My 13 month old son enjoys his bedtime stories. But for some reason he likes being read the same ones over and over. “The Little Blue Truck” is a big deal.
I remember being a kid and watching “Land Before Time II” until I could speak every line in perfect harmony, and then watching it some more.
My kid sister watched another Land Before Time (whatever number they were up to by then) so often I wanted to chuck the VCR out and light it on fire.
I’d love to know why young minds are particularly able – and all too willing – to imbibe the same plots, characters, themes, etc. for an effectively unlimited number of times and still be engrossed with them.
My former binge-watching habits seem mostly foreign now. My wife and I spent half an hour in the video store the other day just looking for something to watch.
“How about this?” she’d say.
“No, I’ve seen it,” I’d respond.
“So I know what happens and how. I’ll get bored.”
“You can’t remember that much. How long since you’ve seen it?”
“I dunno. A decade or so.”
I’m prone to think that if I was a kid I’d hit rewind and watch that sucker again even if I’d just finished it.
But when I consider it – no I wouldn’t.
There were stories I couldn’t care less about back then too (“The Sound of Music” always made me groan). Ones where you saw or read them once, and it was as good as a thousand times.
And by the same token, even now there are stories I could ingest into perpetuity, given the time. “The Man from Snowy River” would fit the bill.
I know my dad could watch “Once Upon a Time in the West” every night for a month and be perfectly happy. And I have a good friend who rereads the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy every year.
I’m afraid I don’t have the answers for why some people and some stories have that relationship, just yet. But it’s an interesting enough phenomenon to make me want to know more.