as a chronic rewatcher (i’ve probably seen every show i even remotely like at least 3 times over), i am a strong proponent for falling back into familiar fictional worlds. a rewatch has a magical quality about it; you come across jokes and easter eggs you may have missed the first time around, and potentially discover a new outlook on a character you used to hate after processing the story through a new lens. most importantly, however, a show you know and love is like the comfort food of media. in an increasingly stressful pandemic where everything is uncertain, you can regain a bit of control by revisiting a comforting world you already know.
step one: choose your show
take note of your mood and any upcoming stressors. if you’re feeling down and about to go into midterms, perhaps now is not the time to delve into that gritty HBO drama or the existential musings of Bojack Horseman. pick something that won’t overwhelm you if you’re feeling sad or exhausted, such as a silly reality show or comedy.
whatever you choose, be sure it’s a show that was formative and special for you! revisiting something nostalgic will let you engage in some light escapism and offer comfort in these uncertain times.
step two: consider your commitment levels
a thorough rewatch from beginning to end is a long road. do you have it in you to commit to all 17 seasons of grey’s anatomy, or will you just watch your favourite heart-wrenching episode for a quick taste? the perfect variety is up to you, whether it be every episode chronologically or a sampling of your very favorite episodes.
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consult a rewatch guide for the show you’ve chosen, which can tell you what episodes are worth seeing again (either for their quality or importance to the plot).
step three: set the scene
feeling fancy this evening? project your show on the wall or watch on the tv if you have one for the ✨big-screen experience✨! feeling a bit more like sleepy gremlin after a long day? watch on your 13” laptop screen, tilted sideways while lying down in bed. no matter your viewing style, do your best to make each episode viewing special! whether it be through fancy foods, a lit candle or a snuggle with an animal friend, make the experience special!
step four: grab a snack
consider theming your snack for the show you’ve chosen, to give your rewatch an immersive edge. grab your gabagool from the fridge as you watch Tony Soprano make the tough boss decisions, or get a whole cheese plate a la Liz Lemon (but be sure to pace yourself). if not, any favorite snack will do! be sure to pick a comfort food to match your comfort show.
there you have it! it’s up to you the pace at which you go; some of us are bingers, others pepper episodes throughout the week. however you consume it, let your nostalgic show offer you warmth and solace.
i’ve found it very difficult to consume new media over the past year. lockdown has left us all with a feeling of collective grief and anxiety. a rewatch of a favorite show, comforting in its familiarity, is the perfect self-soothe for tough times.