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The rise of the TV know-it-all

David M. Russell/cbs

I’m not a person who prides herself on watching TV. Or I thought I wasn’t. But I was discussing “The Good Wife” with a friend who’s three seasons behind, and I’m ashamed to admit that I actually felt a tad superior because I’m current with the state of affairs between Alicia (Julianna Margulies, pictured) and Will (Josh Charles), and she’s still naively hoping they’ll get together.

A TV smarty-pants — is there anything worse?

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Now that people have learned to stop revealing spoilers, a new conversational dynamic is in play. The person who’s ahead in the series assumes the role of prescient know-it-all, and the person who has better things to do with her time than watch five years of TV in one week, becomes the novice. Who among us hasn’t played both parts? One day I was riding high with “The Good Wife,” the next I was hanging on the words of a friend who’s current with “Scandal” while I’m only in season two. “A lot happens with Olivia’s dad,” she said, as I kneeled before her.

But here’s the question: In the end, which is the better position? As in life itself, knowledge comes along with the years. But who staring down middle age or beyond wouldn’t trade it all for another go-around with youth? To start again — at Episode One of Season One of “Breaking Bad?”

Beth Teitell can be reached at bteitell@globe.com.
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