I am one of those people that will comfort watch things. You know what I mean. You’re feeling a little down or blue or stressed or whatever, so you throw on your favorite TV show or movie. Something to soothe you and boost your mood.
My go-to’s are flicks like Halloween or The Fog or Delicatessen or House on Haunted Hill. You know. Real cheery stuff. Or I’ll binge-watch cartoons like The Real Ghostbusters or Danger Mouse or He-Man. Because my inner child has a tendency to be more of an outer child.
However, there are times when I need more than just a little mood booster. There are times when my sole source of serotonin comes from repetitive viewings of whatever my brain has decided to fixate on because it brought me an incredible amount of joy in a specific moment.
For example, the world is currently shit due to the fact that if you leave humans to do the right thing, they will absolutely not do that, thank you, anything but that. How have I been dealing with this fuckery for the past couple of weeks? By watching episodes of Ghosts (the US version). For 20-ish minutes, I get to tune everything else out and giggle and awww at the inhabitants of Woodstone Manor. Does it fix things? No. Does it take pressure off of my brain? Yeah, for a bit. And it gives me something to look forward to.
Several years ago I watched Ghostbusters: Answer the Call every day for six weeks. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes twice a day. It became a necessary part of my routine to help ease the brain decay I was experiencing at the time.
I mentioned Delicatessen as one of my go-to’s, right? Well, there was one point in time when I watched it daily for weeks. Drove my roommate nuts. She’s not a fan of French black comedies featuring post-apocalypse cannibalism, I guess.
I’ve done the same thing with The Fog, the Anatoly episodes of Arrow; Zelenka episodes of Stargate: Atlantis (yes, I’m fond of David Nykl, but he’s not the only actor I’ve done this with); episodes of both the 1980 and 2018 Magnum PI; and My Dinner with Andre.
I’ve been known to do the same thing with songs and albums and musicians. I create my happy place and then I move in. I stay there as long as I need to and then I move out again. Sometimes it’s a few days; sometimes it’s months. Depends on why I’m in the nest I’ve made.
And then one day I’m done. Just like that. No tapering off, no thought. One day, I just leave that nest and I’m done with that happy place. It might be a long time before I revisit the shows or movies or music of that particular experience, or I might go back to watching them or listening to them like I did before I needed them to survive.
It’s probably not the best of coping mechanisms, but I cannot deny that the serotonin boost manages to keep me sane when I need it most. A life raft in stormy seas until I get to the next piece of solid ground.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to return to my happy place.