Hoarders: The Complete Season One

Hoarders: The Complete Season One
The success of Intervention for A&E has translated into a desperate search for similarly minded programming that ventures into that area of pseudo-psychology appearing to be concerned about the participants, but also retaining the freak show element that keeps viewers watching. And so Hoarders came to be. Hoarders is all about compulsive hoarding disorder, with each episode telling the story of two different people who are at a crisis point, facing eviction, bankruptcy, divorce or something else catastrophic. They need serious help, so a psychologist and a professional cleanup team are brought in. And that's the show: watch and see what happens. Like Intervention, the tone is serious and earnest, and there is at least an attempt to document what happens in an honest way. It succeeds too, because there are times when it's very tough to watch ― seeing an elderly man face jail time unless he cleans up his out of control yard is hard enough, but seeing him find out that the stuff he's accumulated is practically worthless is even worse. Then there's the expired food, mummified cats and myriad horrors in other episodes to deal with; it really isn't an "entertaining" show by the usual definition. The problem with Hoarders is that despite its voyeuristic appeal, most episodes don't reach any kind of satisfying conclusion. These shows are merely snapshots into people's lives and apart from a couple of captions after the closing credits, there isn't any attempt to show how it all worked out. And that makes Hoarders feel somewhat exploitative, as these are people who need more help than what's offered. There are seven 45-minute episodes in the first season, with another 20 minutes of additional scenes on the second DVD, which were deservedly left out of the final broadcast version. (E1)