Streaming Services Allow Students to Re-watch Their Favorite Childhood Shows

With the introduction of new streaming services like Disney+ and Paramount+, more and more shows from channels like Nickelodeon and Disney are available for streaming, and many college students are re-watching their favorites.

Sarah Oberstar, a Theatre and Arts Management student at Baldwin Wallace, is re-watching shows like Hannah Montana, ICarly, Suite Life on Deck, and Victorious.  For Oberstar, this is not the same as finding a new TV show, this is a re-watch. When she was younger, Oberstar saw all of these shows. “I watched all of them, every episode, every series,” she said.  She isn’t the only one. Others, like Hana Najm, a Biology major, and Hazelyn Smith, a Studio Art major have been re-watching popular titles like Sonny with a Chance and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

So why the re-watch? For Oberstar, it’s about relaxing and enjoying something familiar. She loves picking up on little details that she didn’t notice when she was younger, along with reliving memories from her childhood. “They’re fun to watch and they make me feel very nostalgic.” Najm would agree, saying Disney+ shows are “bringing the nostalgia back.”

Smith has been most recently re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. “I watched it when it was on TV, when they aired it originally.” Smith said. She has since watched it many times over with friends and family. Najm has also been watching Disney favorites with family, saying it’s a “nice bonding activity” to enjoy together.

Despite knowing the plot already, there is still something to be discovered by watching childhood shows as an adult. Smith also found new depths to shows like Avatar after watching it a second time, much older. “There was a lot more character development then I remember when I was six.” Najm agrees, saying “I’ll re-watch [these shows] and be pleasantly surprised by how well they hold up.”

Amidst social-distancing and limiting group gatherings, streaming services have become a way to safely engage with friends. Platforms like Netflix and Disney+ offer ‘party’ options where account holders can log on using different devices across the country and stream the same show at the same time. This feature makes it easy to connect with friends no matter how far away they may be. Oberstar has been using this service: “I usually just watch them on my own but I did watch the first couple episodes on Facetime with my friend.”

Paramount+, the newest streaming service which launched in early March will have many Nickelodeon shows that are currently on Netflix such as ICarly and Avatar: The Last Airbender, and will also feature title that haven’t been available to stream on other services such as Jimmy Neutron and Ned’s Declassified: School Survival Guide. Paramount+ will also be home to the ICarly Reboot happening later this year.

For some, the growing number of services is making it harder to find the content they love “I can’t afford that many streaming services” said Smith.  However, some students want more access to the childhood favorites that Paramount+ will carry. Oberstar plans to subscribe. “I love streaming services” she said, “It brings such a sense of joy, especially during quarantine.”