Review of "Hoarders Season Premiere" From The TV MegaSite
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Hoarders on A&E

"Hoarders"  by Suzanne
Airing Mondays on A&E at 10/9pm

Normally I don't like any kind of reality show. This one, however, was very interesting. I didn't expect to care about these people, yet I found myself touched and concerned.

When I first heard about "Hoarders", I thought it was just about people who are packrats, like me...people who have a lot of collectibles. However, it's much more extreme than that. It's about people who collect trash and junk, worthless stuff, so much that it becomes a health hazard and affects their families, neighbors, etc. These are not stable, normal people.

In this premiere episode that A&E sent me, this woman, Augustine, in New Orleans has covered her home in garbage for the past 30 years. She is clearly not too bright, and really mentally messed up, and selfish. Her son was taken away and placed with her older daughter. The city is planning to throw her out and condemn her property. I felt very bad for her children, having to put up with her and yet still feeling loyal to their mother. It reminded me a lot of my own family problems, in fact. My father was an alcoholic, and this woman's attitude reminded me of his.  Her physical and mental health were clearly damaged, and she had taken it out on her family.

Later, I did feel more sorry for the woman because it was clear that she had a pretty messed-up childhood, and after a series of terrible events, she just gave up on life. Collecting and living in trash were just her way of giving up. When you are surrounded by garbage, whether it's your choice or not, I don't think you really see it or smell it. You just get used to it, in the same way that people who smoke can't smell how bad their house or clothes smell. My mom was not a slob like this woman, but she wasn't all that clean, and both parents smoked, and we lived in poverty, so their were cockroaches. You just learn to ignore that stuff because what else can you do? It's that or just shoot yourself.

I think this woman was the same way. Her house was falling apart, she couldn't afford to fix it, nor keep up the yard, and she just let everything go, including cleaning. She is also very fat, so she just gave up on everything: her family, her looks, everything. It's very sad. From what they are saying on the show, she had sort of withdrawn and was not really capable of thinking outside herself or having feelings for other people. She had shut herself off so much that she blamed everyone for everything, and she couldn't even say a simple "thank you". It's sad, and I know people who have these kind of neuroses. There are a lot more of them out there than you think.

Once the "Hoarders" staff, and her children, helped her out by cleaning the house and yard, and showing her kindness, and giving her a little therapy, she already started to improve. It was very heart warming and makes me tear up just thinking about it. It just goes to show you what a little help and human kindness can do for a person, even when they are extremely messed up. I look forward to seeing other episodes of this show. I hope they are all this good.

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Updated 12/1/09 


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