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Hoarders is an exposé on the nature of compulsive hoarding, and the troubles that come with it. Each episode focuses on one or two individuals who exhibit pronounced hoarding behavior. Their overstuffed houses contain the likes of twenty-year-old newspapers, rotting food, and even dead animals.

Not interested in degrading its subjects, Hoarders delves deep into the lives of each person to discover what makes them act as they do. This often emerges in the form of a revelation about that person's troubled past - a death in the family or a divorce, for example. This humanizes each person rather than simply showcasing their problem as a freak illness.

A consistent theme of Hoarders is how hoarding affects not only the hoarder, but his/her whole circle of family and friends as well. Many of the show's stars have alienated themselves, since their hoard makes having visitors difficult or impossible. Much attention is paid to this destructive dynamic, and the show often depicts family members working together to help the hoarder overcome their disorder and clean house.

Additionally, a pool of psychologists are employed to help each hoarder do this. These professionals know that hoarding can't be cured by just delivering a dumpster to the house - and they want the audience to understand that too. They work slowly and intricately with the hoarders, forcing the hoarder to examine his/her rationale for excessive collecting. The psychologists also mediate between the hoarder and family members to help rebuild relationships. Meanwhile, a trash-out team helps to clear junk from the house with the hoarder's permission.

In the end, most of the program's subjects show improvement. Pictures of the old hoard are juxtaposed with freshly cleaned rooms, and the viewer gets to learn just how much the hoarder has beaten back his/her personal demons. Although Hoarders can be a very depressing depiction of a psychological disorder, seeing how people have overcome their thirst for clutter gives the show a feel-good quality.

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Monday 9:00 PM et/pt on A&E
7 Seasons, 90 Episodes - Currently Airing
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8.3/10
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Hoarders Full Episode Guide

  • A massive boardwalk memorabilia hoard; a woman's collection may cost her everything; updates reveal what happened after the show.

  • A woman's life crumbles after her husband of 32 years dies while awaiting a heart transplant; a former psychologist is literally suffocating under her things; updates reveal what happened after the show.

  • A house has 47 cats and dogs; a man's hoard has gotten him jailed twice; updates reveal what happened after the show.

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