, while my sister is hooked on Sons of Anarchy. We're even watching three different things in one house - one teen on Scandal, the other on Lone Survivor while we're watching Broadchurch.

There doesn't seem much point in talking about a show to someone who hasn't seen it, and possibly never will. We don't spoil anything because God knows when, or if, the person we're talking to will actually watch the show. If I mention the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones, I'll either get blank looks or screams of 'Oh. My. God!!' from people have already seen it. There is no in between.

And if someone does share a precious little nugget of storyline for something I'm planning to watch, it won't matter anyway, because by the time we watch the show, months (years even) will have passed, and we'll have thrown back so many glasses of red wine in the interim we'll have forgotten who did what to whom anyway. It's got to the point where I watched the first four episode of The Fall, then moved house. But the time I came back to it months later, I couldn't remember much more than who the baddie was.

Nope, the worst thing that happens with viewing these days is that we forget which episode we're up to after six hours straight the day before. Spoilers are, by and large, a thing of the past.

That's not how Channel 10 will feel today - and fair enough. It had a lot riding on last night's finale.

But the time's are a'changing. And we're all going to have to get used to it.

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