Help I Can’t Stop Re-watching Movies

~ this is pretty much my explanation of why y’all barely ever get any new release reviews ~

Houston, we have a problem.

Not the continued oppression of minorities in today’s society, not the every looming threat of nuclear war or even the constant sense of dread that comes with existentialism. NO! Let’s step back from our frightening reality and take a moment to focus on my very relevant, very important and very first-world problem.

I can’t stop re-watching media that I’ve already re-watched approximately a billion times.

And as someone who creates content around films and tv shows, I really should be on the front foot when it comes to new releases or at least legendary must-watch creations. But no. This girl is sitting on her couch, binge watching Teen Wolf for about the 20th time. Obviously, this urge to revisit my favourites presents a bit of issue: my range of loved media becomes quite limited. And this is not what I want.

I think my desire to re-watch stems from my inner nostalgic; I love the feeling of cuddling up with my favourite characters – people that I know so well they feel almost like friends. It’s nice to not have to be caught up in minuscule plot details, or keep up with a fast-paced action scene, because you already know what’s going on. Contrary to what many folks think, this sense of familiarity actually helps me to enjoy a show or movie more – because I already know every line of dialogue, so I have the time to appreciate the nuances of what I’m watching. This is where my firm “it-can’t-be-your-favourite-movie-if-you’ve-only-seen-it-once” philosophy stems from – how can you know if you enjoy how every detail of the film works together, if you’ve only experienced one plot-focused watch?

This gravitation towards my favourite films again and again allows me to know them inside and out – and I love it. Every re-watch unlocks further wonder around these cinematic masterpieces, every re-watch I discover some new, tiny detail – the framing of a particular shot, the way an actors face falls at a certain line or gesture – things that makes me fall only further in love with the film or episode. Knowing the characters also makes their interactions more profound – you almost have an actor’s perspective, knowing the entire season’s (sometimes even series) arc. This knowledge makes every gesture, every delivery more valuable, hilarious, or touching.

A re-watch is also a highly versatile type of media consumption. When you’re not so focused on each plot detail, you can multitask while you watch. Oftentimes I’ll watch a film in the bath, and I always want something familiar and fun. I’ll have shows playing while I clean my room, and I do homework and stream something on my laptop almost everyday. Yes, I am aware that this is not the healthiest habit, but it is something that I engage in a lot – and when I do, re-watching is definitely the way to go.

However this means that I’ve skipped a lot of crucial movies in a film-lovers repertoire, so I don’t want to continue this habit for much longer. While it is familiar and convenient, it is limiting – and I want to break the habit. If you too suffer from this troubling problem – leave a comment and tell me HOW ON EARTH YOU FIGHT THE URGE because I am struggling.

Until next time, I’ll be here, reciting every line from one of the Harry Potter films at the exact same time as the characters on screen do. That’s how many re-watches they’ve gotten.

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