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13th Aug 2023

Why re-watching the same TV show is actually good for you

Whenever life feels a bit much we crave escapism and often turn to our favourite fictional worlds for that comfort.

Do you ever find yourself turning to the same show again and again? Netflix is full of gripping dramas, hilarious comedies, and original movies, but I somehow always end up watching Gilmore Girls, no matter what’s on my to-watch list.

Sometimes there are just way too many options and the easiest thing to do is to rely on an old reliable to help you switch off after a draining day at work.

Sometimes it’s easier to watch something that doesn’t need your full attention.

There’s nothing I love quite as much as curling up with an episode of Gilmore Girls that I’ve already watched half a dozen times, especially when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. You know what to expect, and what’s going to happen.

And sometimes that’s all you really need.

I instantly feel at ease the second Carole King starts singing the famous theme song Where You Lead. Gilmore Girls has been my go-to comfort show for years. The cozy, small-town charm helps me switch off regardless of what is happening in my world. I forget all my worries and delve into the world of Stars Hollow for a couple of hours and it’s such a reassurance.

Re-watching the same shows gives us back control. We know how we’ll feel after watching a certain movie or TV show like About Time will make us sob like a baby but Parks and Recreation always make us laugh therefore boosting our mood.

If like me, you’re always leaning on that one show then you’ll be delighted to know it is actually good for you.

Scientists have found that people experiencing anxiety tend to re-watch the same show because it helps ease the fear of uncertainty and the fear of the unknown that so many carry with them.

Psychologist Pamela Rutledge explained that doing this gives the viewer more control.

“It can become really therapeutic, especially if you are feeling anxious. Watching the same piece multiple times reaffirms that there’s order in the world and that it can create a sense of safety and comfort on a primal level,” she explains in Medium.

These shows also fill us with nostalgia, which can actually boost our mood.

Researchers explained that things that make you feel nostalgic can help cheer you up. Psychology Professor, Clay Routledge told National Geographic, “I believe many are turning to nostalgia, even if they do not consciously realize it, as a stabilizing force and a way to keep in mind what they cherish most.”

Sure there is plenty of incredible series on Netflix, but sometimes all you need is the familiarity of an old show. If anyone needs me I’ll be watching season 3 of Gilmore Girls on repeat.