Comment on ‘Spoiler Alert’ Review: Michael Showalter’s TV-Obsessed Tearjerker Is Short on Surprises

‘Spoiler Alert’ Review: Michael Showalter’s TV-Obsessed Tearjerker Is Short on Surprises

One of the more memorable episodes of Michael Ausiello’s 2017 memoir finds the television journalist (and obsessive) visiting the Brooklyn set of “The Americans” on the same afternoon his longtime boyfriend, photographer Kit Cowan, sees a colorectal specialist about the severe pain he was experiencing. Mere seconds before sitting down for a chat with stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, Ausiello receives a text informing him that Cowan’s doctor has found a growth; already traumatized by watching his mother die from cancer when he was a child, Ausiello jumps to the worst possible conclusion. Time would tragically justify such catastrophizing (Ausiello’s book is called “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”), but for the moment, he can only sit through an interview he’d been too excited about to reschedule, his mind entirely in Manhattan as he struggles to do a job that often seemed more like a fantasy. Powerful beyond the obvious reasons, the scene also inverts the sacred pact Ausiello made with television as a child, when he was a closeted young outsider who found warmth and comfort in the suds of his favorite soaps.

 

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