Wednesday, June 01, 2011

TV Hypocrisy: Glorifying or Condemning the Consumer

We don't have cable but we do have Netflix and through that I have watched Hoarders and American Pickers. Recently in TN I saw the new Extreme Couponing (frightening) show and came to this conclusion: They all are the same show. There are hoarders in every show but in some shows it's glorified and in others it's condemned.

Take American Pickers. Two guys (and what an odd couple they are) go to random houses and barns "pick" through rusted metal and trash to find treasures. They then sell their treasures in their antique store and online. But all of the people whose houses they visit are hoarders. They aren't called that though, and none of these people are clinically diagnosed or being forced to clean up their property by the city. Nay, they are praised for their "honey hole" of a collection. Yes there may be a classic Harley buried in their barn but the rest of it that you have to dig through to get to that Harley is trash just like on Hoarders. I do enjoy this show though despite Mike and Frank's odd friendship.

Then the show I like the least and it scares me more than the people on Hoarders are the Extreme Couponers. Hear me out, I am not against saving money. I am against consuming for consuming's sake and that is what these people are doing. (I hear some people donate the items to pantries but no one did that in the episodes I saw). They are building warehouses full of junk food and medications that will expire before they can use them! They are spending THIRTY PLUS HOURS A WEEK clipping coupons to save $50,000 on groceries a year (uh, no one needs that many groceries a year to begin with--even the Duggers don't need that much!) I think the fitting motto for this show needs to be: Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. And no one sees that these people are baby hoarders. They've only been doing it for a year or less. Go back and visit these people in 20 years and if their still going strong they will have taken over every inch of their houses storing toilet paper and Maalox and Doritos...."my daughter can't sleep in her bed because we have to put all the chex mix somewhere." And yet while cast in a somewhat different light, I think the show glorifies them more than crucifies them. And I don't think that's healthy.

Then there's Hoarders. Which is really what all of these shows are! Except these people are seen in a negative light by their families and are being forced to clean because of unsanitary conditions. It's truly fascinating to me how many people live like this. Enough people that others can make a CAREER out of helping them! There are professionals who deal specifically with hoarders! I can't fathom it. But every time I watch it, it helps me clean my own house! The difference in this and Pickers is that underneath all that trash there is not a Harley...but there may be a few rotting cat corpses. The difference in this and Couponers is that they are messier, but give those couponers a few more years and I have no doubt they will be on this show if it's still running!

I don't thinking consuming as much as hoarders do is healthy but I find it interesting that in some ways it can be glorified and in others condemned. And that is all I have to say about that. Maybe next time I will find a way to draw a comparison between Dexter, Friday Night Lights, and That 70's Show (I also have enjoyed them on Netflix)


LittleKelly said...

I totally agree! I have the biggest problem with Extrem couponing. First of all what they are buying isn't healthy stuff and that causes obesety. Second of all, up here in chicago they don't double coupons, EVER so we don't get to experience this frenzey.

Chellie said...

The other day I was behind an extreme couponer in line (it was the only one open). It took so long to check out.. though she saved a TON!
I sometimes use coupons, but only for stuff I would normally buy (diapers, etc). I can't see how people have time to figure all that out.. and as I read someone else say... "who needs 20 bottles of mustard?"

Mama Mia said...

I feel the same way about the extreme couponing. It is becoming VERY popular in my little circle of SAHMs. So much so that moms are texting people, begging for extra coupons to be sent their way. I know that we all need to save a buck, especially if you're working on one salary. But I'm the type that only buys what I need for the week, and I find that you can save a lot by just not buying extra junk.

I didn't want to have a bunch of kids after watching the Duggars' show. I don't want to be in a family with multiple wives after watching the Sister Wives' show. And I don't want extra toilet paper crammed under my daughters crib after watching Extreme Couponing. But I sure like to gawk at them all!

Anonymous said...

I only extreme coupon when it comes to Sharis coupons. Any time I find a Sharis coupon in the paper I call all my friends and family and beg for them. I've even dumpster dived at the recycling bin in Naps parking lot to find them. See ya tomorrow. Love Mom aka Gma

Valerie said...

Amen and amen! I was just saying this to Russ yesterday! It's a socially acceptable form of hoarding but that doesn't make it right! There are a handful of people out there who extreme coupon so they can donate all the goods but they seem to be the exception to the rule.

Haha, I did watch a clip yesterday that featured the sister of the current Bachelorette. That made me smile for some warped reason.

Katherine said...

The one that facinates/freaks me out the most is Animal Hoarders on Animal planet. I usually find it sad and pretty crazy, but I CAN'T STOP WATCHING IT.

Micah said...

So true! There's something off about hoarding your groceries like trophies. I coupon occasionally, but nothing near extreme. I just use them on the things we already use or to try a new product. The P&G Saver that comes out at the first of the month usually saves me $10-$15 on stuff we already use and need.

Shawn and Becky said...

So true, it’s amazing what those pickers think is amazing . . . I guess one mans junk is another’s treasure?!? I bet the house it goes too is full of junk too. As far as the extreme couponers I think they are extremely crazy. . . I use coupons when I can, but really there is no reason to buy 50 bottles of maloxx or the woman who has more diapers than some stores without even having a child. What if she decided to cloth diaper . . . and it’s so true, not much of the food they store up is healthy. I don’t think we ought to be eating stuff that ‘stays’ for years! Thanks for the laugh.

Leslie said...

I read every single word of this post, nodding my head in agreement. Then I had to read all of these comments. So.many.words.

I wonder if Webster was ever accused of being a WORD HOARDER!!

Leslie said...

you know, like the dictionary?
bad joke?

darn it.

lauren and brad said...

leslie. you are the funniest cat ever.

i have not seen extreme couponing, or hoarders for that matter. i hate when people have too much stuff. :)

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