TV Shows That Reward Repeat Viewing

I barely have enough time to watch a TV show once, but some series reward the viewer for watching episodes multiple times. Going back after seeing what happens and knowing what's to come makes it fun to catch new details. Here are some recent and not so recent examples.


American Gods
I read the Neil Gaiman novel a long time ago, and it's still one of my favorites, so I knew some of the surprises in the plot and who the characters were (old gods of mythology like Odin versus new modern deities like Media and Technology). Still, the new fantasy drama on Starz is so visually captivating with powerful performances by Ian McShane, Ricky Whittle, Crispin Glover, Gillian Anderson, and all the rest, that I wanted to immediately rewatch it to spot all the references I might have missed.


Fringe
This science fiction show on FOX started out as a seemingly generic supernatural creature/mystery of the week procedural type program, but quickly laid the groundwork that there was more to the characters of Walter, Peter, and Olivia (played wonderfully by John Noble, Joshua Jackson, and Anna Torv) than meets the eye. As the plot delved into alternate universe territory, it quickly escalated into one of the better speculative fiction stories in TV history, and it's fun to go back to those earlier episodes knowing now what I didn't know back then when I first viewed them.


Game of Thrones
Having been a fan of the George R. R. Martin novels, it's a joy to see all the characters from the page brought to life on the screen, and it's even more thrilling to see the changes the HBO show runners make (some subtle, some not so subtle) to the original source material. The show is done so well and by now the tale is so familiar that watching it again is like hearing a favorite fairytale -- even though we know what will happen next, it's still a blast to see it unfold again.


Lost
I watched this ABC series from the beginning when it first aired and became an instant die-hard fan. Now that the journey is over, it's fun to revisit with the post-knowledge of what it all means and where it all was heading.


Twin Peaks
I remember tuning in to this cult series by David Lynch when it first ran on ABC in the 1990s, having no clue what was going on, but still unable to look away, and like some of the examples above, it's even more entertaining to watch again knowing what at least some of those puzzling moments were all about. With the sequel series set to air on Showtime, I hope it still offers up much of the same and maybe adds to the rewatch factor of those first couple of seasons.


Wayward Pines
I missed this show when it first aired on broadcast TV, but my wife and I have been playing catch-up on Hulu. Based on the novels by Blake Crouch, the first season was amazing and the latter half of the second season was thrilling too.  (The first episode was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who is having a renaissance and is also executive producer of the series.)  The plot has twists and turns, worthy of watching it all again once you know where it's all heading.

Any others come to mind? In a future post, I'll look at movies that reward repeat viewing.

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