A Good Re-Watch
When I was a teacher, my summer breaks were somewhat structured. I had a routine. Every day, I’d wake up and go for a walk around downtown Silver Spring, which is where I lived at the time. I’d visit the library and get myself a pastry.
And then, around mid-July or so, right in the dead of summer break, I’d watch all of the Ocean’s movies, and both Kill Bills. Occasionally there was an Inception thrown in there somewhere.
People have comfort movies. For some, it’s during Christmas when Home Alone is on TV on a loop. Or, perhaps they’ll catch one of their favorite films on a channel late at night (if you even have TV channels anymore). For me it often happens at a hotel. Or Harry Potter in the winter.
I have my share of comfort movies too, but a yearly movie, like the ones I watched over my summer break, almost feels like a birthday party due to the annual nature of the exercise. It became less about the movies themselves, but about revisiting a familiar world. Weirdly, in order to feel more grounded in the real world, I had to spend a few moments in an imaginary one.
But comfort is fleeting. A bag of Doritos is comforting, but it’s not nourishing. Re-watches that spur growth are much more rare but better.
For me, Six Feet Under falls into this category. I end up relating a different character and plot line each time I watch it. It turns out that Six Feet Under is so well written, with characters that are so expansive, that I can relate to different ones in different ways each time I watch it at different points in my life.
That’s what makes a re-watch useful: it adds something new every time.