Of all the reality TV cooking competitions currently on the air (way more than we ever thought possible), Top Chef was a pioneer of the industry: It was one of the first shows to combine the excitement of watching people cook food with the intrigue of listening to judges critique said food and the privilege of not eating any of that food. As one of Bravo's most popular shows, Top Chef has been causing food boners since 2006.
And occasionally literal ones.
So going into the Season 7 finale, the show's 1.8 million viewers were eager to find out which cook would walk away with the big prize. Would the winner be Kevin Sbraga, the cocksure-yet-courteous New Jerseyite? Would it be Angelo Sosa, the -- OK, fuck it, Kevin won. That was, essentially, how Bravo delivered the information to the show's fans when, hours before the last episode, they posted a spoiler-filled clip on their website that was clearly meant to be had as a dessert, not an appetizer.
The clip is a "reunion" segment with all the participants looking back on the season, but it begins with host Andy Cohen saying, "Before we get into anything, we have to congratulate the winner of Top Chef: D.C., Kevin."
"Just to reiterate, in case the viewers missed it, Kevin Sbraga won the whole shebang. That dude, right there, gray shirt."
"Kevin," the host continues, "how surprised were you when Padma said your name in Singapore?" Probably about as surprised as fans were when they watched that clip expecting a harmless retrospective and got this. The clip then goes on to spoil other particulars from the finale, like Kevin being assisted by previous Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio, or the guy who didn't win being assisted by who gives a shit.
"And here we see *mumble* sucking."
Bravo pulled the video within a few hours, but it was too late: It was soon reposted by other websites, which started announcing the yet-to-be-named winner to foodies everywhere. Many a season finale soiree was ruined that day.
Quarantine is a "found footage" horror film in the vein of The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, based on a Spanish movie called REC. The seizure-inducing, Incredible Hulk-tinted trailer made sure you walked away with a whole slew of expectations and an even bigger number of questions. Questions like: What happens to the sister from Dexter and the rest of the helpless people trapped in that building? Are those zombies in there or what? And just what happens after we see Dexter's sister dragged, scratching and screaming, into the darkness in the trailer?
Does Liam Neeson appear and start ruining the zombies' shit?
The answer is: nothing. Nothing happens after we see her dragged, scratching and screaming, into the darkness, because that's the end of the movie. That's the final shot. They literally gave the movie away in the trailer.
Apparently the execs saw the highly successful marketing campaign for Paranormal Activity, where the trailers showed as little as possible from the movie and simply focused on the scared reactions of the audience, and said, "Yes, let's do the opposite of that."
Taken during the new Tyler Perry trailer.
True, those who saw the trailer had no way of knowing they'd just witnessed the very last scene of the movie, but if you think about it, that makes it even worse: You watch the entire movie waiting for that moment to happen, and as you reach what is clearly the climax of the film and the character is trying to escape the monster, you're like, "Oh, wait. I know where this is going."
Also, if you haven't seen Paranormal Activity, try asking a friend how the movie ends: Chances are they'll have a hard time explaining it, partly because there were actually multiple endings, and partly because it's confusing as shit. On the other hand, ask someone how Quarantine ends and all they have to do is point at the poster -- because, yep, they stuck the final scene there, too:
And in the TV spots:
In fact, that's the entire TV spot. So how did this brilliant strategy work out for them? Well, Quarantine made $40 million worldwide, while Paranormal Activity made almost five times that on a similar budget. Plastering the end of the movie everywhere doesn't pay off, it turns out.
When not writing for Cracked, Jacob writes angry letters to his co-workers on his blog.
We aren't finished spoiling shit for you yet -- check out 6 Happy Endings That Accidentally Screwed the Movie's Hero and 6 Horrible Aftermaths Implied by Movies With Happy Endings.