Rewatchable Classic Movies and Shows

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Have you ever come home after a long day, nestled into your couch, turned on your T.V and immediately turned on a show or movie you’ve already seen? If you have, you are not alone! Why do we so often gravitate back to our tried-and-true favorites in this new streaming era where new binge-worthy shows and action-packed movies premiere daily?

According to a poll taken by, the most rewatchable films include Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, The Princess Bride, Back to the Future, and The Godfather. According to data collected by streaming services, the most rewatch T.V shows include Friends, The Office, Gilmore Girls, and Brooklyn 99. 55% of Office viewers admit to watching the show multiple times, with over 60% Friends fans rewatching the series!

So, what exactly makes these titles (and others like it) so popular to watch again and again? Often what makes a movie or show rewatchable is its status as a classic. According to legendary director Steven Spielberg, the thing that makes a film timeless is… Us, the audience! Everyone has their own ‘classics,’ but what sets these movies and shows apart is that the greater masses consider them to be classics. For instance, Friends finished televising in 2004, yet nearly every T.V has a channel that regularly airs it! Because the plots, characters, and aesthetics of these films and shows have remained relevant and entertaining, they have solidified themselves as classics!

Yet, why do we rewatch classics? To rewatch a classic film, it needs to capture our interest and attention upon our first viewing… Yet, it must still engage us when we view it for our second, third, or hundredth time. Film and T.V evoke emotions, and classic films do this better than any other genre! Part of their success is in their ability to make us nostalgic! If you watched The Office, Star Wars, or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in a happier time, with a loved one, or as a child, rewatching can remind you of those good times.

In an unpredictable world, rewatching old classics gives us control and allows us to relax completely. Before streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, it was almost impossible to choose your favorite episode of Friends to watch whenever you wanted. These streaming services have changed all of that and put this once a dream request at your fingertips!

But should we rewatch these old shows and movies? Or is it time to find new content to enjoy? According to the Journal of Consumer Research in their 2012 study entitled, “The Temporal and Focal Dynamics of Volitional Reconsumption” rewatching shows and movies can actually benefit your health. Just like how going back to a favorite restaurant or rereading a favorite childhood book makes you happy, rewatching your favorites brings you happiness! Though it can be seen as a waste of time, rewatching your favorite titles can help you relax, destress, and can bring you joy— feelings that a new movie cannot always do!

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