The Hoarder Next Door, TV review: Just one Buddha key-ring away from Nirvana


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The Independent Culture

In the new series of The Hoarder Next Door, there were 31 rabbits, five guinea pigs, three chickens, two dogs and a cat. It was a menagerie too far for recently redundant man of the house, Andrew – but try telling his animal-hoarding wife Michelle that. At one point, the poor woman retrieved a rabbit corpse from her freezer and began petting it. She had named it "Dumbledore".

Usually this kind of behaviour would have me reaching ruthlessly for the heavy-duty bin liners, but Michelle was unusually sympathetic. As the show's psychotherapist Stelios Kiosses pointed out, hoarding is usually linked to deep trauma, and this family had experienced enough of that to turn even the most stoic among us into a dead bunny-nuzzle.

Some light relief, then, in our second hoarder home of the evening, where Gemma's SpongeBob SquarePants memorabilia was under threat from her partner Carl's superior car-booting skills. His own collecting passion was different: "The man is amazing," marvelled Gemma "He can spot a Buddha a mile off!"

If only someone on the show had been kind enough to explain to Carl the inherent contradiction between the Buddha's teachings and this materialist mania. Now the man will always be just one Buddha key-ring away from Nirvana.