Saturday, June 19, 2010

Digital Digest: Hoarders - The Complete Season One DVD Review

Welcome to another edition of Digital Digest! Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) will be gone and missed for the next few months. Pavan is away on a trip. I (Todd) got the call from the bullpen and will be doing the entire Digest this week! We have the latest news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our review of A&E's compelling Hoarders - The Complete Season One. There's quite a bit of news to report this week, so open up a cold beverage and enjoy this edition.


We have some additional updates on some recently announced sitcoms and details on newly announced titles this week. ABC's Modern Family - The Complete First Season now has an official date of September 21 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment according to the June 16 issue of USA Today. The four-disc DVD ($49.98 MSRP) and three-disc Blu-ray set ($59.99 MSRP) are now available for pre-order at This was the best new sitcom of last season. We highly recommend it! Spike TV's racy Blue Mountain State - Season 1 ($29.95 CDN MSRP) will be released in Canada on September 28. No release date for the US has been announced yet, but you can read more about this release here.

Less Than Perfect - Season One has been moved up to a September 7 release. Package art, cost and more are available here. Lionsgate will be re-releasing Seasons 1-3 ($19.95 MSRP) of Boy Meets World on September 7. That's good news for people who haven't already bought them, but fans are still eagerly waiting for season four. Family Guy - Barely Legal will be released from Fox Home Entertainment in September. now has a pre-order listing for Parks and Recreation - Season Two ($39.98 MSRP). No release date has been announced yet. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 5 will be released on DVD ($39.98 MSRP) and Blu-ray ($49.99 MSRP). You can view the special features and artwork here.

The Middle - The Complete First Season ($44.98 MSRP) from Warner Home Video was already announced for a August 31 release date. A listing of the extras and the early box art are now available here. Warner Home Video will be releasing Two and a Half Men - The Complete Seventh Season ($44.98 MSRP) on September 21. Special features and package art for the 3-disc set are available here and here.

Moving on to some other TV series and specials, we have a few updates. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Remastered Edition ($24.98 MSRP) and Deluxe Holiday Edition: 3 Mastered Classics ($42.93 MSRP) will be released on October 5 on Blu-ray. thirtysomething - The Complete Fourth and Final Season ($59.97 MSRP) will be available as an exclusive in the US and nationwide in Canada, but will hit stores nationwide nationwide before the end of the year. Finalized artwork for Parenthood - Season 1 ($39.98 MSRP) is available here. You can pre-order it from

For more information on titles that we won't cover with full or blog DVD reviews, you can head on over to the news section of for all of the latest details.


Tuesday (June 22) will only have a couple of sitcoms in store. HBO Home Video will release Entourage - The Complete Sixth Season on DVD and Blu-ray. Look for our review of the Blu-ray set by Seth next Saturday on the blog. Small Wonder - The Complete Second Season will be available as a Shout! Select title on Shout! Factory's website. The fantastic, made-of-plastic hit show of the 80’s is back!! Pavan will have our review of the set once we receive it.

DVD Review: Hoarders - The Complete Series One
by Todd

Hoarders - The Complete Season One

Hoarders - The Complete Series One (A&E Home Video, $19.95)

Take a fascinating look inside the lives of people whose inability to part with their belongings is so out of control that they are on the verge of a personal crisis.

Whether they're facing eviction, the loss of their children, jail time, or divorce, these hoarders are desperately in need of help. In each 60-minute episode of Hoarders, A&E follows two people struggling to overcome their compulsive behavior while experts work to put them on the road to recovery. For some, throwing away even the tiniest possession--a sponge, a button, an empty box--is so painful that they won't be able to complete the cleaning matter the consequences. For others, professional help and an organizer's guidance give them the strength to recover. At the end of each episode find out who has been able to keep their hoarding behavior at bay and who, despite help, is still lost inside the painful disease.

Hoarders premiered on August 17, 2009. It debuted as the most-watched series premiere in A&E network history among adults aged 18–49 and tied for the most ever in the adults aged 25–54 demographic. The premiere was watched by 2.5 million viewers (1.8 million adults aged 18–49). A total of 7 episodes were produced for the first season. The 15-episode second season recently concluded on May 31, 2010.

This 2-disc set comes in an Amaray movie-style case. The cover features the show logo and many stacks of newspapers. A synopsis of the show and the DVD specs are listed on the back of the case. The discs have the show logo and newspapers and list the people profiled in each episode. Four episodes are on Disc One. Three episodes are on Disc Two. There is just blank black space inside the case. It would have been nice if they included episode summaries, production notes or photos.

