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Are you one of those people who despise reality television? Think it’s just a bunch of stupid attention whores trying to get famous? Normally, I’d agree with your snobbery.
But the combination of “Intervention” and “Hoarders” over on A&E isn’t like those other shows. At all. They treat their subject matter seriously. They handle the people they profile with a surprising amount of respect. But more than anything, they’re both AWESOME. “Hoarders” had its season premiere last night, and it was completely insane. They had this woman in New Orleans named Augustine who was categorized as a Level 5 hoarder. Did you know Hoarders had levels? I did not. And it’s not like playing Doom where the reaching next level means you’re getting better. It’s not like that at all.
Anyway, they take you inside this woman’s home, and it’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen. This lady threw nothing away. Not half-eaten food items. Not bottles or cans. Not even her own excrement. It’s like something you’d see out of the first half hour of WALL*E.
So they hire a cleaning crew to come in and clear out the 8,000 pounds of trash in this lady’s house. And during the cleanup, they find a dead, flattened cat buried underneath all the trash. They pull out the carcass, and that’s left is the leathered skin of the animal. Its insides have completely dried up. And then, a couple minutes later, they find ANOTHER one! HOLY CRAP! I nearly retched on my floor.
Then they go into the bathroom. This lady’s plumbing failed ages ago, yet she continued using the facilities anyway. I can’t even… guhhhhhhhh.
Then the best part comes when they clean the whole place up, and it finally looks like a mere hovel instead of Grey Gardens, and you can tell the lady living there is TICKED, because she liked having all this rotten stuff around. Even her son is just like, “Well, she’ll just start collecting trash again.” It’s terrifying. People like this should be jailed. Forever.
Now THAT is reality television. No set designer came in and smeared excrement on that bathroom wall. That was 100% real. And that’s the success of shows like “Hoarders.” They don’t make you feel like an idiot. They actually affect you.