Reliving the Same Day in Movies and Television: I’m totally having Déjà vu right now!

“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.

Happy Death Day
Image courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

Some television series also took a stab at Déjà vu, but they were short-lived.

Remember shows like Tru Calling and Day Break?

Tru Calling
Image courtesy of FOX

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.

Day break
Image courtesy of ABC

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:

Supernatural
Image courtesy of The CW

Supernatural

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 Life Serial
Images courtesy of Hulu

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.

Deja Vu all over again Charmed
Image courtesy of Netflix

Charmed

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! 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Supernatural” season 14 episode 10: “This Is My Dream”

Happy Friday TV fans!  After watching the CW’s Supernatural season 14 episode 10, I realized that a serious case of déjà vu may not be that bad, but what happens when that loop continues to repeat over and over again until you just can’t take it anymore?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Nihilism,” Sam and Castiel enter Dean’s mind to try and help save him before Michael suppresses him for good.  Meanwhile, Michael reveals his end game and Jack taps into something powerful and dangerous.  My top 5 moments from Supernatural season 14 episode 10 mid-season premiere are:

 5

“Dean’s not home right now.  Please leave a message…”

In this episode, Michael has taken control over Dean once again and the dapper wardrobe re-emerges as well.  Even though Michael looks polished and charming as Dean on the outside, he is not playing nice and is ready to unleash his monster army on the world.  Michael even threatens Sam and tells him, “The last thing you’ll see is this pretty smile as I rip you apart.”  While I agree that it is a lovely smile indeed, Michael is ready to destroy the world, using Dean as his vessel of choice, but will Sam be able to save Dean before it’s too late?

4

“This world…nothing but failed drafts.”

So, the writer in me was really digging Michael’s comparison here, but I’m not sure that a bunch of failed drafts mean that we need to wipe the slate clean entirely, but I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  Either way, in this moment, Michael finally reveals a little bit about his end game, which involves tracking down Chuck/God and killing him.  I guess it’s important to have goals, but it seems like Michael is taking things a little bit too personally, but we’ll have to wait and see how this unfolds.

3

“I didn’t know he could still do that angel stuff.”

That angel stuff indeed, Maggie, as Jack takes out the monsters that begin attacking the hunters as if it were no big deal.  Now that Jack has given up a part of his soul, there are unforeseen consequences lurking here.  Castiel warns Jack that he could lose himself if he continues to tap into this power.  Jack seems willing to listen to Castiel here, but there is some definite foreshadowing going on for sure.

2

“Poughkeepsie.”

So, the Winchester brothers definitely brought back some SPN nostalgia for us in this episode.  In Dean’s mind or loop, he is running his bar, “Rocky’s Bar,” with the help of Pamela.  Pamela was blinded and died earlier on Supernatural, but it’s always fun to see a familiar face, even if it’s in some kind of wacky time loop.  Nice to see you, Pamela!  When Sam and Castiel enter Dean’s mind, they realize that Dean is being distracted by a loop of contentment.  It doesn’t seem like they will have any luck getting through to Dean, but Sam is not ready to lose hope and simply says, “Poughkeepsie.”  Sure, it’s a town in New York, but Supernatural fans will also remember that this is a code word that Sam and Dean use, basically meaning, “drop everything and run.”  The code word works like a charm and Dean’s memories come rushing back to him.  Dean realizes that he has the power in his mind and is able to trap Michael for now, but it’s only a matter of time before Michael finds a way to break free.

1

“What am I supposed to do with this?”

It seems like everything is back to normal for now, only Billie makes a special guest appearance to shake things up.  Billie has been warning Sam and Dean for quite some time now, but Dean has really been making things difficult by jumping from world to world, which has consequences.  Billie explains that Dean used to have endless books filled with possible ways that he could die.  However, his actions have now led to them all having the same ending, involving Michael using Dean to end the world.  Only there is one other possible ending, which is not revealed to us just yet.  Based on Dean’s reaction, I’m guessing that it must involve sacrificing someone he truly loves.  Does this mean Sam or Castiel or Jack?  I’m not sure, but the possibilities could be endless here.  I would love to hear some of your theories on what you think this alternate ending says.  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Supernatural in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

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Throw-Back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Lost.”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans! I hope you are enjoying your weekend.  Fans everywhere were beyond disappointed that Lost was being taken off of Netflix streaming.  Lucky for us, Hulu swooped in to save the day and you can now watch your favorite moments again and again.  For today, I am going to be counting down the top 5 episodes from Lost.  Out of the 121 episodes of the series, it was extremely difficult to narrow this list down to just 5 episodes and I did include some honorable mentions as well.