A montage of video clips from the show and some instrumental music plays when you first insert a disc. This leads to the static main menu where they display the title logo and piles of newspapers. Each episode is listed on the main menu. When you select an episode, it takes you to a sub-menu where you can play individual scenes. Strangely, there is no Play All button to play all of the episodes together. As you would expect, the video and audio quality is outstanding. The episodes are in widescreen 1.33:1 format. This is a slickly produced show with nice camera work, editing and music. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. The total running time is approximately 5 hours, 29 minutes.

The episodes appear in a slightly different order than A&E originally broadcast them, but that's not really a big deal. Here are the 7 episodes included:

Disc One:

Jennifer & Ron / Jill (44:42) - Jennifer is a young stay at home mom. Both she and her husband Ron, suffer from hoarding and their three kids are growing up with piles of junk, food, and clothing everywhere. They have been cited by the city on numerous occasions. Jennifer lives every day in fear of child protective services coming and taking her kids away and must now try to get the house in order before it's too late. Jill's home is a nightmare. Food in various stages of decay is stuffed among her two freezers and four refrigerators--one of which is held shut by duct tape and a box of dented canned goods. She recently lost her job and knows that if her landlord were to pay a visit she would get evicted immediately.

Linda / Steven (44:48) - Linda's compulsive shopping not only depleted her family's finances but filled every room in their home with piles of bags and boxes. Her husband left her three years ago when he could no longer cope with her hoarding. They are now in the final stages of divorce and Linda must clean out and sell the family home as part of the settlement. Tensions run high as she struggles to let go of her things. Steven is at risk of eviction from his government subsidized housing. His apartment is filled with garbage, human feces, bottles and cans. It's so unpleasant that even he spends his days elsewhere. Steven must clean up or be evicted from his home and end up back on the streets.

Tara / Betty (44:43) - Tara has been reported to her landlord and needs to clean out now or she'll be homeless. She's an obsessive collector, favoring things like McDonald's Happy Meal toys, nativity scenes, snow globes and hundreds of teddy bears. Now Tara must finally get control of her hoarding and part with most of the clutter in her home or face eviction. When fire crews responded to a small fire at Betty's house they discovered her sick husband living in filth. Adult Protective Services removed him from the home because of his medical condition. For the last two months he and Betty have been staying in a hotel--but funds are quickly running out. If Betty doesn't clean up her home and her yard, he may never be able to live in the home again.

Jake / Shirley (44:41) - While most 21 olds see a world of possibility in front of them, Jake wakes up every morning despondent at the state of his life--a prisoner to his hoarding and OCD. Jake compulsively hoards garbage. Snack wrappers, empty bottles, and rotting food are strewn in every room of the two bedroom town home he shares with his alcoholic father. Jake fears that if things don't change soon he may take his own life. Shirley has always been the kind of person who could never turn away a stray cat. But eventually she lost track of just how many cats she had. When her situation caught the attention of the local authorities, they discovered that every room of her home is cluttered and cat feces and urine soak the carpets and furniture. Now Shirley must cooperate and allow authorities to remove over 75 living and dead cats from her home or face criminal prosecution for animal cruelty.

Disc Two:

Kerrylea / Lauren (44:48) - Kerrylea and her husband Geoffrey are facing imminent foreclosure on two houses. After her hoarding filled the first home she convinced her husband that the only way to solve her lifelong problem was to buy an additional home, move just what they needed, and sell the original home. But with neither home sold, Kerrylea is now forced to part with her lifetime of clutter or risk losing everything. Lauren is a 27-year-old hoarder whose relationship with her boyfriend, Will, has hit rock bottom. Her hoarding has taken over their entire town home and Will has been forced to sleep a mattress in the living room. If Lauren can't begin to deal with her hoarding and clean up her life, her relationship will be over.

Patty / Bill (44:41) - Patty and David appear to be living the American dream. But their secret hides behind the manicured yard of their new home. Patty's hoarding has taken over the entire house and their children were removed by authorities. Now, if the family is to have any hope of ever getting their children back, Patty must overcome her compulsive shopping and hoarding and clean out her entire home. For 25 years Lorelei coped with her partner Bill's hoarding. But last year she tripped on a pile of his things, fell down the stairs and broke her arm. Bill didn't seem to care. His clutter has taken over their home, which is filled with junk and nearly uninhabitable. She has given Bill an ultimatum, clean up or move out.

