It happens every night. The same ritual repeats over and over, and none of us can deny it. We all suffer the relentless struggle: searching endlessly for that one piece of bliss. It takes years, decades, aeons and yet you will still never find it. What is it? You and I both know, it's a new TV show to watch. Well, not only to watch, but to dedicate your life to. You traverse through time and space only to discover that nothing will ever beat the show you've seen about a hundred times before. You feel slightly guilty as the familiar theme song plays, knowing there's a lot more, significantly superior shows calling your name. But, you just can't help yourself, can you? After all, it is your favourite. 


Why do we always lean towards those shows? The ones that we've seen countless times before? Is it a certain quality within the show? A certain characteristic within us? Maybe it's just a pure laziness and lack of motivation to scroll thorugh the endless output of streaming services in order to find something actually worth our time.


Jaye Derrick, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston, seemed to put it down to human emotion saying "When people are feeling depleted, rewatching TV shows can re-energise them and restore feelings of self-control". I personally see this tendency constantly in my own behavious, although, I assure you not in a way which is concerning.


Everytime I'm overwhelmed or stressed and in need of comfort, I tend to crave my two favourite vices: New Girl and Gilmore Girls (I admit this with pride, and a slight fear of judgement). I can rely on these shows. I trust them. New Girl got me through the pandemic and Gilmore Girls got me though my GCSE's. The warm characters and easily solvable dilemmas work tirelessly to help me feel a bit stronger on the days where I'm feeling quite weak. I can say truthfully that I'm not sure I would've got through these significant life events without them, or at least not with my sanity.


And I'm not the only one!


Like we all do, after thinking about this habit of mine, I went on a slight rampage trying to rationalise it. I desperately craved answers, trying to see whether others shared this habit. My friend Emma admitted to rewatching Death in Paradise when she needs a little feel-good boost. She reasoned that it's her grandad's favourite and it brings memories of her and her mum happily enjoying it together, providing her with a sort of familial solace with every rewatch. 


My Mum shares a similar tendency to my own as she always returns back to Friends - a show that seemed to plague the entire global population in the 90s as everyone was (and still are) desperately trying to perfect the Rachel Green hairstyle. This sitcom classic comforts her in times of need as it was her faithful aid when first learning English after only speaking French her whole life. Friends was her, well, friend. Although, now it's more of an old friend that she sees once a month for a coffee and a catch-up, she is still heavily indebted to the comfort it provided her. The show that helped her to learn conversational English, and made a big, international move seem a tad more manageable, still now helps her to remain calm and let a laugh out. That is when she's not quoting the lines along with the characters.


It's a strange thing that our human race seems to crave: the soothing feeling that comes with watching our favourite tv shows over and over. Especially in our times of need. It's not  the excitement and buzz that comes from the brand new show, or the next season that we're eagerly awaiting. But instead it's the quiet elation that is derived from predictablilty and familiarity. It's those feelings of delight that we get from feeling like we belong to something, feeling like we know something, feeling home. That feeling that many of us find in the art of the rewatch.