TV Reviews

The Magic of the Re-Watch

One of my favourite questions to ask people is “What are you watching?”

I can get a lot out of their answer – from their taste in TV, their general interests, new show recommendations, and if I’m lucky – we’re watching the same thing – so I have someone new to talk about that show with. 

Often people bring up a show that’s currently airing on Network TV (think The Bachelorette or This Is Us) a new show on Netflix (could be anything…), or something “prestige” on HBO, FX, or AMC (Succession, Fargo etc). These are all good answers. But normally I get a list of old sitcoms and normally, the list of exclusively old shows bug me. Sure, rewatch your favourite show but there are so many good shows out there – watch something current, try something new, expand your horizons… 

You know the shows these people are bringing up without even mentioning them- The Office, Friends, Parks and Rec… lots of New Girl, and Brooklyn 99 on repeat. Plus the repeat drams Gilmore Girls and Grey’s… basically all the typical shows. However lately, I’m not judging the re-watchers.

I’ll be honest, I’m having a really hard time watching new shows. I’m going out on a limb here, and guess that subconsciously I don’t want surprises. Right now, everything is up in the air. I feel a lack of control. I have no idea what the world will look like tomorrow or if the pandemic will go on for years (fyi- this is the wrong answer – I refuse this reality). BUT in Stratton, Stars Hallow, or at Seattle Grace – things are consistent and predictable. 

I just want to drink Coffee at Lukes…

Everything feels simpler. Shows in the ‘pre-Pandemic’ era feel more comfortable. New shows that have come out during the pandemic have made me feel… angry. I’m mad that characters can go to work, hang out, and generally live their lives. The re-watch feels nostalgic in a good way. I’m reminded of the ‘good-old-days’ – when we could go to work, hang out, and live our lives. 

I’m also distracted. Things are stressful right now, I’m really struggling with focus, but these old shows can play in the background and I don’t feel lost. I know what’s happening and often I know what the characters are going to say next – in fact, I could probably reenact the whole show. This is relaxing, it’s escapism into cozy warmth.

So what am I rewatching?

I’m obviously rewatching Gilmore Girls. I’m near the end of season 6 – Logan is leaving for London soon so Rory’s struggling with that, meanwhile Luke and Lorelai are rocky and Christopher is back in the picture. I’m also rewatching Grey’s. I’m on season 6 and we just had the big ‘007‘ reveal and death (which is pretty much where I stopped in High School and might again stop here). Plus I’m slowly rewatching The Crown in anticipation of Season 4 (which is going to be UNREAL).

Before I dove into these gems, I’ve rewatched Friday Night Lights, The O.C., The West Wing, and One Tree Hill – all this summer. I did series one of Made in Chelsea and I’m starting up Laguna Beach and The Hills.

It is wild to me that I’m only watching OLD shows. I normally might have one rewatch show going, but not like this. Any new show I try, I have a really hard time getting into it. It’s frustrating – because I want to watch new shows, but Meredith & Derek and Rory & Dean/Jess/Logan pull me back in.

So in honour of this new rewatching phase, I’ve got some things to listen to/read/watch that will add to your rewatches and will truly elevate your appreciation your rewatch.

For fans of The Office

An Oral History of the Office is an incredible podcast. Hosted by Brian Baumgartner aka Kevin Malone – I absolutely loved this. It goes deep into the story of how The American Office was made. Highly recommend. Office Ladies is another great office podcast. This pod goes episode by episode, rewatching and talking about each episode and is hosted by Pam and Angela aka Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Really fun and it makes me like these women and the show that much more.

For Friday Night Lights fans:

Entertainment Weekly has a podcast called ‘Binge’ that goes over old TV shows. Lots of shows are discussed here and you can find your favourite shows – but my favourite episodes are from Friday Night Lights. They dive deep into the pilot and then dedicate one pod episode per season. Lots of interviews with the cast and production team. If you are like my friend Emily, just put this on repeat. Finally, if you missed it, in June, The Riggins bros and the Collette sisters had a family reunion. 10/10 watch the whole thing.

P.s. go re-read my old blog on FNL.

Gilmore Girls Fans:

The Today show has been doing a lot of 20th anniversary content, interviewing all your old favourites including Hemp Alien members Gil, Zack Van Gerbig, and Brian Fuller; Yale boys Finn, Colin McCrae and Marty; Stars Hollow’s townies Gypsy and Mrs. Kim; Luke’s ex Nicole Leahy and daughter April Nardini; Chilton’s Madeline Lynn; AND Emily Gilmore, Christopher Hayden, and Michel Gerard. Plus – they interviewed Louise Goffin (daughter of Carole King) all about the Theme song. Prepared to feel old.

For OC Fans

It’s all about the music. Music From The O.C. Mix 1 is great, Mix 2 is fantastic, and Mix 3 iconic. Or listen to it all on this is great playlist to bring you back to Newport Beach.

For Grey’s Fans

Well – this is the only rewatch that’s still airing and with 17 seasons most of your favourites from all your other rewatches have guest started or are now staring on this show (hello Luke ‘Welcome To the OC’ Ward). The music on this show is incredible – but really it’s all about Shonda. She is a fantastic writer but my all-time favourite project of her’s isnt’ a tv show – it’s her book Year of Yes. It is the way I want to live my life post-pandemic. Highly recommend.

For The West Wing Fans

We’ve got a new West Wing episode for those of you willing to hunt it down. It’s only available in the States on HBO Max – but reviews have been positive. You can watch the trailer here.

Bonus – for Movie Rewatchers

Please tell me you already listen to this, but if not start listening to The Rewatchables now. The episode they did this week on Spotlight is amazing. But go through the back catalogue and find your favourite movies. It’s a lot of fun.

What are you rewatching? Let me know!

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