We don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this is kind of a critical time in our TV-watching lives. “The Walking Dead” just aired its fourth season finale, we’re more interested in bingeing on “House of Cards” than on anything remotely edible, “Girls” ended its third season on a cliffhanger-y note, and “Scandal” is winding up its third season while a real-life “scandal” grips the cast. (See what we did there?)
Perhaps most climactically, “How I Met Your Mother,” ended last night after nine looong years of watching Ted Mosby torture us with his unfortunate love life. This has been probably the greatest build-up in recent television history—given that the entire premise of the show is leading up to this point—and we can guarantee that the Internet is going to be completely dedicated to the legen—wait for it!—dary finale tomorrow.
But maybe some of us are a little bit behind the times. Maybe some of us (like, for example, this writer) are an entire season behind the rest of the world.
With the advent of Netflix, iTunes, DVR and Apple TV, being behind on a show is no big deal—it’s easier than ever to access pretty much any season of any series—but there are two huge problems: Social media and over-exicited coworkers
Thanks to these things, it’s damn near impossible to avoid catching the occasional spoiler without taking very deliberate evasive action. So here’s our guide to remaining happily free of TV spoilers until you get a chance to catch up on your favorite show.
Avoid the eff out of Twitter.
Seriously, just don’t go there. It doesn’t matter how cute that pug Vine looks, or how perfect your latte-art Instagram turned out. Do not, repeat, do not go on Twitter. You WILL hit spoilers and you will find out all of the secrets you aren’t ready to learn. Just take this as an opportunity to go on a social media detox, and let all of your friends think that you’re mad zen and enlightened, rather than dangerously obsessed with a show about zombies.
Invest in some serious noise-canceling gear.
Avoid hearing spoilers by simply avoiding hearing, period. A tad extreme, you say? Well, yes, probably. But being a true television fan is a serious business, and it should not be taken lightly. If you’re dedicated to your anti-spoiler agenda, you will get thee to a Brookstone and buy a giant pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Or, you can get a pair of those ear-protection muffs that they use at rifle ranges to block out the sound of gunfire. Or, best of all, get an ostrich pillow. You’ll be able to nap and maintain your blissful ignorance all at once.
Completely cease socializing with everyone you know and love.
Odds are, you know all about the Red Wedding even if you only just started “Game of Thrones.” This means you’re around too many TV lovers, so cut them out of your life until you’re ready to discuss. Is your mom dying to talk about the finale of “True Detective” with you? Just don’t call her back. It’s fine, she’ll totally understand. If your boyfriend TV-cheated and watched a show ahead of you, he deserves at least a month of icy-cold silent treatment. Them’s the rules, people.
Escape the Internet, by whatever means necessary.
Maybe the Twitter thing alone isn’t working for you, and drastic measures are in order. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you’re probably familiar with public transport, where there’s no cell service whatsoever. Here’s what we suggest: load up a whole season of the show in question on your tablet and ride the subway until you’ve seen every episode.
This way, you can’t access spoilers even if you wanted to (unless you remove your noise-canceling headphones just in time to hear riders next to you yak about how epic last night’s “Orange is the New Black” was.) If you don’t live in a place with underground transportation, try digging an extremely deep hole in your backyard, or spending your life savings on a relay of trans-Atlantic plane tickets, or moving far into the nearest mountain range. Really, you just have to go with what works for you.