Hoarders (TV Series) Season 1 Episode 1 Jennifer & Ron/Jill (2009)

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Hoarders (TV Series) Season 1 Episode 1 Jennifer & Ron/Jill (2009): 7 out of 10: So this is where it starts. The hoarding empire, the hoarding tsunami, the Marie Kondo’s and British people with ten thousand matchbox cars still in the boxes, the animal hoarders, and the yards filled with junked cars. Here we are episode one, season one of the original series Hoarders.

Often when you look at the beginning episode or even the first season of a show like this, the tone can be very different. The series is often more serious and less dramatic. More about the people being helped and less about the oversized personalities of the now famous people on the show. The first season of My 600lb Life is a very different and a lot more inspirational vibe than what you would see in the current season. Less about poverty porn and look at these crazy people and more about a real journey.

Well Hoarders kind of dodges this issue because we have legitimately crazy right out of the gate. We also have dysfunctional but able to be helped right out of the gate as well. Hell, we even have the time limit and reluctance to throw away damaged/dangerous items right out of the gate as well.

Jeniffer and Ron

So let’s look at our contestants (Is that right?) First we have Jeniffer and Ron. They have three kids and apparently own their own home. Ron gives off a serious Leonardo DiCaprio vibe. Okay, put down the pitchforks and torches. I am talking about normalcore Leo playing a little fidgety IE Leo in Don’t Look Up. Seriously; he is seems like Leo method acting.

Anyhow he and Jennifer married when she was 17, and he was about 30 (Told you there are Leo vibes) and she popped out three babies. While the show doesn’t say what it is, Ron clearly has a decent job and Jennifer is a stay at home mom with the skill set of The Lobo Wolf Girl of Devil’s River. Her house is a disaster. The kids have written all over the walls. Her husband starts projects and never finishes them (Aquariums and a detached deck sitting in the backyard are highlights.) And Jennifer is labeled by the show a shopaholic but I think she is just lazy and buys new clothes for the kids rather than do laundry.

The couple has some undisclosed financial pressures because of spending and are living in a pigsty but the real pressure is from the neighbors calling the city regarding Ron’s unfished projects in the yard and Jennifers very real concern that of CPS ever visits the house she is going to lose the kids.

Most of the drama is provided by Ron’s unwillingness to trash his dirty aquarium collection (Like a true hoarder he is willing to find it a good home, but he doesn’t want it in the trash truck) and the couples youngest child being scarred for life when a mean clean up guy smashes his toys with a sledgehammer. (Seriously, this happens)

So we start right out of the gate with one of the issue I can have with Horders. The children. Yes, I know the parents signed away their rights but the parents are hardly of their own right mind. Look at how they are living. Seeing a child scarred real time emotionally for our entertainment value leaves a foul taste in my mouth.

The other takeaway from this part of the episode is whoever was directing this thing was definitely using this episode to show off his favorite filming techniques. I have never seen so many special shots, fades, weird transitions, etc. Horders does not have a listed director but does have eight writers. Like most reality shows, it appears to be scripted within an inch of its life.

And then we have Jill.

Jill is a food hoarder. Yeah, get ready to fast forward if you don’t have a good stomach. First, Jill belongs in a mental institution for her own safety. How anyone could think she was anywhere near competent to sign away her rights to be filmed is beyond me. Jill collects and eats rotting food. She rents a really lovely 2000 square foot house in Milwaukee,WI which she has trashed and filled with garbage, abused cats, and rotting food. She seems pleasant enough, but in reality, it is the banality of evil.

Our ineffective doctor eventually convinces her to throw away some puffy tofu and aged yogurt and her landlord, who is either a saint or nuts himself, decides not to evict her. (Perhaps the landlord just is avoiding the inevitable news that the lovely house is no longer salvageable.) Jill is a type of person you may encounter in real life and have no idea what madness lies behind her dull eyes. Whether she is sick or evil is a question for doctors and theologians. Whether she should be out and about in society is a question whose answer seems clear. The Hoarders crew seems to have dropped the ball a touch with thier catch and release of Jill.

Maybe all the Hoarders’ episodes have ruined my judgement, but I was surprised how little yard junk got a call to the city for Jeniffer and Ron
For a woman who is a shopaholic, Jeniffer (On the right) certainly could have found a more flattering outfit to wear for television. She looks like she stepped out of The Homesman.
You can see from the inside of Jill’s house it was quite nice pre-hoard. The poor landlord has to be devastated.
Seriously, this poor kid does not understand why his toys are being dismantled and thrown out. Basically, it is inflicting trauma on a child for our entertainment.
Look when a kid writes on the wall in crayon that is on the kid. When a kid makes his walls look like a run down lobby of a Sozialwohnungen in Berlin, that is on the parents.
I love looking through the hoards. We got an Amazon box or two. And Obama election flier. And inexplicably, lots of teacups on the bookshelf.
I am prepared for all the “you can eat yogurt years after the date” in the comments….
Black kitty did not sign a release form and is not willing to be on the show.
Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream
It is not dying
It is not dying
Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining
That you may see the meaning of within
It is being
It is being
That love is all, and love is everyone
It is knowing
It is knowing
That ignorance and hate may mourn the dead
It is believing
It is believing
But listen to the color of your dreams
It is not living
It is not living
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