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Existential Binge-Watching: The wonders of rewatching movies and series

With productions and releases mostly back at full power, and due to the extreme prevalence of streaming services, our minds seem programmed to find the next best thing when it comes to movies and TV shows. There’s a hyper-focus on what everyone else is watching and what’s the latest and greatest. Sometimes, though, the best option to kick back and relax with is a rewatch of an older film or a beloved series from when you were a kid.

Over spring break, I decided to catch up on some shows that I missed over the past couple of months and maybe see a few movies at the theater with my girlfriend. Instead, we ended up rewatching The Hunger Games films and, honestly, it was wonderful.

The Hunger Games adaptations were never as lambasted as other films such as the Divergent series. Still, the movies had their fair share of issues upon release. Namely, The Hunger Games films replicated a classic issue with YA adaptations, splitting the final movie into two parts for studio profit’s sake. Those complaints are always front and center at the time of release, but when rewatching, you don’t tend to care about any of the old criticisms as much.

When a series or film is new, viewers seem to automatically try to review what they’re watching in their heads. Everything is fresh and noticeable. More often than not, they will subconsciously try to figure out what to tell others about what they’ve seen. While this is normal, and can be fun, sometimes it’s more enjoyable to watch a film that hasn’t just come out or a series that not everyone is talking about.

Rewatching something you remember enjoying comes with a significantly less stressful viewing environment. With a rewatch, some part of the show or film already holds a place in your heart. The experience usually comes with a certain nostalgia that lets you disregard complaints others might have had. Also, you also know exactly what’s going to happen and have connections with the characters, so it’s comforting to watch.

There’s a fantastic YouTube channel, CinemaWins, where narrator Lee Boucher picks apart why people like certain movies. He goes through films, and recently some shows, scene by scene, and broadly talks about the "wins" in funny or even surprisingly beautiful ways. His message is most clear in his video on Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker. He says, “every movie is at least one person’s favorite and I want to try and figure out the reasons why.”

That’s the thing; whether or not a film was popular or a series was well-reviewed upon release, everything is made and put out to be streamed again because there’s someone somewhere that loves it regardless of how others felt.

That is the focus and the beauty of rewatching. When we rewatched The Hunger Games series, we didn’t pay attention to some of the more questionable line deliveries or adaptation choices made, we just enjoyed the films. In the same way that you can look back at shows from your childhood or get a laugh out of a cheesy horror film with friends, rewatching doesn’t require any nitpicking or debates about where you find your own personal enjoyment with a specific media.

So, if you’re stressing over life or struggling to find something new to watch, throw on a film or series that you know you love, or at least partially enjoy, and let your brain tune out to it for a bit. It won’t be a new experience, but it’s one you can trust. Allow yourself to get away from the chaos of day-to-day life; let go of the pressure of worrying about whether or not you'll like a movie or what will happen next in a movie. It’s your film, your show and your time to enjoy something that works perfectly just for you.

Jackson Horvat is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.

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