Paul / Missy & Alex (44:45) - Paul was charged with criminal littering in 2008 and has failed to meet three court ordered deadlines to clean his yard. His 2 acre property is strewn with over 70 junk cars, thousands of pounds of scrap metal, and hundreds of old appliances. In January, a judge sentenced him to 5 days in jail and gave him a few months to clean his property, or face a fine and additional jail time. Just days before the deadline Paul must make a decision; allow the tow trucks and metal collectors to descend on his property and clear out his collection, or go to jail. Missy is a hoarder with a 7 year old son, Alex, who has begun to exhibit hoarding tendencies. On several occasions when she has tried to clean, her son has cried hysterically over things like a rusty chain and an old used cotton ball. Unless she can set an example, Alex will continue to follow her behavior and may never have a shot at a normal life. Now Missy must clean up her house in order to save her son.

Additional footage is available as a bonus feature on Disc Two. These are basically just deleted scenes and total 21 minutes, 13 seconds. Most of them were probably cut due to time constraints. Here are the details:

Jennifer & Ron / Jill (2:58)
Linda / Steven (3:38)
Tara / Betty (3:03)
Jake / Shirley (3:40)
Kerrylea / Lauren (2:56)
Patty / Bill (2:56)
Paul / Missy & Alex (2:36)

Final comments: I instantly became hooked when I watched the first episode last summer. I can definitely relate as a bit of a hoarder myself. According to information provided on the show, there are some 3 million compulsive hoarders in the US. It's hard for me to get rid of magazines, newspapers and other "stuff". I always think that I will have a use for it later. Other members of my family are compulsive shoppers and have difficulty of getting rid of anything. It seems to be hereditary in some cases.

This is a pretty nice set and introduction to the show. Some of the cases profiled like Jill (the food hoarder) and Shirley (the cat hoarder) are quite extreme and a bit disturbing to watch. All kinds of hoarders are featured here, including compulsive shoppers and collectors. The one case that made me scratch the head was on Steven. He just came across as lazy and needed a kick in the butt to get his act together. The professional organizers and therapists offer some good tips and advice in every episode. I think this show will lead a lot of people to try to get more organized and get rid of items they no longer use. There was an update on Jill, Jake, Betty, Bill and Paul at the end of the second season in May, but unfortunately it aired after this DVD was released. Some had made some significant progress, while others had gone back to their old habits. You can check this episode out on iTunes or wait for it to repeat. The show airs on Monday nights at 10pm ET/PT on A&E. also has a pre-order listing forHoarders - Season 2: Part 1. It will be released on September 28 and will contain 7 episodes.

-- Reviewed by Todd
(4/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support

Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Hoaders Page
Hoaders A&E Official Site


There will be the highly anticipated release of Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series on June 29. We hope to review it soon. The special features look outstanding. Mad About You finally returns to DVD with The Complete Fourth Season. Read our review for more details. Until next time, keep it digital!

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, October 21

Last Man Standing - "Trick or Treat" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Halloween and the Baxter family is excited for their annual party, except for Mike who’s reluctantly tasked with choosing the theme. In hopes of turning everyone against the holiday, Mike decides that maybe if the whole family has to dress up like each other they’ll end up making fun of one another. Eve dresses up like Mandy and Mandy dresses down like Eve, Kristin and Ryan swap roles, and Mike shows up to the party as… Donald Trump!? The impersonating turns into bickering but in the end, the Baxters come together to support Vanessa as she learns that she’s being laid off.

Dr. Ken - "D.K.'s Korean Ghost Story" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween, Allison is disappointed the holiday doesn’t seem to scare Dave anymore, meaning her little boy is growing up, perhaps too fast. But that might change after D.K. tells a scary Korean gwishin (ghost) story. The Park family, as well as the gang at Welltopia, bring the story to life playing the various gwishins.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Jack" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Marcus deals with the loss of one of his former teammates.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 17)

Friday, October 21

  • Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Matthew on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah talks about Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:15pm.
  • Lindsay Sloane (The Odd Couple/The Stones/Mr. Rhodes) - Lindsay visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) and Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Tom and Ron will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian talks about King Cobra on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Netflix's Good Girls Revolt on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) and Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Thomas and Jason are guests on Chelsea on Netflix.
  • Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marisa appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Paul Reiser (Red Oaks/Mad About You/The Paul Reiser Show) - Paul is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.