Memorable Moments in TV History Before Social Media Spoilers
Google defines the term spoiler as a person or thing that spoils something. Most often your TV show.
We've happened upon a time in history when information is available literally everywhere - even when and where we're not looking for it. Highly anticipated television episodes airing on the East Coast leak across the country, like a melting tray of ice, to ruin moments for the West Coast folks. Live-tweeting and running commentaries give you news while you're watching news. And then there are webcasts and podcasts and Facebook, entertainment sites, and YouTube. Chances are, you'll never miss anything, even if you're trying to avoid it.
I'd like to take a few moments, though, to bring you back to a simpler time, a time of cube-shaped televisions and rabbit-eared antennae, a pre-digital era where primetime television episodes were events not to be missed. There was no social media, and there were definitely no spoilers. And if you missed an episode, you were pretty much out of luck until summer reruns.
There was something more sincere about that time, something more vulnerable, the knowing that we were all (or at least many of us) experiencing the same moments together. We talked about the moment the next day, in person. There was less reliance on shock value, virality, and special effects. The emphasis was on the acting. And, man, was it good.
So, if you'll allow me, I'd like to take you on a journey through some of the most memorable television moments of all-time, that remain, to this day, vastly untouched by the miracles of the digital world and social sharing.
Pilot Episode, Kevin and Winnie's First Kiss, 1988 (The Wonder Years, 1988-1993)
My memory of this scene, Daniel Stern providing the Stand By Me-flavored commentary, was bittersweet. I was a tween, before tweens even existed, and I remember the angst, the confusion, the sadness that revolved around Kevin and Winnie's first kiss. I remember sitting up in the dark that night, replaying that scene and When a Man Loves a Woman over and over in my head. In that moment, I felt a greater, if immature, understanding of the complexity of life and human emotions. And I've never forgotten this scene...