When Trailers Go Too Far

I love trailers! Whether they be movie, TV, or video game trailers, I love watching them… except when they go too far.

A good trailer teases you, gets you excited for the upcoming movie, show, or game, and creates a sense of curiosity, anticipation, and gets in your head. In my next post, I’m going to feature some of my favorite trailers.

But in this post, I want to talk about when trailers go too far — specifically, when they tell you waaaaay too much.

Sometimes they ruin critical plot points or twists, as fellow author, Garrett Robinson says of the Ender’s Game movie coming out.

Other times, they make you feel as if you’ve already seen the movie or TV show.

Case in point: NBC’s new fall show, The Blacklist.

On the surface, this looks like a pretty cool show, starring James Spader as a fugitive who turns himself into the Feds. But he has an agenda. I’m not sure if this is based on another TV show or movie, but it feels a bit familiar, like something I saw recently. But hey, James Spader is in it, so I’m interested.

But then, as the trailer played out, it seemed to reveal…


What the hell?

Here, watch for yourself (unless you don’t want to be spoiled).

NBC and I have a rocky history. They’ve aired some of my favorite TV shows of all time. But they’ve cancelled a great number of shows I’ve loved, way before their prime. Now it seems like they want to screw this show before it even airs!


A couple of years ago, a news story was making the rounds which said that people want spoilers, and that movies which aired spoilers in their trailers actually did better at the box office! It seems counterintuitive to me, though one of my best friends used to LOVE reading the end of books before she even started them, so, maybe there’s a lot of people like that.

I don’t get it, though. As a storyteller, I hate when the mystery is ruined. Hell, I hate when the mystery ends in a book even by natural causes. I love when an author can string out the mystery, or weave new ones into the narrative (like LOST, and as I hope we did well in Yesterday’s Gone). So I certainly don’t want spoilers which ruin the pilot of a show I would’ve otherwise watched!

What do you think?

Do YOU like spoilers? 

What’s the most egregious trailer you’ve ever seen? Leave a comment below.

Please avoid posting any spoilers in your comments, so as not to ruin something for others.

Tagged with: