io9’s Favorite Rewatches (and Replays and Re-Reads) of 2023

io9’s Favorite Rewatches (and Replays and Re-Reads) of 2023

Sometimes, you need a little comfort food—and at io9, that can mean “re-watching a favorite Star Wars show” or “guzzling midnight margaritas while watching Sandra Bullock play a witch” or “picking up a book and rediscovering the joy of reading.” We love new releases, don’t get us wrong, but we also dig revisiting past favorites. This year, that included…


Image: Lucasfilm

There has been a lot of Star Wars this year, and honestly, not much of it has really clicked with me, especially when it comes to the streaming side of the galaxy far, far away. So this year I took comfort in revisiting Andor, a series that rejuvenated my love of Star Wars just last year, and found it still just gripping and engaging as it was the first around. In fact, being able to sit with the series as this singular entity, instead of having to wait and wonder “are they going to keep getting away with this?” week after week, proved that wow: they really did get away with this. It is an incredible season of television seen as a whole, and being able to appreciate that and examine it more critically beyond the initial shock of my first watch was immensely rewarding. – James Whitbrook

New X-Men

Image: Marvel Universe

As Marvel’s current X-books prepared for the end of a golden age—the Krakoan status quo that re-ignited my love of X-Men comics in a way little had since… well, the comics I’m about to gush about right now—the timely arrival of a new omnibus reprint of Grant Morrison’s early aughts comics let me revisit the comics that made me fall in love with this world and characters in the first place. As a child of the ‘90s I was innately familiar with the X-Men animated series, and then the Fox films as they helped reshape the future of superheroic cinema as we know it today, but it was New X-Men’s bold, fresh update to the characters and continuity that made me love the comics versions of these characters more than anything else. Biting, funny, epic, filled with fascinating interpretations of timeless legends, and perhaps the greatest Emma Frost has ever been in comics history, New X-Men remains one of my all-time favorite runs on a comic book. The whole world was watching, and it really was nothing less than fabulous. – James Whitbrook

Over the Garden Wall

Screenshot: Cartoon Network

Over the Garden Wall is a lovely little miracle, blending whimsical adventure with some of the darkest, bleakest content a kid-friendly animated miniseries ever dared to explore. Plus, it’s a musical! And it features the voices of Elijah Wood, Melanie Lynskey, Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry, and many others. Released in 2014, Patrick McHale’s Cartoon Network creation is now a full-fledged cult classic most associated with Halloween—this year, not long after finishing the final episode, I spotted two different, lovingly detailed group costumes paying homage to the series. – Cheryl Eddy

Violent Night

Screenshot: Universal Pictures

Though I love a subversive Christmas movie, I missed Violent Night when it released last year, and it didn’t feel quite right (after overdosing on holiday-themed horror for all of December) to watch it when it hit streaming. So when the festive season rolled around this year, I seized my chance to see David Harbour do “Die Hard with Santa Claus,” with a fair amount of Home Alone tossed in, too, and it proved well worth the wait—and felt as timeless as the films it was paying ho-ho-homage to. – Cheryl Eddy

Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films

Image: Lucasfilm

Any time any Indiana Jones movie is on TV, I stop and watch it. So over the years, I’ve seen bits and pieces of the four films innumerable times. But with James Mangold’s fifth film out this year, I decided to really watch each Spielberg movie from start to finish again. Are these deserved classics? Was there more to discover? And the answer, in all cases, was yes. I found the structure and subtlety of Raiders of the Lost Ark remarkable. I found the big swings of Temple of Doom delightful. I found the humor in Last Crusade hilarious. I even found a few things to like in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The best movies are ones that reward you each time you watch them and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films certainly do that. – Germain Lussier


Image: Warner Bros.

I’d been meaning to rewatch the first Aquaman for a long time. I loved it when it came out but anytime I saw it listed on a flight or playing on HBO, I didn’t watch it. Maybe it was the oddly negative stigma around it that has developed over the past few years. Finally though, with the sequel in theaters, I gave it another watch and—holy crap—this movie is glorious. It somehow hits the exact right tone where it’s not too goofy and not too serious, but also very goofy and very serious. That along with the visuals and sweeping story just won me over all over again. – Germain Lussier

One Piece

Image: Netflix

Yes, One Piece came out this year… but I’ve already rewatched it multiple times to introduce it to friends, and have even popped episodes on to geek out with besties who have been longtime fans of Eiichiro Oda’s universe. The joy of watching One Piece for the first time and trying to resist binging it to savor the series is an experience I’ll never forget. Just a few episodes in, I wanted to be friends with everyone in the Straw Hat Crew and rooted for them as they became a found family out on their high-seas adventure. Plus it can’t be helped if the villains like Mihawk are easy on the eyes too. – Sabina Graves

Practical Magic

Practical Magic – Original Theatrical Trailer

Among my rotation of horror films during Halloween I’ve recently added more spooky fall fare like Practical Magic. Starring Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, and Dianne Wiest as a family of witches, this is “cottagecore vibes” in a movie. It’s magical, hilarious, sexy, romantic, and doesn’t hold back on scary moments. Midnight margaritas, anyone? – Sabina Graves

Halo Infinite

Image: 343 Industries

For whatever reason, I was struck with the nerve to return to Halo Infinite after dipping out sometime last year. I’m glad I came back: 343 Industries has ironed out much of the game’s launch friction that lingered over 2022, and the studio’s built the shooter into something considerably stronger. It wasn’t just the remixed versions of Halo 3 maps that drew me back in, though that certainly didn’t hurt. The inclusion of the series-staple Firefight mode was the bait, and I fell for Infinite’s “King of the Hill” variant hook, line, and sinker. – Justin Carter


A young girl reading in a cluttered corner of Foyles bookshop, London.
Photo: Chris Ware/Getty Images (Getty Images)

It feels like the older you get, the harder it can be to carve time out for reading. While in 2023 I didn’t become the enthusiastic reader that I was back when I was younger and had more free time, I did manage to go through a handful of books that I enjoyed. Maureen Ryan’s Burn It Down was an insightful (and infuriating) look at how shows like Sleepy Hollow and Lost were run; Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen was a fun supernatural romp. The last book I finished was Wole Talabi’s Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon, which I really enjoyed. – Justin Carter

Vintage Cartoon Network shows

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
Screenshot: Cartoon Network/YouTube

Sometimes you just need something to play on the TV in the background, and in the last few weeks, that’s been classic Cartoon Network cartoons. Even setting aside the childhood bias, the likes of Regular Show and Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy really hold up over time. – Justin Carter

Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Marvel’s Midnight Suns | Official Launch Trailer

Firaxis’ strategy-RPG take on the Marvel universe was one of my favorite games of 2022. I had to set it aside to keep track of this year’s very excellent run of titles, and coming back to it in recent days makes me wish this was among 2023’s best. The card-based tactics side of the game continues to be extremely rewarding, and the social elements feel both true to the characters and like they’ve spun out of long-expressed fan desires. (Minus a lack of romance, obviously.) It’s a shame that it tanked at launch, because it’s something special and easily deserves to be its own sub-franchise. – Justin Carter

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