Over my 16 re-watches of the show, these episodes have proven to be timeless and epic, truly making an impact on me as a person and resonating with me even years after the show has been off the air.  The entire series is filled with great episodes, all intertwining to create a masterpiece of story-telling, while keeping our favorite characters real and significant in the process.  These stand-out episodes take it a step further; however, surpassing our expectations as fans and surprising us with unforgettable moments.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 episodes from Lost are:

5

“Ab Aeterno.” (Season 6, episode 9)

Ab aeterno 1 7

“I’ve changed my mind.  Are you listening to me?  Does the offer still stand?” (Richard from episode Ab Aeterno)

“Ab Aeterno” translated means “from eternity” in Latin, but in this context means “since the beginning.”  Appropriately named, this episode reveals the long awaited back-story of Richard Alpert.  Over the seasons, it is revealed that Richard does not age and is a sort of proxy for Jacob.  When time travel is introduced, Richard still remains exactly as he looks today, leaving fans wondering how his immortality is possible.  “Ab Aeterno” reveals Richard’s life before the island on the Canary Islands.  He desperately tries to save his wife, Isabella, but kills the doctor refusing her medicine by accident, resulting in his capture as a prisoner.   The secrets of “The Black Rock” ship in the middle of the jungle are also revealed in this episode.  Richard and the other prisoners are chained up as slaves and Richard witnesses the “smoke monster” destroy all other survivors on board.

Richard is quickly introduced to both the Man in Black and Jacob.  After the Man in Black’s failed attempt to trick Richard into killing Jacob, he is offered a job as a sort of “advisor” to the island.  While Jacob cannot absolve Richard of his sins, he does grant his wish to live forever.  The history of Richard and “The Black Rock” answers a lot of important questions for fans however; this episode is elevated beyond this, allowing us to empathize with Richard’s humanity and vulnerability.  Even after so many years of being on the island, he still misses his wife dearly and feels responsible for her death.  Richard is often seen in the background on Lost, but this episode allows him to step into the spotlight, revealing every depth of his character and proving his significance to the show.

Just like everyone else on the island, Richard has made mistakes in his past and is trying to start a new life.  While it may take him longer to realize his purpose, his journey to the truth is emotional and heart-breaking.

4

“The Constant.” (Season 4, episode 5)

The constant 1 7

“I love you, Penny.  I’ve always loved you.  I’m so sorry.  I love you.” (Desmond from The Constant)

My top 5 list would not be complete without including “The Constant.”  In the beginning of the episode, Desmond and Sayid are flying on a helicopter back to the freighter, when Desmond begins shouting in confusion, not remembering where he is or how he got there.  When they get to the boat, Desmond is connected with Daniel Faraday.  Desmond believes they are in the year, 1996 and Faraday explains that if his mind continues to jump back and forth, his injuries will be fatal.  He instructs Desmond to find a “constant” to prevent this from happening.  Desmond asks if a constant can be a person and Faraday confirms this.

Ultimately, Desmond must connect something, or someone in this case, from both timelines so that his mind ceases from jumping through time.  Sounds complicated, right?  While a lot of confusing theories about time-travel are introduced in this episode, Desmond’s everlasting bond with Penny is what makes this episode so classic to Lost.  Back in 1996, Desmond and Penny have broken up and he joined the military to prove his worth again to her.  He shows up on her door-step and begs her not to change her number and explains he will not be calling her for eight years.  Penny never gives up on Desmond and does answer the call on Christmas Eve, 2004, letting him know that she will keep looking for him.

Their love for one another is so transcendent and powerful, proving that it can stand the test of time, very much like this episode of Lost for me.

3

“Greatest Hits.”  (Season 3, episode 21)

Greatest hits 1 7

“It’s the five best moments of my…sorry excuse for a life.  My greatest hits.  You know, memories.  They’re all I’ve got.” (Charlie from Greatest Hits)

During season 3, it is revealed that Desmond can see the future and that Charlie is destined to die to the shock and disappointment of fans.  In “Greatest Hits,” Desmond has a different sort of flash, which involves Claire and her baby getting on a helicopter and finding rescue.  Charlie has accepted his fate and will do anything to help Claire and Aaron, proving that he has grown from being a selfish junky into a real hero.  As he gets ready to head out to the flooded “Looking Glass” Dharma station with Desmond, he takes the time to write down the five best moments of his life:

  • The first time that he heard his band’s breakout song on the radio.
  • His father taught him how to swim at Butlins.
  • The time when his brother Liam gave him their grandfather Dextor Stratton’s “DS” ring, for which Drive Shaft is named, as a Christmas present.
  • When Charlie saved a woman from being mugged and was called a hero.
  • The night following the crash, when he met Claire.

