I’ll be the first to admit that change isn’t easy for me. I tend to get very comfortable with my routine, where I live, and most aspects of my life. Needless to say, when things become unsteady and feel less permanent, I get pretty uncomfortable. Of course, the transition between living in the same home for 18 years to moving to a new state, a new bedroom, and a new school without knowing a single person was hard. It felt like everything I had been working to establish for my whole life was diminished and I was stepping into the unknown. When I reflect on this time, I realize that I coped by finding things that felt permanent or things that reminded me of home. Sometimes it was Facetiming family and friends, sometimes it was looking at old photos, but oftentimes it was something that didn’t even have to do with “home” at all: re-watching TV shows and movies.
I practically live in the “Watch it Again” section on Netflix. I’ve found myself sitting in my dorm room wondering “why am I restarting Gilmore Girls for the third time in a row when there are so many other good shows out there?” I thought I was crazy. Maybe I am. But I understand now that I didn’t keep hitting the replay button because Gilmore Girls is the best show in the world, I kept watching it because it was one of the only things in my life that felt constant. At the end of the day, I could return to the same characters, I could watch them deal with conflict knowing it would be resolved by the end of the episode, and I could be transported into their small, cozy town. It gives me a sense of nostalgia for a place I’ve never even been.
After reflecting on this, it makes so much sense why it’s so common to resort to watching reruns. During times of uncertainty, having a little predictability in life can put us at ease. The current pandemic is a great example of a time when it’s so necessary to find solace, and watching things that remind us of the good times can do just that. When the news makes our world feel dark and dreary, I feel fortunate to be able to turn on Monsters University and watch Oozma Kappa win the scare games for the 20th time. I swear it never gets old.
With all of this said, I love discovering new movies and shows, and I certainly don’t recommend letting reruns consume your entertainment intake. However, I don’t believe that re-watching is “a waste of time.” The world around us is constantly changing, and this impermanence can be hard to deal with. Do what you can to bring yourself comfort when you need it. It may not look the same for all of us, but if it works for you, embrace it!
Cover Photo: Vecteezy