“Start From the Beginning”: Why We Choose to Re-Watch Our Favorite TV Shows

TV shows. I’m sure the phrase itself bought your favorite ones to mind. Right when we finish watching an entire series, no matter how many seasons long, sooner or later we come back to it. Some of us have split screens on our laptops because we just need a mild distraction while we’re doing something else, while others, like me, are cozied up late at night and into the wee hours of the morning with a blanket, and possibly some candles. It’s not like we don’t know what’s going on. I mean, sure. You’ll notice things the second time around that went over your head the first time, but that’s simply inevitable. So what is it? Why do we always do this?

We all know the classic shows. You know, the ones on late night re-runs, basically there for you to rewatch and feel that bit of nostalgia. But in every Friends episode, Ross always turns out to be the most absolute worst guy ever and in The Office, Michael Scott will still leave Dunder Mifflin. Maybe that one episode still makes you sob no matter how many times you’ve seen it. Sure, we notice new things, but that’s only because we know to look out for them the second, or third, or fourth time around.

I guess that it’s just how we just how we choose to get away from our very real lives momentarily. And that’s okay; we all do it at one time or another. It’s convenient and entertaining. Rewatching old shows that we’re already more than familiar with is cozy. It’s almost like comfort food. While we may not always know what’s going to happen in our lives, we know what’s going to happen in our favorite character’s lives. It’s like going back to a moment from our past that we know turned out well, and all of a sudden, we feel a twinge of comfort – maybe even security. It helps us unwind and connect to people who have the same feelings and frustrations as us. So why not rewatch? It’s fun.