The Psychology behind why do we Rewatch old movies and TV shows

The Psychology behind why do we Rewatch old movies and TV shows


The show biz is one of the businesses with a high failure rate but the amount of influence that it can bring about in our lives is Immense. Studies have proved it several times that the media wield great power in manipulating our mood, behavior, words and actions irrespective of gender and age. Movies and television shows have the power to educate us and also bring us together as an audience for a shared experience. Some of these also have the ability to pull us to them everytime you feel down or when in need of comfort. 

Why do we rewatch old movies and TV shows :

1. Coping Strategy

The world is unpredictable, everything changes within a fraction of a second. Nothing is under your control but rewatching an old movie or a show can give you the feeling that the world is predictable somewhere. Imagine that you had a very bad fight with your colleague and felt that the mistake wasn’t yours but you couldn’t express yourselves at that moment. Later when you come home you feel like watching Mr Bean’s animated series and after two episodes you find yourselves laughing loudly on the sofa. Sometimes you find the movie characters doing things that you always wanted to do but you could not and unconsciously fulfill your needs.

Read More – Defence Mechanisms in Everyday Battles

2. Less Lonely

One of the main reasons for mental health concerns today is loneliness and one way to overcome this is screen time. When you watch old movies and shows, it is like meeting your friends because you feel connected with the characters presented in front of you and are very familiar with them and their personalities. Sometimes you will find yourself and your loved ones on screen because of similarities.

Read More – The Psychology Behind Humor

3. Nostalgia

Watching an old movie is like peeping into the past. It takes you to the time when you watched it for the first time, the people with whom you watched it, and the life that you were living at that time. Such a movie, show, or cartoon can bring in a lot of good memories and can make people feel safe and happy.

Read More – The Psychology of Nostalgia

4. Recharge

The connection with your comfort show or movie can recharge your mind and body. You might be going through a miserable time in your life, but that one comfort movie can be your happiness pill. This movie cannot solve your problem but it will remind you that this is not the end of life which might bring a smile to your lips.

5. Mere exposure effect

The mere exposure effect which is also known as the familiarity effect refers to a psychological phenomenon where people prefer familiar things more than others. This is because of perceptual fluency that is such information is easy to process compared to new information. A friend might suggest seeing a new series and we might not like the first episode but as we go we’ll start liking it due to familiarity.

6. The cinephiles

The movie is entertaining for most of us but for some people, it is more than entertainment. Some people watch all kinds of films, they observe this art form on a deeper level and they are connected to it in several ways. Such people are very enthusiastic about the script, screenplay, visuals, music, the process, and every bit of this art form. Some movies have high repetition while others can give you new details and ideas every time you watch it.

7. Character Bonding 

This happens when you start to emulate the traits and the personality of fictional characters. People normally form this bond with heroes and villains. Empowerment is the common core that is shared between all these character archetypes. People primarily bond with characters to feel power beyond their limits, real or perceived. 

8. Fictophillia

We might be fans of many movie characters but fictophillia happens when a person has a romantic or sexual attraction towards fictional characters. This is not considered as a disorder but it can affect the lives of some people which depends on the intensity of attraction

The beginning of entertainment and media can be marked with writings engraved on stones and dramas performed on the roadside. Now there are numerous platforms for the entertainment industry to express and explore. Getting influenced by the entertainment industry is very natural but the intensity of this influence matters. Enjoy every moment in life and if media is your way of finding happiness then go for it but you should be clever enough to differentiate between reality and fiction. 

References +
  • Binging on nostalgia – why we replay TV from our youth – the Epic. (n.d.).
  • Nelakonda, D. (n.d.). Binging on nostalgia – why we replay TV from our youth. The Epic.
  • Politics, S. O. (2024, January 3). The impact of film and television industry in shaping public opinion in India. School of Politics.
  • Farm, N. F. (2024, February 24). Why Movies are Important? Niche Film Farm.

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