A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series about people who suffer from compulsive hoarding and are undergoing an intervention really isn't intended for young kids. While it offers some limited educational information about the disorder and treatments, the extensive scenes of extreme filth and vermin-infested rooms are both sensational and disturbing. Some of the hoarders' personal stories -- including having their children taken from their home due to the clutter -- may also be difficult or frightening for some viewers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Each episode of HOARDERS follows two people whose lives have been overcome by their compulsive inability to let go of their belongings. Interviews with the hoarders, their families, and their friends reveal the physical and emotional impact the disorder is having on their lives. Faced with serious problems like losing custody of their children and being evicted, each hoarder attempts to master their symptoms by working with a professional and allowing people to come in and clean out their homes in order to give them a chance to gain some control over their life.
Is it any good?
While not as intense as similar series like Intervention and Obsessed, the series underscores the seriousness of this disorder and the different degrees to which people can suffer from it. It also sheds light on some of the reasons that people don't get help, which range from feeling humiliated about their inability to control their symptoms to being in complete denial about their problem.
While the show highlights how difficult it is to live with compulsive hoarding disorder, it fails to offer any in-depth information about what can potentially cause it -- or the various ways that people can be treated after an initial intervention. Meanwhile, the show's images of extremely filthy, vermin-filled homes can take on a sensationalist quality. But in the end, the series succeeds in informing the public about how widespread this disorder is in America -- and detailing the heartbreak that can result from it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the difference between being a “pack rat” and a hoarder. What causes people to compulsively hoard? Where can someone go for help if they have this problem?
What is the difference between documenting events and sensationalizing them? Do you think the media blurs the line between the two? Why or why not?
Why do people with sensitive problems decide to broadcast them on television? Would you ever do that?