TV review: Hoarders: Family Secrets

may 28 hoarders

The critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated franchise Hoarders, premieres an all-new season on Lifetime. Titled Hoarders: Family Secrets, the program features original stories of people who obsessively hoard to the extent that it overwhelms their families and their lives. The one-hour series premiere focuses on a Massachusetts family and will feature live segments culminating in an all-live intervention. The episode will also feature the story of a second, recidivist hoarder who faces jail time if he doesn’t pass a final city inspection.

Some hoarders face eviction, divorce, ruined relationships or the removal of minor children from their homes. They reveal their hoarding to family and friends for the first time and seek help from the Hoarders experts: Dr. Suzanne Chabaud, Dr. Robin Zasio, Dr. Michael Tompkins, Dr. Scott Hannan, Dr. Melva Green and Mark Pfeffer. Cleanup and organizing team include Dorothy Breininger, Matt Paxton, Cory Chalmers, Standolyn Robertson and Darnita Payden.


I didn’t find Hoarders: Family Secrets different from other seasons of Hoarders. Hoarding is always listed as the beginning as a disease/ a mental illness. I wonder what would happen if a show focused on the 60% of us fighting with mental illness. It would be a lot of lying in bed and crying. In former seasons, family members DO find out about the hoarding and in some cases lost touch with the hoarder and hadn’t been in the hoarder’s house for years. No shattering secrets were revealed in the episode I screened which airs next week. The second episode revolves around Joyce [Huntsburg, Ohio] and Kimberly.


Joyce: “My house is a mess and I’m embarrassed to show it to you.” Hoarders does exploit these awful situations. The animal hoarding disturbs me the most. I’m not sure the benefit in watching this show except that people who have piles of things think “I’ll never become a hoarder. I’ll never get that bad.” How do shows like this or Intervention benefit viewers? Joyce’s husband Wallace cleared out two rooms for herself and forbids her to enter them. He finally gives her an ultimatum, the hoarding gets cleared or the marriage ends. Dr. Green says that Joyce shows compulsive shopping tendencies, hoarding and anger and frustration toward her husband. At one point, Joyce says she doesn’t plan to remain with her husband any longer but by episode’s end they decide to remain in the same house even if it’s in more of a housemate capacity. Kimberly is an optometric tech. She works and her house looks filthy with trash. She’s not able to use the shower or bath. How does she manage to work and pay her bills if she has trash and piles of worthless things everywhere? I wish for once when there’s a working hoarder they’d show how she prepares for work in that filth and in a house where she often cannot use the bathroom or shower or tub. Every day they come in and wake Kimberly up to get to work on sorting through her hoarding mess.

Hoarders: Family Secrets premieres Thursday, May 28, at 9pm ET/PT


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