Watching Old TV Shows In Moderation Can Be Good For the Soul!


Thanks to the pandemic, everyone has been streaming a LOT of TV. But even though there's a seemingly endless array of new shows, the ones that get the most viewers are . . . old. "The Office" was the most-streamed show last year, despite going off the air almost 10 years ago. Other popular old shows include: "The Sopranos", "Friends", "New Girl", and "Vampire Diaries". A new report suggests that people may prefer old shows to new ones because it's more familiar, comforting, and stress-free . . . especially sitcoms. A few years back, a researcher looked into the concept, and found that repeats create a sense of "social surrogacy" or kinship with the characters. She said, quote, "There is an association between favorite narratives and feeling better, which doesn't occur if we're watching something new." But another researcher warns that you shouldn't equate watching repeats with completely boosting mental health. He said, quote, "Too much TV will ultimately lead to stagnation. It's physically sedentary, and exercise is maybe the most effective single treatment for depression. It's OK to rest your mind but you should also be engaging your brain in something more" active." So in moderation, watching some of your old favorites sometimes makes you feel better. I understand that. I was rewatching The Office during Lockdown and I just finished rewatching The Sopranos, so I guess I just wanted to hang out with some old friends. Have you done this? Did it make you feel better?