Prefer Old Movies, Shows, and Music This Quarantine? Here’s Why.

By Chandra Pepino For Belo Medical Group on November 22, 2020

Last May, when the Philippines was still neck-deep in quarantine restrictions, I found myself clicking the remote to Modern Family on Netflix. This sitcom, which aired in 2009, is lousy with Emmys and memorable one-liners, and I happened to discover it in college when a Theology professor asked us to write a paper about the family values the Dunphys, Pritchetts, and Tuckers displayed. 

To my surprise, I finished the series, for the second time ever, in about a month’s time. Then, I moved on to Grey’s Anatomy—an even older series, and managed to inhale all 16 (16!) seasons in two months and a half. It’s happening everywhere: The Atlantic, Esquire, and The Washington Post are just among the many publications prescribing nostalgia while in isolation. So what’s the deal? Why are we going back to old favorites, whether it be movies, shows, or music, this quarantine?

For one, culture is a safe place to escape while COVID-19 continues to bring the world to its knees. Barring the hardworking scientists, researchers, and medical frontliners busting their asses to make sure the world receives a cure, there isn’t a lot we can do as individuals to stop the virus from spreading…other than to stay at home. And without trips to the cinema, our much-awaited concerts, or those fun holiday parties to look forward to, we’re going back to the past to feel culturally connected again. 

Many of us are throwing it back, deliberately choosing shows, music, and movies from the ‘90s and ‘00s because they remind us of simpler, happier times. When we first saw Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd lock eyes, COVID-19 was far from becoming a thing. When Blair Waldorf unceremoniously pushes Serena van der Woodsen into that New York fountain, we had no idea masks would become a going-out must. And when we heard Taylor Swift’s Speak Now for the very first time, none of us had 2020 vision.

In a recent Facebook post, writer Cheekie Albay talked about bringing out her childhood favorite cassette player…and re-listening to tunes she hadn’t heard in decades. “Why not give those old tapes a listen?” she said. “I can’t guarantee that it’ll solve your problems, but if you love music as much as I do, that tiny boost you get from listening to them might be just the thing you need right now.”

Some people have K-dramas. Others turned to baking. For others still, it was fitness. When the pandemic happened and the…

Posted by Cheekie Albay on Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The retro gaming community is enjoying a member boom, with Facebook Marketplace teeming with people selling Game Boy devices. Vinyl records are having their second millennial revival in quarantine, and don’t even get me started on the plantitas and plantitos. It’s no longer uncommon to find 24- or 30-year-olds having extensive plant collections, something that during pre-COVID times only our parents and grandparents bothered with. Times have changed, and they may have changed for good.

We’ve been under lockdown since mid-March. And though quarantine restrictions have laxed significantly, it’ll be a long time before we can step out without a mask and face shield. It almost feels like we’ve been stuck in a time loop since then—so we’re embracing it, choosing to cocoon ourselves in the time period of our choice, back when we didn’t know just how good we had it

So if you’re listening to The Corrs’ “Breathless” on repeat, picking up more yellowed copies of ‘90s romance novels at thrift bookstores, or rewatching all of Leonardo DiCaprio’s pre-2020 movies, nobody’s judging. We’re all doing what we can to stay sane during this time, and a little throwback never hurt anyone.

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