A&E specializes in the reality drama of mental illnesses that could only be mental illnesses in America: hoarding shit, becoming obsessed with shit, and huffing cans of shit. It’s a trifecta of Schadenfreude, and if there’s an opportunity for A&E to add another show to that lineup it would focus on people like me who obsessively watch 20 hours of it a week. Hoarders is my favorite. I can’t get enough of these slobs. While my wife clicks away on her laptop I sit beside her, rubbing her feet and glaring at the screen until every five minutes when I let out a girlish Chris Tucker cry and scream, “DAAAAAAMN! HONEY, ARE YOU SEEING THIS?!”
I imagine the look on a burglar’s face had he chosen to break into a hoarder home expecting to find some jewelry and television set but instead is wading knee-deep in old pizza boxes and fecal matter. There’s a horror movie to be made of this phenomenon, truly, or at the very least a really hilarious superhero movie about a hoarding hero who can never find the shit he needs to fight crime. “I have my green ring around here somewhere… oh, bird watching books… can’t get rid of those!”
A few things surprise me about Hoarders: 1) There’s never any good shit in their mess, or as Jeena put it, “It’s never Antique Roadshow but with clutter.” 2) The government sends various agencies to threaten the hoarder as opposed to just sending in those firefighters from Farenheit 451. And 3) Hoarders keep lots of animals. I’ll never understand this one, except that perhaps the hoarder mind finds company in other filthy animals.
The show breakdown works like this:
1. A hoarder has a messy house and is threatened by the government, their neighbor, a husband, CSS, or some other party attempting to force them into spring cleaning.
2. The hoarder admits that maybe they don’t need all those used diaper bags.
3. A “Certified Professional Organizer” intervenes, gauging their feelings while trying to not look shocked as they’re being led around the house of horrors.
4. GOTJUNK? crew arrives with dumpsters and burly men to help clean. Everybody has 48 hours to clean the house.
5. The hoarder takes their sweet fucking time reminiscing over old pie tins while everbody sits around waiting for them to get off their lazy ass and help. A whole day is wasted.
6. Everybody gets frustrated and pissed while cleanup crews secretly shovel through pounds of human waste in some other part of the house so as not to humiliate the slob (which is exactly what they need if you ask me).
7. The hoarder has a breakdown because their mom died or some equally erroneous excuse. They cry while everybody gossips about the dead rats they found in the kitchen.
8. The hoarder throws some symbolic piece of shit away, and regardless of what time constraints we’ve been told the crew was under, the house is miraculously clean.
9. Before and after shots illustrate the amazing progress. Now the house only looks like shit instead of being filled with it.
10. Hoarder goes back to being a covetous fucking slob.
If only A&E could get one of their hoarders to live with one of their OCD monkeys for a couple weeks. Now that would make great television!