I was listening to this week’s This American Life about reruns and Saved instantly came to mind. I’ve seen the movie at least a hundred times (probably double that), and almost all of those were with a particular friend of mine. It seems insane to think that I spent large parts of high school watching that movie, probably more time than I spent doing homework, attending gym class, or eating cheap pizza. There was a point in my life where I probably watched that movie three or four times a week. Consistently.
And I’m not entirely sure why. Yes the movie is good, but is it three or four times a week good?
For some reason we ended up finding that movie and falling into the routine of watching it over and over again. It became a comfort zone for us. When I think of reruns I think of that feeling of knowing exactly what was going to appear on the screen at any given moment. I can play out the entire movie in my head. I could leave the room and not miss a thing. We had certain comments that we made a specific points in the film, it was routine, almost to the point of being rehearsed. We would make plans to watch Saved with people, even if they’d already seen it because it was different when you watched it with us, it was an experience to watch the movie with us.
And maybe we were crazy. I could have watched a lot of movies once in the time that I spent watching Saved over and over and over again. I could have done a lot things with the time I spent watching Scrubs (another all time favourite that I have completely memorized) over and over.
Then again watching a new movie for the first time can be awkward. You don’t know if you’ll like it. You might have an adverse reaction like I did to Black Swan (psychological thrillers that involve self-mutilation are not for me). I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and it turned out badly. I could have been at home watching something comfortable and familiar. I could have been at home watching Saved.
It’s not bad to try new things, and in fact I should probably try more new things—though oddly I hate reading books because it’s annoying to know what’s going to happen. Branch out, take that leap of faith. Order something other than the usual.
There is nothing like that feeling when “God Only Knows” begins to play and you know exactly what is coming. It’s good old comfort food.