I’m someone who loves to reread old books, and rewatch old movies/tv series. In the last year, I reread ElfQuest three times. I rewatched How I Met Your Mother four times. I’m currently rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Of all the art I’ve consumed this year, most of it has been something I’ve already taken in many times before.
And you know what? I’m fine with that. There are benefits to re-consuming artwork.
ONE: YOU ALREADY KNOW YOU LIKE IT
Trying something new? Well, you don’t know if you’ll like it yet. If you had a rough day, sometimes you just want that guaranteed I will like this. No time wasted trying to find something new you’ll like. No feeling disappointed in something you’d hoped would turn out differently. No, just something that you’re guaranteed to like. The certainty’s nice, isn’t it?
TWO: IT’S COMFORTING
One of the benefits of knowing you’ll like something, is that it’s comforting to watch. You’re taking in something you’ve taken in many times before. Something you know you’ll like, something that made you happy before, and you know that’s the emotional result of taking it in again. Predictability is comforting if nothing else.
THREE: YOU NOTICE NEW THINGS EVERY TIME
I’ve reread ElfQuest a million times. And you know what? I notice new things every time I read it. That’s one of the benefits to rereading or rewatching something: the more time you put into studying something, the greater an expert you become. And you’ll become an expert if you read something multiple times. If you really love something, why not spend the hours to know everything there is to know about it?
FOUR: IT STILL PACKS AN EMOTIONAL PUNCH
But . . . maybe not at the same parts. Watching How I Met Your Mother multiple times has made me cry every time I’ve rewatched it. But . . . not always at the same parts. Depending on when I’m rewatching it, why I’m rewatching it, and what’s going on in my life, I resonate with different parts in the series. Things that got me the first time I watched it maybe don’t as much. And other parts, that had no emotional impact on me, might this time through. Still, the emotional connection is real.
FIVE: YOU ASSOCIATE NEW THINGS WITH IT
So . . . Buffy is a young woman figuring out her place in the world, all while she fights vampires. Hey! That’s just like me! (minus the vampires . . . although, if I were a vampire slayer, it’s not like I’d tell you, right?) I find I go to Buffy whenever I’m feeling, in the bigger scheme of things, lost. Like, what am I doing with my life? What am I going to do next? Why do I feel so lost? When I think about watching Buffy, I watched it when I was a child, then when I was going into High School, when I graduated High School, when I graduated University and was trying to figure out what to do next . . . Each time I watch Buffy, it signifies a big change in my life. I remember that change, and how watching Buffy got through her changes, made mine a little easier.
So there you have it! The benefits of the reread. What things do you like rewatching or rereading?