Back to the future viewing

Alanna Cunnane

Channel 4 is set to put “Malcolm in the Middle” on its streaming service All 4 this month, placing itself into the growing trend that is reminiscing over reruns.

Has this phenomenon been escalated by the uncertainty that comes with living during a pandemic or is it just because there is simply very little new content in our “recently added” tabs on Netflix?

Covid-19 has effected all of our lives, from socially distant meetups to wearing a mask everywhere we go, but it has also devastated the film industry.

As a result, with many of the public restricting their movements and staying at home, the beneficiaries of this downfall have been the streaming sites. Netflix even recorded a 42 per cent increase in usage since March, and it seems the majority of content on these sites nowadays is older.

Disney could not have capitalised on their luck any more since their service started in Ireland on the 24th of March, with the country going into Lockdown just three days later. Their streaming site is the epitome of yearning for the past, made for kids but watched by adults to relive the excitement of their younger years.

The “Simpsons”, “Star Wars” and “Toy Story” among plenty of others calmed people through the mental test of having many of their liberties taken away from them.

A need for feel-good content has ramped up everyone’s nostalgia levels rather than opting for the investment of watching something unproven. With production of new shows halted, viewers are turning to old reliables such as “Friends”, “Modern Family” and “The Office”.

Although not a science, this can be witnessed in the stats of exactly what genre people are watching, as horror and thriller movies and series’ took a dip during Corona times too. This is not an isolated affair, with very few new releases in this area that could have affected the number of streams, but it is also very likely it was a reflection of people’s mood.

Avid binge-watchers are taking refuge in the soothing nature of times past, reliving what memories they felt when they had watched them before. Even if it is just to watch Lois (Jane Frances Kaczmarek) scream “boys?” at the top of her lungs once an episode.

Alanna Cunnane

Image Credit: Flickr