Billy Bob and the Urine Hoarder

Hoarders Season 4 Hits the Ground Running!

I blame my DVR.  It’s set to tape Hoarders whenever there’s a new episode.  It did what it was told, but did not come out and tell me about it.  Thus, when looking for something else, I discovered not one, but TWO new episodes of Hoarders waiting for me.  Season 4 has begun!  Due to my unseemly tardiness in commenting on the first 2 episodes, I will combine them into one post.  You can read more about the show at Everything Hoarders, including bios of the therapists and organizers.  So let’s hit the highlights!

The Urine Hoarder

Okay, she wasn’t really primarily a urine hoarder, but Episode 1 featured Janet, an elderly woman with one of the biggest hoards ever.  Janet is the type of hoarder who really seems to have diminished capacity – she doesn’t recognize that living in a home without heat or running water is not ideal.  The fact that she simply goes outside the back door when she has to go to the bathroom or goes in an adult diaper or an old juice bottle (which then stay in the house) just seals the deal.  When Janet sits down in the only chair in her home, she literally disappears inside her hoard of thousand of items and tons of trash.  She has 9 adult children and an ex-husband, all virtually useless.  She’s been living like this for 2 years – not one of them could throw away a diaper or two while she was at church 6 hours a day?  Come on, people.

Dr. Zasio and Cory Chalmers are the therapist and organizer who tackle this mammoth disaster.  Robin Zasio is legitimately startled by Janet when she enters the house and finds the woman buried up to her neck inside the hoard.  It’s the only way she keeps warm.  With a hoarder of this magnitude there’s little to be done but throw everything away.  Janet clearly has trouble parting with her items, but it isn’t just that – her inability to comprehend that her living conditions are filthy and unsafe makes her a risk to herself.

Both Zasio and Chalmers take and keep a good hold on Janet.  Her family is another story, with their rampant showboating and blatant white trash dysfunction.  Lots of crocodile tears are shed on this episode, none of them by Janet.

The other portion of this episode is handled by one of my faves, Mark Pfeffer.  Phyllis only hoards one thing – dolls.  But her grip in the dolls is as fierce as her grip on reality is tenuous.  She’s clearly using the dolls as surrogate companions because she’s lonely.  Her family is frustrated but hey, she isn’t peeing in a bottle.

Billy Bob

The highlight of Episode 2 is Billy Bob.  A bastard in disguise, Billy Bob hoards toys.  His flimsy childhood trauma that he claims led to his hoarding is that his mother would clean and not allow him to keep all his toys.  Boo-hoo Billy Bob, that’s an excuse, not a reason.  Billy Bob actually has a wife who loves him, believe it or now – and children/step-children.  The kids are grown, but they love their parents and especially want better for their mom.

Billy Bob starts out seeming pretty amiable but as clean-up gets going he begins to heap verbal abuse on his family, Dr. Zasio and life management specialist Darnita Payden.  Watching him try to bluff Payden is pretty good – she’s not backing down in the face of his crap and it’s clear that he isn’t used to anyone standing up to him.  It’s a choice moment.  It’s hard to feel any sort of empathy for Billy Bob, but very easy to feel for his wife.

The other story in Episode 2 has Dr. Hannan and organizer Dorothy Breininger tackling the hoarded home of Jean and her husband.  The couple is raising their granddaughter as their daughter copes with crippling depression and Jean’s sister is threatening to have the child removed.  That seems callous, but I think she did the right thing in forcing the issue, the hoard is definitely out of hand.

While both grandparents have a hard time letting go, they do so for the sake of their granddaughter.  I think one of the big problems for this family will be keeping things tidy – the sister had cleaned the house many times in the past only to see it slide back into a hoarded disaster.  Hopefully they will choose to continue working with professionals in order to give their granddaughter a safe and stable home.  The child already sees no reason to clean up after herself and she’s only 8.  They’ve got a challenge on their hands.

And So It Begins

Another season of Hoarders under way!  It’s great to see our old friends – even Dr. Zasio didn’t annoy me much, she had 2 really hard cases and handled them both very well.  It’s always nice to see Pfeffer, Hannan, Chalmers and Breininger, they’re some of my faves.  Payden is pretty new to me, but she was awesome standing up to Billy Bob when he resorted to bullying.  I look forward to seeing more of her this season.

The next episode is a look back at some of the folks from Season 2 – it’s sitting on my DVR waiting for me.  I can’t wait to see how they did!  In the meantime, you can catch up with Phyllis & Janet and Billy Bob & Jean on Amazon Instant.  Just click through the link below and you can download episodes for $1.99 each.  If I had to choose only one, I would go with Phyllis and Janet – it’s a doozy!

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