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What to Remember Before Watching ‘House of Cards’ Season 5

House of Cards: A non-binger’s guide to avoiding streaming TV spoilers

 

House of Cards: A non-binger’s guide to avoiding streaming TV spoilers

House of CardsPHOTO: Season five of Netflix series House of Cards is returning this week. (Courtesy Netflix)
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The return of House of Cards for a fifth season brings the promise of more intrigue, more scandal — and more spoilers.

Nothing incites TV-nerd rage more than seeing a beloved show’s twist or cliffhanger ruined for them.

But we’re all busy, and even loyal fans need to actually find the time to watch all these shows before they stumble upon something they wish they’d not seen.

So if you’re not a binge-watcher, how do you actually avoid seeing spoilers?

Your friends are now just spoiler factories

Even if you have 13 hours free today, House of Cards isn’t the only show requesting your attention: Netflix dropped the final season of Bloodline last week, while Stan is currently streaming the first four hours of the Twin Peaks revival — and are you up-to-date on Better Call Saul, The Man in the High Castle or Atlanta yet?

When streaming services drop entire seasons at once, viewers face a race against time to avoid multiple hours of plot points across multiple shows, possibly being spoiled via multiple channels.

“It’s really challenging and especially at the moment when we do get for example, whole season releases where the plot is vital,” said Tama Leaver, an associate professor in internet studies at Curtin University.

“It’s very challenging not just to manage [it by] not looking at particular media outlets but remembering every single one of your friends is also a media outlet filled with spoilers.”

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That means you need to actively stop listening or watching the things that might be talking about your show.

Technology is the enemy. Avoid all technology

Here’s the first tip, and it’s the most obvious: you can try to avoid Facebook, Twitter and other social media at all costs.

“If you follow a lot of posts about a show, say you’re subscribed to television reviews, you do need to avoid those because etiquette says once a season is up on Netflix there’s no sort of moratorium … you can start talking about that immediately,” Associate Professor Leaver said.

Also think about where you’re likely to hear something, maybe on the train or on the radio during your commute, and avoid with some noise-cancelling headphones or by switching off for a day or two.

Associate Professor Leaver also says letting your loved ones know you don’t want to hear about anything about it is also a good idea.

“Other people quite sensibly will post onto Facebook ‘do not spoil House of Cards’ for me,” he said.

“You can pre-message people if you are invested in a show, that’s worth doing.”

Technology is your friend! Harness its power

Can’t avoid social media altogether? There are a few tips and tricks to hide topics and discussions in your social media accounts.

Have Twitter? Then you can use TweetDeck’s mute function.

Simply head into the settings tab on the left hand side of the screen, click on Mute and then enter the words of phrases you don’t want to see.

You can also install extensions including Open Tweet Filter and Larry filter for Twitter which are available on Chrome and Firefox respectively.

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In Facebook you can unfollow websites or people on your newsfeed, but if you can’t be bothered re-following after you’re done you can use a tool called F.B Purity, a browser extension.

Once installed, this extension and others like it allow you to type in any phrase you think could be used in a spoiler-y way.

Remember, this won’t work in the app on your smartphone, so keep that one away from you.

If you’re on Tumblr, you can upload Tumblr Savior.

None of the above are completely foolproof, but they will help.

GIF: Keep away from technology to avoid nerd-rage

Hate spoilers? Netflix does not

Associate Professor Leaver said Netflix is adept at protecting its top-tier shows against spoilers, and at the same time ensuring extra hype around their release dates.

“It reinforces how much people care about these shows,” he said.

“You think about television programs in the past, often key plot details [were leaked] but one of the things you see with Netflix is you don’t get spoilers until it is released, which is what makes spoilers even more valuable.

“It’s very rare to see that done well.”

And remember, the best tip is to just watch as early as possible

Ultimately, if you’re desperate to avoid knowing the storyline ahead of time via some gushing post from a soon-to-be-ex-friend, you’ll need to carve out some time to get through as many episodes as you can.

With global releases, it will always be an awkward time for someone, somewhere in the world.

There’s no way to guarantee you won’t hear something beforehand.

And if you do, don’t resort to Frank Underwood-style revenge.

Wait, does that count as a spoiler?

 

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