Time for a rewatch? Comfort shows and why we keep going back to them.

It’s autumn, almost winter and right now, the dark nights the cold are really just encouraging me to hibernate. Like most people these days all I really want to do is hide in my bedroom or living room with several blankets wrapped around me and a cup of tea in hand watching netflix until the cheeky message of ‘are you still watching’ pops up on my screen. However, I’m not just watching any old show, oh no, I’ll be watching one I’ve seen a hundred times before, as it’s my all time favourite comfort show. 

Why, you may ask ? I am very aware that new shows are released everyday and that most streaming sites have such a wide array of TV show choices you couldn’t, possibly finishing them in a lifetime. Now I am not saying that I don’t watch new shows but I do find myself always going back to the same show. Exposing myself here, but my comfort show has got to be Gilmore Girls, and I am not even going to disclose how many times I’ve seen it, it’s pretty embarrassing. I want you to think of your show, your safety blanket TV, that you return to no matter how many new programmes have been realised. Now, what is your comfort show of choice? 

Watching TV should just be a low energy task, there’s no need to get complicated about it. The most energy consuming part of this activity is finding something to watch with the constant scrolling that sometimes feels neverending. That is why we’re always so happy to find a binge watch show, as decisions are made for us until you finish it. Or alternatively we go back to a show we’ve seen countless times as that choice doesn’t really feel like a choice at all but a continuation of where we left off or from our first watch. I reckon everyone knows someone who can recite all the jokes in friends, or list every drag race winner there has been, or if you’re like me I can quote every episode of the Gilmore Girls until it annoys people. 

I do often wonder though what it is that draws our attention back to these shows. As I must rewatch Gilmore Girls at least once a year, usually around this time, seasonally placed of course, or when I’ve had a stressful or just a crap day. I think it is just because we want something that is familiar. Psychological studies have declared that it is good for you to rewatch the same show, and who’s one to mess with this logic ! Rewatching something you know you enjoy is a simple way of controlling your emotions especially when the world around you is feeling a little chaotic. It is a reaffirmation that there is some order in the world as it becomes therapeutic to get lost is something that feels safe to watch, especially when you are feeling anxious. Additionally the nostalgia you feel when you rewatch your comfort show, feels really good as you reminisce and ‘escape’ into something so familiar, as often it brings back those memories and to that time of when you first watched it. Plus trying to keep pace with every new series released nowadays can be an endurance test in itself. It is very true that we, as humans, just prefer predictability. 

Therefore the next time someone asks you “why are you watching that show again”, you’ll know that is just your brain working in yet another mysterious way. Plus, now you know that you are not the odd one out as everyone is guilty, as they should be, for rewatching their comfort show. I know I’ll be resorting back to the Gilmore Girls, probably in the very near future, and I hope you enjoy your comfort show just as much as last time in your next rewatch.


Image by: Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

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