(Greatest Hits list credit to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatest_Hits_(Lost)

What makes this episode so powerful is that we have previously watched Charlie show a glimmer of hope and change in episode, “The Moth,” but in “Greatest Hits” he has now become a man to be proud of, leaving the past behind him and holding on to his memories that changed his life for the good.  While Charlie does not die at the end of this episode like fans anticipated, it makes his death in the season 3 finale that much more heart-breaking.

2

“The Incident parts I & II.”  (Season 5, episodes 16/17)

The incident 1 7

“Come on! Come on! Come on, you son of a bitch!” (Juliet from The Incident)

While many of the season finales of Lost have been jam-packed with action and twists and turns, “The Incident” is on an entirely different level.  Jack accepts his destiny and believes that he was meant to detonate the hydrogen bomb to reset them back in time before Flight 815 ever crashed.  Some of the other Losties do not agree, reminding Jack that it wasn’t all misery and that they wouldn’t remember each other if he goes through with this.  Ultimately, they all side with Jack and support his efforts, defending each other at the Dharma Swan Site where a pocket of electromagnetic energy has just been hit.  While this chaos is occurring, each candidate is revealed to have met Jacob at some point in their former lives in a moment of great happiness or weakness.

For example, Jacob appears at Sun and Jin’s wedding, touches Locke’s shoulder after he is thrown out a window, and intervenes with a young Kate when she tries to steal a New Kids on the Block lunchbox.  Jacob proves to be a guiding force in their lives, even though they didn’t know it at the time.  Everything is about to change and the timelines will ultimately collide when Jacob whispers his last words after Ben murders him, “they’re coming.”  As if this could not get any more dramatic, Juliet gets caught in some chains and is dragged to the bottom of the Swan Site.  Sawyer and Kate desperately try to get her out of there, but she falls, leaving Sawyer in defeated tears, crushing fans everywhere.

At the end of the episode, Juliet’s eyes open and she is pinned under debris, but spots the hydrogen bomb.  She detonates it with a rock, refusing to let their efforts be thwarted.  The screen goes white for the first time in Lost history, leaving fans with a major cliff-hanger.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Lost are:

  • “LaFleur”
  • “The Brig”
  • “Meet Kevin Johnson”
  • “Some Like it Hoth”
  • “Expose”
  • “The Long Con”
  • “The Candidate”
  • “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead”
  • “Through The Looking Glass”
  • “Across the Sea”

1

“Flashes Before Your Eyes.” (Season 3, episode 8)

Flashes before your eyes 1 7

“Please let me go back.  Let me go back one more time.  I’ll do it right.  I’ll do it right this time.  I’m sorry, Pen.  I’ll change it.  I’ll change it.” (Desmond from Flashes Before Your Eyes)

“Flashes Before Your Eyes” remains unchanging as my all-time favorite episode of Lost.  When I first watched the series, this is the episode that changed everything for me.  Don’t get me wrong, up until now I was completely hooked on Lost.  I watched every episode and paid attention to all of the details and character flash-backs, looking forward to what would happen each week.  When I first saw “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” the series became something more to me than just entertainment.  It had now become brilliant and life-altering for me.  Sure time travel and seeing the future has been done before on other shows, but Lost does it so well and seamlessly, making you almost believe that all of this is absolutely possible.

When Eloise Hawking first appeared and told Desmond “you don’t buy the ring…you have second thoughts,” I remember being shocked and intrigued.  The mystery of Lost was unraveling with Desmond at the very core of it all.  Desmond desperately tries to replay his former days, realizing that this is much more than a case of Déjà vu.  After he buys the ring for Penny and attempts to re-do his mistake, the past remains unchanged, as they get into a fight after he can’t afford to buy the photo of them.  Desmond is still holding on to a feeling of being unworthy of Penny, determined to do things right and be someone you can be truly proud of.  When Desmond is struck over the head in the bar, he snaps back into the present day timeline and is back on the island.  He is desperate and crying at this point, exclaiming that he’ll do it right this time and that he’ll change it, but he can’t go back and what’s done is done, leaving Desmond with a heavy burden to carry.

This moment was so powerful and unforgettable for me, leaving me in tears every time I watch, sympathizing with Desmond.  This is the moment that made me realize that Lost was truly the greatest show I would ever watch, impacting me on an emotional level and reminding me about what’s important in life.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your own favorite episodes from Lost below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl