A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
While most of the stories end on a positive note, the show doesn't thoroughly document/address the real work involved in changing hoarding behavior.
Positive Role Models
Although they're suffering from a form of mental illness, the featured pet owners cause harm to their pets -- and themselves -- through serial negligence. Most fail to see the negative consequences of their behavior until they're forced to.
Violence & Scariness
In some extreme cases, animal control teams find long-forgotten skeletons of dead animals hidden underneath furniture or piles of possessions.
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Rare use of words like "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some pet owners talk about traumatic events in their past -- including drug and alcohol addiction -- that might have triggered their hoarding behavior.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that some of these stories about negligent pet "hoarders" are accompanied by disturbing images of long-dead animals or stomach-turning shots of animal waste that could upset young children (or sensitive viewers of any age). The show doesn't do much to address the long and painful process of reversing severe hoarding behavior through intensive therapy, either. Some of the featured pet owners use words like "ass," while others might discuss past experiences with problems like drug and alcohol abuse.
Is It Any Good?
Much like the similarly themed Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive, Confessions: Animal Hoarding uses shock value -- and morbid fascination -- to suck you in. It's a lot like a car crash you can't look away from, but it ups the ante by mixing in cute animals and their confounding owners, who typically fail to see the error of their ways. Owners like Don, for example, whose wife can no longer live in their home because some 30 cats treat the place like a giant litter box, pushing the house's blistering ammonia levels well into the toxic range.
While both Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive extend a hand to their struggling subjects by offering the services of professional organizers, Confessions doesn't make the same kind of effort. In at least one episode, it was up to concerned family members to find a therapist who could help them stage an intervention for their dog-loving relative, Bonnie, whose home had literally become a dumping ground. And the aforementioned Don skipped therapy altogether in favor of turning himself in to animal control. With that type of approach, it's tough to say whether the experience will truly change anyone.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.