We've all had our favorite programs that we firmly believe helped to shape the way we see the world around us, how we choose to conduct ourselves publicly or privately, or how we choose to strive for those things that desire to achieve the most.
Some might say that our inability or lack of desire to leave certain parts of our childhood in the past is due to some failure to mature, while others would even venture so far as to say that it's due to some mental illness.
I'd, however, venture to say that we have other, more important reasons for enjoying these programs more than once and maybe even in constant repetition.
Reason 1: Nostalgia
One of the greatest things that these shows do for us is to create a lasting impression that creates a thirst in us that we feel the need to satiate. This not only provides the actors and producers involved a constant opportunity to earn more money even years after the final episodes air by charging fans to take pictures at Comic-Con but also provides us a place to seek an escape when we need a little pick-me-up to balance any current challenges in our lives. Granted such a space and all-around benefit is only promised when the show is executed properly, and that very much means no botched series finale that makes fans feel as though the time that they've invested into characters and storylines was a complete waste. I'm looking at you "Lost".
Taking the moment to revisit those fascinating people and stories allows us to re-experience that fulfillment that we were provided all those years ago once again. And if it was executed right the first time, we know that we can ALWAYS return it the second we need it. You could term such repetition as an addiction, but this kind is arguably healthier, at least so long as you don't forget to out and experience the world with that aforementioned renewed fulfillment.
Reason 2: Accomplishment
While we, the audience, may not have been able to accompany our favorite vampire slayer on the battlefield or send off our favorite socialite to seize their dreams, we all got to experience a real sense of accomplishment having been living vicariously through these characters.
When the systems around us are structured in such a way that true success takes what feels like FOREVER to be achieved, why not remind ourselves of what that success will one day feel like by watching it all over again.
If I may be so transparent, I personally find myself re-watching shows like Gossip Girl, West Wing, Charmed (OG of course), and Ugly Betty. Why is this? It's because I found in select characters ambitions and professional career choices that mirror my own, and seeing them accomplish those goals over the course of seasons that are full of drama, twists turns, and revelations renews my desire to constantly strive for my own.
In the case of Dan Humphrey, Phoebe Halliwell, and Betty Suarez, I've constantly been stimulated in my desire to not only engage people through my written works but also strive to rise to the point where I can, in time, launch and run my own business. Seeing Betty start as just an executive assistant and grow to be invited to London to run a magazine that celebrates a culture she strives for, or even learning that Dan Humphrey was t genius behind the seemingly omnipresent Gossip Girl always reminded me of my desire to write and blog. Whilst I have yet to rise to such a status, these are the characters who tell me that it's still possible and that I should still work to achieve those things.
Reason 3: Remember Our Potential
Our heroes were thrown into a world where the odds were completely stacked against them. As the seasons went on, each accomplishment was met by a bigger and badder set of challenges that made us wonder how our heroes would evolve to match the new antagonist. And if the writers knew how to make the show progress in such a way that allowed us to feel as though we are actually "going somewhere", we get to vicariously experience that growth with our hero.
As we do this, we get to grow in our own way. We come to understand that the world has an endless amount of challenges to throw our way but that doesn't mean that we need to bow down and accept those challenges as permanent new elements of our reality but instead opportunities for us to overcome what need only be a temporary nuisance.
Betty was invited to run a publication in London, Dan became an accomplished author, and Phoebe became a renowned columnist for San Francisco. Also, Buffy beat "The First" and saved the world. We have what is needed within us in order to evolve into what we wish to become. It doesn't have to be handed to us, it doesn't have to discover in some kind of external source, it's a part of us and it always has been.
Reason 4: We Know the Hero Wins
What would be the point of re-watching a story where we know the hero dies in vain? It would be like choosing to watch "The Red Wedding" over and over. That seen served no one the first and definitely would serve no one now. We recall the moment when we saw our heroes triumph over their first bad guy and how amazing we felt when they beat the odds and triumphed during the finale.
With that in mind, what's the harm in hoping back into those initial challenges and obstacles when we know the resolution. You never wanna see good triumph over evil only once. And while we may not wanna watch "The Red Wedding" more than once, I'd have ZERO issues watching the Chuck and Blair wedding several times over.
Sometimes our initiative and passion need a little boost or to remember why we have it in the first place. The world has plenty of ways to make us forget what our passions are or why we even had them in the first place. When it seems like we'll be lost to the whims of nihilism, our heroes are there to remind us that anything is possible.