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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Play it again Sam

If any of you have been here from the start, then you will know my love and dependency upon nostalgia. There is a huge comfort that can be taken from nostalgia. Warm hugs, hot chocolate, a rainy cozy Saturday afternoon, a lie in on a Monday morning, and so many things spring to mind when I think of nostalgia.

Which of course has led me to be a huge repeat watcher. Studies have found that in uncertain times - whether personal or on a bigger scale socially - we retreat to the familiar. Rewatching the same shows acts as a safety net around the world. Nothing can go wrong, because you already know the outcome.

This calming effect is something that I cling too when I am feeling less than great. This year I have taken solace in the warm hug of Ugly Betty. This show was a firm favourite right from the minute it was on on Channel 4 way back on the 5th of January, 2007.

Now whilst some of the elements have aged terribly - let’s not talk about the whole Alexis trans women storyline - most of the show still stands up as a coming of age story for an underdog. This show was a hopeful helping hand, that taught me I could work for what I wanted even if I didn’t fit in.

Watching this as an adult, having worked in similar industries and with similar people, it is more ironic. It is also funny how much work ethic is important to so many of the main characters, and yet it is expressed in so many different ways.

Regardless of what it can teach, the show is a comfort watch for me and has offered me comfort amidst a society that is creating culture of fear around identity and any part of humans that can be monetised for press content.

If rewatching works for you, may I also offer a newer discovery that also offers similar comfort. Watching a new series, that has an actor from a show you have watched countless times. This for me has been Superstore, starring, you guessed it; America Ferrera. Seeing a familiar face acts as another calming soothing watch and has been a tonic this year.

Whether life is bad or good it is important for us to have easy routes to comfort when we feel we need it. Nostalgia, and the familiar will always be the things I lean on the most. So this might be your reminder to rewatch something you loved to have some comforting peace over the next few days!

Shot by Ruth Pechey


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