Netflix made it easier than ever to rewatch our favorite shows over and over and over again. Like a lot of other people, my choice of show is The Office, although I’m also partial to a good binge of Gilmore Girls. Honestly, sometimes I can’t think of anything better than rewatching my favorite shows and reading my favorite books again and again. Even though it does keep me from catching up on those new shows I keep swearing that I’m going to watch, or tackling my precariously tall to-be-read pile.
So why do we keep doing it? Because it’s actually pretty great for us. That’s true whether we’re talking about reading or watching.
Toddlers Are Repetitive
Let’s start with how much toddlers and preschoolers absolutely demand that you keep reading them the same book until you have it memorized and are slowly going insane. When my daughter was around this age, my husband and I had to recite her favorite book for an hour while on the last stretch of an 8-hour road trip to visit family.
Are these kids just conspiring to make us crazy?
Probably, but not with reading.
These kids can’t read just yet, but they can begin recognizing letters and even whole words when they’re exposed to the same ones over and over.
You’re helping them learn and recognize language patterns when you sit down with The Very Hungry Caterpillar for what feels like the thousandth time. Considering how genuinely strange the English language is, suck it up and read that beautiful caterpillar’s transformation story one (or a dozen) more times.
Also sometimes kids are boring and repetitive.
Reading Comprehension for Bigger Kids
At school, my second grader is already learning about identifying characters, plots, and other key information from texts. There’s a big difference between reading comprehension and simply enjoying what you read.
Sure, we absolutely should be reading for enjoyment.
But reading comprehension is kinda important. When your bigger kid is rereading Harry Potter or Wings of Fire yet again, don’t harp on them to pick up something new. Kids up to age 13 or so really benefit from returning to authors they’re already familiar with. Recognizing common tropes in a book helps these kiddos better absorb the information, events, and language in the book.
Having this foundation makes it easier to pick up on important information when reading new things.
Rereading Your Favorites as an Adult
We’re adults, we don’t have to explain this to anyone. Ha.
But please ignore the piles of unread books around the house. They’re likely to topple.
Rewatching Our Favorite Shows
Do you know anyone who mostly communicates through quotes from The Office and that one GIF of Kelly Kapoor’s famous line: “I have a lot of questions. Number one: How dare you?”
Just how much do we love The Office? Nielsen tracked Netflix views over a course of 12 months and found that the crazy popular show Stranger Things accounted for 27.6 billion minutes of watch time.
The Office came in at 45.8 billion minutes.
What keeps us coming back for The Office, Stranger Things, Friends, and other shows is largely because we just want a sense of comfort. For some people it’s a way to remember a happier time in life, while for others it’s a constant that’s familiar.
And just like those kids rereading their books, we start to recognize and notice patterns, tropes, and punchy one-liners that flew over our heads the first time.
Don’t Feel Bad About Rewatching Shows
So you still haven’t watched Game of Thrones or seen the latest episode of Stranger Things. Maybe you skirt around the topic every time it comes up because you don’t want anyone to know that you definitely mean to watch them, but instead you keep falling back on ol’ faithful.
There’s nothing wrong with liking what you like, though. Some people prefer to gobble up as much new media as they can, and that’s what makes them happy. But if you just want to huddle under a blanket and watch the full series of The Office for the 20th time, then go right ahead and don’t feel bad about it.