I rang in the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by staying up til’ 4 AM watching a marathon of Hoarders, The First 48 and the Leah Remini: Scientology & The Aftermath exposé.
These shows are a unique mix of disgust and danger and I couldn’t help but wonder about the mental state and turnover rate for A&E’s production team.
Case in point…
One of the more disturbing episodes I watched introduced viewers to two brothers living in San Francisco – a nice departure from the show’s usual Ohio-based tragedies.
The camera shots captured by A&E’s true MVPs included the usual mass pilings of trash and various household items, a drunk mouse trapped in a 40oz beer bottle, wall to ceiling fire damage due to a faulty refrigerator (with the scorched fridge still lying in the middle of the floor), and a non-working toilet and bathtub filled to the brim with human waste. An. Entire. Bathtub. Filled. With. Human. Waste.
This is a job I would not have even considered applying for.
Standard with most Hoarders episodes, the brothers had less than a week to get their house together or they would be faced with eviction. And if things weren’t bad enough, mid-episode *spoiler alert* one brother dies! Wtf…
Not to be deterred by years worth of feces or even death, the show moves forward with the clean up and the camera crew keeps recording. But just as they begin to make leeway, it is discovered that the house can no longer support the weight of the trash and the floor boards are actually separating. Now the entire crew is in danger of falling through three floors of rubbish and will need to slow down the process due to safety concerns. But, they STILL have to get this house cleaned up before the city takes over. So who steps in to help? Those MVP camera men!
I mean kudos to these guys because this is when I would have really thrown in the towel. I’m all for lifting a helping hand to get the job done, but where do you draw the line? Personally, human feces is where I draw that line.
Bonus checks better have been handed out that day.
The First 48
While the turnover for homicide detectives may be low (I assume) since it takes years to work your way up the ladder, I can’t imagine your average camera guy enjoying a life of tip-toeing around violent crime scenes and shoving cameras in the faces of grieving families. That’s a life you have to mentally train for.
Are they offering free therapy to the production team?
Scientology & The Aftermath
Long story short, according to the subjects of this show, if you choose to speak out against Scientology, the Church will find you, harass you and attempt a smear campaign against you, regardless if you are the messenger or simply known by association. Even the show’s host confirms on camera that Scientologist will target anyone associated with this show. Umm, what?
So you’re telling me everyone currently on set, everyone in post-editing – from the interviewees to the admin assistants- are ok with the risk of being stalked and harassed? I mean, isn’t that a cue to immediately pack your shit up and ask to be transferred to the Duck Dynasty team!?
This reminds me of those stories about the haunting of the cast and production of The Exorcist. People died! I just don’t need religious extremists watching my every move and trying to ruin my life for simply holding a boom mic.
A further look at A&E’s lineup includes Beyond Scared Straight, Intervention, and The Killing Season. I mean, who’s really putting in applications here?? And what is the interview process like?
If you know someone who works in production for A&E, please send them my way. I have a few questions that need answers – specifically those having to do with pay and benefits.