(Cross-post from my tumblr)
Although in recent months my level of intake has declined some, I still listen to a lot of podcasts. My two pop culture discussion favorites are Slate Culture Gabfest and Pop Culture Happy Hour (and this week there was even a cross over of the amazing Glen Weldon!).
I have recently become frustrated in the discussion of new movies (sometimes TV too) on these shows. I totally respect that critics and bloggers – and every day people – get a lot of shit for spoiling things. However, I think dancing around topics means that the analysis from these critics suffers. The whole reason I listen is to hear their opinions and discussion, which hopefully betters my experience of a particular piece of culture.
In comparison, on this week’s episode of Culture Gabfest, the discussion about the ambivalence article was better than the conversation about Superman because for the former there was no worry about spoilers. I haven’t seen the new superman movie yet, but I’m not sure I’m going to, and I would much rather choose to listen to the conversation or not but have it be a very substantial conversation.
Therefore, I think the solution is to either drop in a note from the producer saying the minute to jump too post-spoilers or include the minutes of the segment in the podcast information. That is what they did at the much-mourned Extra Hot Great, which was wonderful! I knew exactly how long each segment was going to be, and I could go to whatever piece I wanted to if I was afraid of spoilers.
In conclusion, let the audience know there will be spoilers, give us the option to skip them, but do not be afraid of them as it hinders the conversation.
Regardless of this complaint, if you are not listening to these shows, and really all the Slate gabfests, you should be. They are wonderful.