In a time when society is constantly bombarded with exciting new media, the thought of rewatching an entire television series may seem daunting. While some people believe this to be an epic waste of time, others really enjoy it.
Personally, I’m an avid believer in watching and rewatching great television. There’s something almost magical in the experience. Not only do I get to revisit a world and characters I love, but I have the opportunity to catch something I may have missed before. The process is both familiar and new, all at the same time. And it’s even better when I get to rewatch one of my favorite shows with someone who has never seen it before!
This doesn’t work for every television series, of course. Lost, for example, is one I doubt I’ll ever tackle again. True Blood, Agents of Shield, and The Walking Dead are a few more. Sometimes once I’ve been there, I don’t really need to go back.
Other shows, however, are just a complete and utter joy to watch to rewatch! Over the years, I’ve compiled a mental list that I gradually cycle through and now, for the first time ever, I’m writing it down! So, without further ado, here are ten amazing television shows you should watch, rewatch, and then watch again, along with a few great reasons why.
- Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica is science fiction at it’s finest. It’s visually captivating, emotionally stirring, and incredibly performed. The series finale of this show is, hands down, my favorite one ever. I’m literally ready to start it over from the beginning before the credits roll. I can’t wait to begin the journey again or to discover what I missed the last time through.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Of all the shows I watch, rewatch, and watch again, Buffy the Vampire Slayer tops the list. At seven seasons long (plus the five season Angel spin-off), this one requires a hefty time investment…but every couple years I find myself craving some good ol’ Slayer action. The show is simultaneously real and fantastic, generating a perfect balance of drama, comedy, and horror. Joss Whedon’s genius absolutely shines through. I will say, however, that if you haven’t seen the show before, watching the first couple seasons can cause some time-whiplash – it’s a 90’s baby after all!
- Cartoon Cartoons
As is the case with many geeks, my taste in entertainment is pretty eclectic. So it should come as no surprise that a few cartoons made the rewatch list. Who doesn’t love a good cartoon!? I couldn’t narrow it down to a single one, however, and settled on all of the Cartoon Cartoons shows. Power Puff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and Johnny Bravo? Count me in anytime! I still sing “You don’t need pants for the victory dance, ’cause Baboon’s better than Weasel” in my underwear! Is that oversharing? Ehhh…anyway, these shows are hilarious and perfect for a little mindless fun the first time through or the tenth.
- Doctor Who
Doctor Who. Oh Doctor Who! Okay, so I know this show is still airing (and it better keep airing for years and years and years to come), but it absolutely deserved a place on this list. First off, if you haven’t watched Doctor Who already, your life is sorely lacking. Secondly, if you haven’t rewatched Doctor Who yet, you’ve missed out on a whole new level of awesome. The creators of this show are incredible, weaving tiny details that are easy to miss into every single episode. Not only is is amazing to spend time with old friends like Rose Tyler, but it’s extremely enlightening to go back through and notice tidbits you missed before. What’s more? I’ve found that the more times I watch the older episodes, the more my overall feelings about the Doctors have changed. Two years ago I swore David Tennant was my favorite regeneration; now I can’t get enough of Matt Smith. It’s so much fun to see how personal preferences change over time.
I may be in the minority here, but I feel that Dollhouse is a vastly underrated show. The premise is just plain thrilling and every episode is different. It’s captivating to watch personalities wiped away episode after episode while still creating a cohesive through line. What really earns Dollhouse a spot on the rewatch list, however, is the character development. The characters are rich and dynamic, so many proving to be totally different people at the beginning and end – good guys turn into bad guys, supposed heroes develop into villains, and a few stay the same throughout but manage to shock you nonetheless! Watching for clues and experiencing those changes simply never gets old.
I swear this is the last Joss Whedon show in this list, but it simply had to be here. At only 13 episodes long (plus a full-length feature film), this is an easy series to tackle again and again. In fact, I designated this my “unpacking show.” I’ve moved several times over the years and always throw these DVDs in as I get myself situated. There’s not much that I’ve missed at this point, but I doubt I’ll ever tire of the characters. You know that feeling you get when you see an adorable baby? Firefly gives me that feeling; it just makes me melt. It’s a good, comfortable feeling I love and sometimes there’s nothing more you could ask for.
- Fullmetal Alchemist
I’d be amiss if I didn’t include at least one anime show. It was a hard call between Fullmetal Alchemist and one of the Gundam series, but Al and Ed won out in the end – in large part because I’d then have to pick which Gundam! Anyway, Fullmetal Alchemist deserves a spot on the list if for no other reason than the episode opening themes. Seriously, those bad boys are stunning. Seriously, give them a look-see sometime even if you have no intention of watching the show. There’s a lot more to this show than epic theme songs, though. The character development is incredible. I feel deeply for the characters and, despite the hardships that befall them, I love watching them grow again and again.
This is another series that’s still going strong (although, arguably, not as strong as it once was), but it’s an absolute joy to rewatch from the beginning. In fact, the earlier seasons are probably some of the better ones. Supernatural has had a long run, which means it has cycled through a huge number of amazing characters that “didn’t make it.” I, for one, really like to watch old episodes just to see some of my favorites again. Besides, who doesn’t want to watch younger Dean and Sam Winchesters running around saving the world? Sign me up for that apocalypse any day!
- The Vampire Diaries
Man, I was sad to see this series go. Granted, it had a good run and I know it was probably time. I’m a sucker for a drawn-out love story and, by golly, the writers for The Vampire Diaries nailed that coffin shut perfectly. I’d actually rewatched this series three times before the final season aired! For me, the thrill was in finding out which of the two Salvatore brothers Elena ultimately chooses. The appeal in watching the show again is reveling in the moments, big and small, that got her there. Plus, I can’t get enough of Damon…
- Veronica Mars
V Mars! If you haven’t seen her in action yet, you’re missing out. Wit and sarcasm literally drip from this show and it’s absolutely delightful to see skeevy people brought to justice by a sassy, teenage girl. But why rewatch Veronica Mars? To reminisce. The events these characters face are highly emotional and, in many cases, very real. It’s hard not to connect with and relate to at least one facet of the show.
Alright folks, that’s a wrap! I am, however, insanely curious to know what shows you like to watch, rewatch, and watch again, so please take a moment to comment.