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Is Hoarders Real or Fake?

July 23, 2020
3 min read

‘Hoarders’ is a popular series on A&E, which focuses on people with deep-seated problems. The way they cope with these troubles is by collecting things and refusing to let go. Soon, their houses are filled with junk from wall to wall, often threatening to bury them under it. Over the seasons, we have come across several cases where we end up feeling genuinely sorry for the hoarders. Of course, there is the shock of the filth, but then the sympathy comes when we understand why they do what they do. So, is this show a result of masterful craftsmanship or a genuine portrayal of a problem?

Is Hoarders Scripted or Real?

Reality shows are never completely authentic. There is some interference from producers who are concerned about ratings and rush to highlight the dramatic moments. However, ‘Hoarders’ is real for the most part. Firstly, the mess that the participants live in is authentic. Internet sleuths and people working in the entertainment industry have all concluded that the most expert set designer could not replicate the disarray. Thus, the filth we see in the houses is real. A Reddit user, who claims their father was involved in the show, says that it is genuine. They claim that the house was in such bad condition that the lady had to be moved elsewhere. Since producers couldn’t put her up and she didn’t have anywhere else to go, the poster’s father gave her a repossessed home. The cleaners and mental health professionals are also real people who have their own websites, and operate outside the show’s purview. It should be noted here that the show does pay for the cleaning services instead of asking participants to pay.

‘Hoarders’ focuses on the mental health issues which lead to hoarding, thus adding a degree of grave realism to reality television. However, mental health professionals have had their disagreements about the portrayal. Some believe that the zoom shots of the accumulated junk, for shock purposes, end up portraying hoarders as social outsiders, depriving them of sympathy. On the other hand, others agree that the show captures the frustration and desperation perfectly, giving an accurate portrayal.

Therefore, by all accounts, ‘Hoarders’ is completely real. Of course, there is a slight caveat. Since it is reality television, editors have a role to play before we see the footage. Thus, some clever editing is often applied to shock and horrify us regarding the living conditions. Nonetheless, it goes towards underlining the genuine seriousness of the problem.

‘Hoarders’ is an eye-opening series, and you should treat it as such. However, always remember that it is also a television show, which means that we must take things with a pinch of salt. In an age where most reality shows cannot be trusted on the surface, at least ‘Hoarders’ has its heart in the right place, and attempts to highlight a severe problem that ails several people.

Read More: Is Below Deck Scripted?

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