Each week, The Nevada Sagebrush staff decides on a topic that is either overrated or underrated. Our opinion section then writes this column about the outcome. For suggestions for The Over/Under, tweet them to us @NevadaSagebrush.
When people find a show they really connect with, it can lead to endless enjoyment. Not only through watching the show, but sharing it with friends. Friendships and communities around the world can spring up around a single show, which is the kind of positivity we need in the world. However, when people continue to rewatch the same shows over and over again they can ruin what made the show so special. At the same time, when people base their entire identity around a show, to which they view any criticism as an attack against that person themselves.
Once you finish a show, from there on all the dramatic tension is gone. While it is interesting to rewatch any media knowing where the plot will go, continuing to rewatch tends to be slothful to experiencing new things. It is easy to go with what you know, but it is best to branch out and find something unique and new.
Streaming services like Hulu and Netflix are a fantastic option for finding new shows but also make it so users keep rewatching the same content. Due to algorithms, these services know which content you like to watch and recommend new options. However, when Netflix spends $100 million on a 90s show about good acquaintances, they also want you to keep watching that same content again and again. There are fantastic shows that are buried by these classics, and when we watch the same thing we award mediocrity instead of uniqueness.
Rewatching is a problem, but even more so now with the massive number of great shows no one is watching. The argument of “there is nothing else good to watch” or “it is just easy to go back to what I know” really does not work now, with more services creating new series and giving new voices to young creators. One aspect I agree with is how there is almost too much content now, which makes it impossible to figure out what new show you should check out. However, if we took more of an effort to check out new shows it would be more than easy to share that with others.
Many of these popular shows have problematic issues that were not known to be wrong at the time, but when we rewatch without challenging it brings back excuses what they did and ingrains those issues back in our culture. Rewatching lets certain creators off easy for what they did, and in a way rewards their harmful viewpoints.
Sometimes just wanting something easy and comforting in your television is needed, it is hard to just move from one new series to another. Especially when most shows either have half a dozen seasons or intricate plot details, it can tend to be overload to explore new options. A problem is how corporations take advantage of group popularity and nostalgia to have us rewatch the same thing again and again for profit for their benefit. There is a reason these shows are classics, but at the end of the day we should be propping up new creators with unique stories versus the same again.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Bailey MeCey is a student at the University of Nevada and studies journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.