If you’re anything like me, when it comes to sitting down and relaxing for the evening, you always end up watching one of the same five shows. For me, I very seldom add a new sitcom to my rotation. For some reason, everytime I open my laptop, I end up watching Parks and Recreation, Community, Friends, The Office, New Girl, or That 70’s Show for the 100th time, rather than try something new. Recently, I’ve begun to wonder what in my nature makes me want to rewatch the same things over and over. The following are the introspective conclusions I’ve drawn.
Firstly, I think there’s something incredibly comforting about being familiar with the characters and the overall feel of a show. When there’s so much uncertainty in the world, it is really nice sometimes to know exactly what to expect. When you watch a sitcom for the 100th time, you know exactly what you’re getting. I think this also ties into some of the anxiety I have. I’m the type of person who likes to have something consistent to create comfort for me. Rewatching the same shows gives that feeling of consistency because they’re so predictable.
This also leads to my second point: these sitcoms make amazing background noise. Maybe it’s just me, but I always have the TV running while I scroll through Instagram or make dinner. Rewatching the same sitcoms leads to a sense of familiarity, so I don’t feel confused if I miss something while preoccupied. If I were to put on a new drama, I would be totally lost, seeing as I’m always preoccupied while watching TV.
Lastly, I blame Disney Channel for why I rewatch the same sitcoms. All of you who grew up in the golden age of Disney Channel like me remember watching Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place and so on religiously in our youth. Every day I would come home, turn on the TV, and watch reruns of the same shows. For those formative years of my life, I grew up on reruns, and they were so comforting. Now, with streaming services being all of the rage, reruns are obsolete. There is so much content out there to be explored, that honestly there’s no need to ever watch the same thing twice. Yet, I keep returning to the same few shows, and in a way I think that is me recreating how the TV of my youth was –– just reruns of the same sitcoms.