Opinion: Chronicling recollections of forgotten episodes


My wife and I were about to binge-watch a Netflix series when I said, “This looks familiar. Have we seen it before?”

“I’m not sure. But if we have seen it, I don’t want to see it again. What a big waste of time.”

“But I don’t remember how it ends, so why not watch it, anyway?”

We chose to move on to another series. In Episode 3, we were puzzled.

“I know we’ve seen this,” Mary Ellen said as the lead character stepped to the edge of a cliff.

“OK, Mary Ellen, if we’ve already seen this, tell me, does she jump or not?”

“I have no idea, but I could never forget that cute turquoise blouse she’s wearing.”

We were watching a George Clooney movie recently. My wife is a big Clooney fan, so when I said in the first few minutes that I was certain we had seen it before, she went into complete denial, hoping to convince me to view the entire movie again. I didn’t mind. I remember one guy in the flick had thinning gray hair like mine and I loved how he combed it. But was he the serial killer? I had no memory of that.

Both of us have forgotten unforgettable moments. Six years into our marriage, we were reminiscing about how we first met. We realized we had actually met three years earlier than we thought, when we had dinner with mutual friends. She’d have remembered me if I looked like George Clooney, and I’d have remembered her if she had jumped off a cliff after dessert.

Back to movies. Last week, we agreed to watch some light entertainment.  A few minutes in, I said, “I am 100 percent positive we have seen this. I recognize that guy.”

“Sure, you do. That’s Mr. Potato Head. This is ‘Toy Story 2.’”

“He looks different than I remember.”

“He was also in the first ‘Toy Story,’ Dick. But he had a different nose.”

We’ve started watching the British series “Unforgotten,” which is ironic because we apparently had not unforgotten it. That was a complicated double negative, but Heidi, my proofreader, is on vacation, so I’ll get away with it. After three episodes, we knew we had seen it before, and again we debated whether to finish it. We must have watched it when we lived in our previous home, when we had a much smaller TV, a lousy popcorn maker and a worn-out sofa. We rewatched every episode and totally enjoyed it. Location. Location. Location.

We’re now keeping a log of everything we view — what we liked and what we didn’t. Mary Ellen is noting the plots and the big stars in each production. I’m on the lookout for actors who know how to effectively comb thinning hair.


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