Saturday, September 18, 2010

No Mystery and Surprise in an Age of Information Overload

Link to September 18 New York Times article, "Spoiler Alert: Whodunit? Like It or Not, Wikipedia Will Tell You".

Excerpt: At the end of each performance of the Agatha Christie play “The Mousetrap,” the person revealed to be the murderer steps forward and tells the audience to “keep the secret of whodunit locked in your heart.”

Even after 58 continuous years of performances in the West End of London, the play’s twist ending has been largely preserved by reviewers, guidebook writers and the great bulk of the estimated 10 million people who have seen the play.

There is one notable exception: Wikipedia. The encyclopedia’s article about the play succinctly summarizes its two acts and then, in a single sentence, even more succinctly explains who the killer is

And here it is, bold as brass.

The question is:  Has NBC got the message?

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