Media psychologist says people often seek entertainment that doesn’t require much thought, especially during stressful times. It is called volitional consumption. After a long day, it can feel good to retreat into familiar fictional worlds. But why is rewatching tv shows so satisfying? It may have something to do with these scientifically proven reasons.


When people rewatch their favorite shows, they often do so for the nostalgia they feel. It can be comforting to return to an old show that reminds you of a time in your life that was a happier, more carefree time. It may also bring back memories of a social group or family you watched the show with. In a society that seems more anxious than ever, it’s no wonder many of us turn to familiar fictional worlds when we need an escape.

Rewatching TV can help you decompress and relieve stress by allowing you to engage in self-control behaviors without feeling the impact of real-world consequences. Studies have found that rewatching your favorite tv shows can help you regulate emotions, especially when the current world feels uncertain or scary. Just remember to balance it with other activities that require your full attention.

Rewatching TV Shows

Reconnecting With Characters

Whether it’s Rachel and Ross’s endless arguments on Friends or the relatable characters of Charmed, the TV show we’ve loved can provide comfort and familiarity. The show’s central gimmick centers on two sisters who are also witches.

Their love for one another, their relationships, their children, and their ambitions and dreams are all equally important aspects of their existence. The plot revolves around the balancing act of getting all the jigsaw pieces to fit together, a challenge that most modern women face.

With Brad Kern being the showrunner, this show’s beauty comes from its relatability. They’re like old friends you can count on to make you laugh or remind you of a good time.

Rewatching a show allows you to reconnect with these characters and any plot points you might have missed or forgotten. According to one study, this can lead to “parasocial relationships,” where you develop a close bond with the characters on a show, which may explain why people feel more motivated to watch it again.

According to psychologists, when you’re feeling low, rewatching a familiar show can help you reconnect with these familiar fictional worlds and give you a sense of control and energy. The key is trying to get something new from each episode you rewatch. It might help if you focus on the jokes, lessons or character growth.


Reducing Stress

Watching TV can be a form of escapism, and that’s fine when it helps you take a break from your daily worries or emotions. However, when an addiction develops where you rely on rewatching shows to get through anxious periods, you may want to seek expert help.

The most commonly cited reasons for Americans to rewatch TV shows include humor, comfort, and character relatability. They also note the ability to catch up on any missed details or plot points. In the current time of uncertainty and instability, it’s no wonder people who experience anxiety turn to media that comforts them.

Rewatching familiar shows is easy for your brain, as it doesn’t require the same cognitive effort as new content. It is why sitcoms tend to be the most rewatched genre.

Restoring Self-Control

Many people seek stability in familiar TV shows in a world of uncertainty. Rewatching can also help regain self-control, which can be depleted by doing draining tasks or using lots of willpower over a day.

One study found that when college students had a particularly hard-slogging homework assignment or used a lot of self-control during the day, they sought familiar fictional worlds to help them restore their sense of control. So the next time you get sucked into rewatching your favorite show, don’t feel bad for neglecting your work or avoiding dinner with your friends. Your binge-watching may be helping you keep your sanity in these chaotic times.