While I have seen a television in our house, I do not watch it. The back of the set is a maze of different-coloured wires and there are several boxes on a dusty shelf below the main screen and I believe you can pay the Fox organisation a monthly fee to watch people pretending to be maimed and slaughtered on it. I find the prospect unattractive on both sides of the apparatus.
Others do not. They sit there daily and watch death and destruction. As they are paying the Fox organisation, they can do as they will. I shall know it is time to unplug it and send it back when they start emulating the actors.
All this said, I believe many people record these maimings and murders so that they can be watched at a time convenient to their own schedules – and that this may be several days after the episode has aired generally. If someone tells them about the latest death before they can see it for themselves it generates a good deal of resentment. This is an understandable grievance – one does not like to be told the end of the novel whilst still reading it. Or in the case of Edwin Drood, at all…
It does raise a moot point though – if you know of a sad event, historical or imaginary, does that stop you from seeing it depicted? I knew what happened to HMS HOOD before I saw ” Sink The Bismarck ” but I still paid my 50¢ for the ticket and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. 50¢…that’s how long ago that movie came out.
And then there are conventions that govern even fictional theatre – when the explorers go into the dark house and the music goes “screeeee” we know the coloured guy is going to get it something horrible. But we still watch, albeit through the little bitty cracks between our fingers. Even better- we’ve all played CLUEDO and we can figure things out for ourselves*.
Well, I can’t be accused of spoiling anything for anyone. I don’t know who got it, or how they got it, or why they got it. I’ve got a book and a cup of coffee and nothing is going “screeeee”.
*The PRINZ EUGEN did it in the Denmark Strait with an 8″ shell…