We here at The Outhouse have covered Agents of SHIELD’s plummeting of ratings with mixed emotions. On one hand its SHIELD and Whedon and, as much as we pretend we’re not, we are totally fanboys at heart. On the other hand, ABC and Disney seem to be doing all they can to dissuade people from actually watching the show with inconsistent show times and editorial mandated stories that can only be described as “at least it’s not the New 52.” Week after week we read, write, and make fun of Agents of SHIELD’s fall from grace because we are broadcast journalists trained by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and its news, but we are rooting for the show to succeed, if only because that British scientist chick is adorable.
That being said, we here at The Outhouse have been asked to pass along an anonymous message to Marvel, ABC, Disney, and whoever else is in a position of power over Agents of SHIELD on behalf of several viewers:
Fuck you, Marvel (et. al.) No, really, F.U.C.K. Y.O.U! WE know this might be hard to for you to understand considering your obvious distain for your customers, but some of us are function members of society with lives and responsibilities. We are not all troglodytes living in basements able to go to a movie on a Friday night by ourselves just willy nilly. Real life stuff gets in the way; babysitters cancel (yes, some of your readers have had sex), basements flood causing irreparable damage to the Fraction / Land run on Uncanny X-Men (no real loss there), and a whole host of other things might keep people away from a movie the first four days it’s out…
Dear readers, the message goes on for a bit along those same lines, so here’s the CliffNotes version for the TL;DR crowd: Marvel went and spoiled major plot points to Captain America: The Winter Soldier in last night’s episode of Agents of SHIELD thus upsetting about 20% (150 people) of the show’s audience. The Outhouse did all it could to warn people who had lives away from last night’s episode, but the general feeling of those affected was that it was too soon for us to be put in that position.
“Seriously, one month. One month would have been reasonable,” began frustrated viewer George McDonald, “but no, in their infinite wisdom, Marvel [et al.] decided that four fucking days was long enough for all of the show’s viewers [estimated 450] to see Captain America. Then they have the gall to rub in in our faces:”
Sure do hope you guys saw Cap 2 before tonight's episode. @AgentsofSHIELD— JoeQuesada (@JoeQuesada) April 9, 2014
When reached for comment, Outhouse media correspondent, SuperginraiX, offered this analysis:
“What, you didn’t know that Bucky was The Winter Soldier?”
thus completely missing the point, as usual. So we reached out to noted spoiler hater and bad speller, RU, for actual commentary;
Look, I’ve ranted about spoilers before, and will again, but this might be one of the biggest douchebag moves I’ve ever not seen. Thankfully, The Outhousers’ Facebook page warned me to avoid last night’s episode at all costs, but what am I supposed to do until I have a free night? I have a two-year old and a wife that also wants to see this movie. Should we pirate the film so we can keep up? DVR all future episodes until we see the movie? Drop Agents of SHIELD all together because, well, it’s not as good as it should be and this is an asshole move? I agree with Mr. McDonald above, one month would have been OK, but four days. Fuck you Marvel; like you can afford to keep losing viewers.
Dammit, this even pissed off WIFE who spent a good 20 minutes last night commenting on how shitty of a thing this was on Marvel's part while I was trying to watch The Following.
Of course, there are those who are willing to accept this kind of spoilers as “promotional material” while they suck at the teat of their corporate overlords, or as an inevitability because “[i]n today's world, anything and everything is up for grabs.” One such viewer, Bobby Moore, agreed to answer some questions:
Outhouse: Mr. Moore, thank you for taking the time to talk with us about spoilers.
Moore: Anytime, and please, call me Bobby. Mr. Moore was my father.
OH: OK, Bobby, let’s begin. What are your thoughts on the relationship between Agents of SHIELD and the Captain America sequel?
M: I don’t see the big deal. So a multi-million (billion?) dollar corporation created a promotion between two of their properties that just so happened to include unknown facts about one of those properties. As a corporation (re: person) Disney/Marvel/ABC has the right to do whatever they want with their properties, including telling everyone, whether they want to know or not, what happened in a movie that just came out this past weekend. They know what’s best of business, and it is our responsibility as customers to blindly support those choices and not take to the internet and complain.
OH: But, do you understand or have any empathy for people who are a bit put off by this?
M: Do I understand the mindset of people criticizing Marvel? No. What they are saying about the company is slander and they should be sued for all they are worth and be forced to give me any Fraction / Land Uncanny X-Men books they may have: I loved that run. The complainers need to shut up and consume Marvel’s product blindly like the good little automatons we all are in this crazy new world. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I'm on my way to work and am a bit late.
We want to thank Mr. Moore for his time and answers.
As with most things in life, there is no one right answer to the dilemma of a company spoiling their product four days after it comes out, but what we do know is that Agents Of SHILED is taking a risk by alienating their viewers who like to avoid spoilers, a good portion of which might just choose to forgo a pretty average program in favor of waiting for an opportunity to see a good movie.
One final word before I leave this article to the wolves who will probably spoil the movie and show I haven’t seen yet just to be douches: all hyperbole aside, WIFE and I will probably not watch anymore Agents Of SHIELD until we've seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That may be (hopefully) this weekend as my parents are in town and we're hoping for some free babysitting so we can have a night out without having to remember to pack back-up pants, or it could be weeks away as life continues to get in the way. If Captain America had come out four weeks ago, this would all be understandable, but four days ago is just ridiculous.