TLC used to be truer to its full name, "The Learning Channel." Lately they seem to have the monopoly on "look at the crazy people" programming. First, there was Hoarders and Intervention, and later on came My Strange Addiction, Extreme Couponing, and now, premiering Wednesday, March 7, is My Crazy Obsession.
Whereas Hoarders and Intervention documented people struggling and showing their attempts at healing, reconciling with family, and a learning component about the individual's struggle, My Crazy Obsession seems to aim more at the shock value, wanting the viewer to exclaim, "I can't believe people live this way!" I was lucky enough to preview the first episode.
First up is a couple that have a collection of over 5,000 Cabbage Patch kids. They live in a modest home attached to a massive warehouse to display their "kids," as they call them. Not only do they love collecting, but they love to give voices and personalities to each one, and will talk to each other as one of the dolls. Whereas TLC may see "ratings gold! These people are crazy!," I see a couple who have found a way to connect with each other and have a shared interest. I'm not going to fall into your trap, TLC! As the husband explains, "it's a unique fantasy world where we can walk out of real life and no harm is done." Amen. You collect those dolls all you want to. You know what would make a more horrifying show? Seeing if someone can spend a night in the warehouse with 10,000 pairs of doll eyes staring at them.
The show continues to be all "show" and no "tell" in profiling Kitten Kay Sera (how's that for a name?) who is obsessed with the color pink. Kitten lives in Hollywood and has an appreciation for vintage kitsch, all in pink. She has her dog died with beet juice to make her pink, and she uses pink food coloring in her food. I found her actually quite charming, and if I'm being honest here, I thought her apartment was fairly adorable.
The big moment of conflict? Kitten is not allowed to alter the brown wooden cabinets in the kitchen of her rented apartment. TLC hires an interior decorator to "pink" up her kitchen and we spend a commercial break in suspense wondering if she will like the magenta wallpaper chosen by the designer. Spoiler alert: she does!
The show profiles two obsessers, so we only spend about 10 minutes with each. This is not enough time for the viewer to ascertain any causes or major impediments to the person's life; it's all just to show the crazy. Whereas the producers may want the viewers to watch and judge, I'll probably end up just envying the collections.
My Crazy Obsession premieres Wednesday, March 7 on TLC.