How Re-watching Old Favorites Can Help You Recharge

Sarah Wiley

Turning on Netflix always works out one of two ways. You start a movie or show you’ve never seen, or you turn on something you’ve already seen before, maybe even a hundred times. Maybe it’s a childhood favorite, like The Iron Giant, or a classic you used to watch with your grandpa, like The Pink Panther. Why, with so much new content being produced on a daily basis, do we return to the tried and true over-watched stuff?

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Watching Bring It On and quoting it verbatim (“These are not spirit fingers, *these* are spirit fingers, and *these* are gold!”) sends me back to high school when I first saw the cheerleading flick with my best friends. It’s the nostalgia factor, a sense of revisiting the past that can put you at ease. The feeling of innocence before adulthood washes over me. The memories of redecorating my bed room with my mom come flooding back. Laughing with my grandpa over the shenanigans of Inspector Clouseau is always one of my favorite memories I have of him. When he passed away and I was given his box set of The Pink Panther movies, I teared up.

Sometimes just watching something you’ve already seen can bring great relief. You already know what’s going to happen. There’s comfort in turning off your mind and just enjoying the movie. It’s like visiting a close friend. You can just chill. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s therapeutic to pop in My Best Friend’s Wedding and watch Julia Roberts turn into a hot mess. It’s therapeutic to have The Office on in the background while you do your household chores (you just started humming the theme music, didn’t you?). Just because someone says they’re watching Moana again doesn’t mean they’re focusing on the screen. It’s a comfort to have it on in the background.

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The same thing applies to reading a book you’ve already read, or listening to the same songs over and over. It’s science! New can be fun, but old can be like a teddy bear. Always there for you when needed. No judgement. No expectations.