“Oh yeah, it means someone’s thinking about you while they’re masturbating. I get it six times a day.” (Danielle in Happy Death Day)
Reliving the same day again and again may seem overused in film and television, but somehow it still works, bringing new and inventive material our way without ever feeling stale and overdone.
So, what is it about Déjà vu?
After recently watching and thoroughly enjoying the rom-com movie, Palm Springs on Hulu, I started to think about how many movies and television shows center around Déjà vu. Not to mention that some of our favorite television series of all time tend to have at least one episode dealing with some kind of time loop or Déjà vu.
While Groundhog Day still remains as the movie I automatically think about when it comes to Déjà vu, Happy Death Day certainly made a splash and proved that horror comedies can flourish using this theme. There has to be an element of comedy or the concept can become a little repetitive…pun intended.
Some television series also took a stab at Déjà vu, but they were short-lived.
Remember shows like Tru Calling and Day Break?
No? I’ll remind you because they were actually pretty fantastic and addicting, but they did not last very long. Tru Calling (starring Eliza Dushku) was canceled after the short second season and Day Break (starring Taye Diggs) only got one season.
Netflix’s Russian Doll also explored this concept more recently.
But let’s not also forget some of our favorite television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and Supernatural. They have some pretty amazing stand-out episodes featuring the concept of a time loop or reliving the same day. Honestly, this list goes on and on and I’m sure that if you take a look back at some of your favorite shows, you will most likely find an episode that deals with some kind of time travel or Déjà vu.
Here are my standout episodes:
Episode “Mystery Spot” (Season 3, episode 11).
Sam continues to relive the same day over and over as Dean dies. He must find a way to save him before time runs out.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Episode “Life Serial” (Season 6, episode 5).
Buffy attempts to find a job, but ends up stuck in a time loop while working at the Magic Box. This brought us some welcomed comedy for sure.
Episode “Déjà Vu All Over Again” (Season 1, episode 22).
Phoebe realizes that she is repeating the same day over and over again. She must figure out a way to save her sisters from a demon, but a new threat is thrown her way at the end of each day.
So the theme of Déjà vu still works, but why? You would think that this would become overdone and yet I find myself enjoying this theme more and more. I think it’s because it allows us to discover something new each time.
Either the character needs to learn a lesson, a life needs to be saved, a sacrifice has to be made, or we have to start looking at something or someone differently than we used to. Maybe it’s even ourselves. I personally welcome this theme and I will always go into it with an open mind, but I think that in order for it to continue to be successful, it needs to do something slightly different each time while maintaining a steady balance of humor as well.
What are YOUR thoughts on Déjà vu in movies and TV?
Feel free to post some of your favorite movies and shows centering around Déjà vu in the comments section below!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
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