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.