Why We Should Re-Watch Our Favorite TV Shows

Why We Should Re-Watch Our Favorite TV Shows

The next time you get criticized for starting your favorite TV show again , ignore it - because most of the time, it's the best thing you can do.

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I have said this thousands of times, and I will say it again: "The Wire" is the best show of all time and God's gift to the Earth. I've written not one, not two, not three, but four articles about various reasons why "The Wire" is the best show of all time, and am currently on my fourth run through the show. I am legitimately not myself on a given day if I don't have my daily dose of something related to "The Wire."

But I digress - this isn't an article about "The Wire,' but rather the latter phenomenon of why we love to re-watch our favorite TV shows all the time. Many of my friends watch "The Office," "Friends," and "Grey's Anatomy" over and over again, dozens of times. Why do we do this, when we know exactly what will happen every time? In the words of The Atlantic's Derek Thompson: "Why do we spend so much time with stories whose endings we already know?"

Well, one of the answers is pretty obvious: because a show is just that good. Why waste your time watching a show your friend is raving about that you might get into, when there's a show you've seen before that you know you'll get into? It saves our time and we get the most efficient investment, knowing with absolute certainty that we will enjoy it.

Does watching a show over and over again make it lose its spark? You may be asking this question to a repeat watcher such as myself - and my answer is a definitive no. Thompson perhaps frames this more eloquently in stating that "familiar fare requires less mental energy to process, and when something is easy to think about, we consider it good." In psychology, the mere exposure effect says that the more we're exposed to something, the more we'll like it.

But, of course, it goes deeper than that. Watching shows again brings back nostalgia back to our lives, and allows us to remember the past. The root of the word nostalgia is the combination of two Greek words nostos , which means homecoming, and algos , which means pain. Initially, when the term was invented in the 17th century, it was seen as a disease - one theory believed that Swiss mercenaries were depressed because they were impaired by homesickness.

Clay Routledge, a psychologist at North Dakota State University, declares that there are two forms of nostalgia - historical and autobiographical. It is the latter that we often find when we re-watch TV shows - "a nostalgia for [our] individual past." Watching shows we liked as kids and teenagers can make us feel young again. Routledge also found that subjects exposed to popular songs from their youth thought had more feelings that "life is worth living."

Routledge's studies, which validate our very own experiences, are direct evidence that re-watching TV shows is therapeutic. Nostalgia is, at its most basic form, deeply relaxing. Remembering the past, where we can re-tell and recall episodes of our lives with complete certainty is clearly much easier than the present of living our lives, where we constantly stumble into the terrifying unknown. Old TV shows "can't surprise us. We know how they end, and we know how we'll feel when they end. This makes the re-consumption of entertainment a bit like 'emotional regulation.'" As much as any of us are prepared to handle surprises, the fact is that most of the time, they're not exactly easy to deal with.

Lastly, although the plot of our favorite old TV shows is always the same, how we watch and how we interpret never are. Every time I watch through "The Wire" is a different, unique experiment - the first time, it was for the plot, the second time, it was about the societal implications, and the third time, it was about how to treat people on an everyday basis. Thompson shares a similar experience in re-hearing his favorite song, Jeff Buckley's rendition of "Hallelujah": "Replaying his music nine years later was like opening a time capsule and watching its treasures react to fresh oxygen."

Re-watching is an act of more than just "mere nostalgia or therapy. It's pop culture as palimpsest - an old memory, overlaid with new perspective."

Watching "The Wire" for the fourth time, it's in the context of just getting the job that the show drove me to apply to and be passionate for. Starting next year, I will be a teacher. A lot of things have happened in my life since my third run. It's not the same process of watching by any stretch - every scene I have already seen three times, I see it a different way. I learn something new - not only about the show, but about myself.

The next time you get criticized for starting your favorite TV show again , ignore it - because most of the time, it's the best thing you can do.

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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23 Things That ~Barely~ Run Through A Girl's Mind During Her First Workout In, Like, Forever

Why did I do this to myself?

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It's the beginning of the semester and that means half of the students on campus have decided that we are going to go back to the gym after their workout routine fell through last semester. It's been months since we've stepped foot in the gym, but we are ready to attack it and get fit. That is until we get there and start going.

1. How did I get to the gym? Didn't I walk here? That should count as exercise

2. Why am I here?

3. Are these clothes tighter than they were last time?

4. Why is every single machine full? What am I supposed to do?

5. Is everyone looking at me?

6. I can't remember where anything is here

7. Okay, I am going to set this at the easiest level

8. Can I go home yet?

9. Is 3 minutes long enough? No, darn it.

10. How many calories have I burned? Only 10 are you kidding me!

11. Why is everyone else here going so hard? I look like a slacker

12. I am so sweaty right now

13. Maybe I should get a smoothie as a reward for working out

14. I am literally dying right now. I am about to drop dead

15. Only 5 more minutes to go. I've got this!

16. I don't got this

17. Why do people come here every day?

18. Last minute I'm going to go so hard right now

19. Just kidding that two seconds was good enough. I'm going to cool down for the last 58

20. Hallelujah, praise Jesus, I am done!

21. I am so tired

22. My body is so sore

23. I can't believe I have to walk home now. I've already done my exercising for the day

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