Accidental TV Theme Weeks - Macleans.ca
 

Accidental TV Theme Weeks


 

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that it was “religion week” on TV, where several shows on several different networks did religion-themed episodes. This week appears to have a similar theme on a smaller scale; it’s “hoarding week.” South Park did an episode about the phenomenon of hoarding — unusually, sort of treating it as a real thing instead of a fancy name made up by eggheads for normal human behaviour — and last night CSI (which really needs to beg William Petersen to come back) did an episode about the same thing, calling it “House of Hoarders.” Update: As Kenny points out in comments, Raising Hope did one a couple of weeks ago. Also he points out that a lot of this might be traceable to the A&E reality show “Hoarders,” making this yet another South Park story that Trey Parker got from watching a reality show.

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It’s common for shows on the same network to theme weeks — apart from the natural ones like Halloween and Christmas — usually on network orders. You remember NBC’s “Green Week,” and before that they had special promotions like “four weddings and a funeral” night (NewsRadio was ordered to do the funeral episode, and responded by making it a funeral for a rat). It’s more interesting when shows just happen to deal with the same subject, on no one’s orders, just because these subjects happen to be on the minds of people who write TV. Of course, since South Park is written and produced so fast, they might just as easily have gotten the idea from learning that CSI was about to do a hoarding show. But who knows.

The greatest hoarder in the history of broadcasting was, presumably, Fibber McGee, though this clip shows why hoarding jokes are better left to radio.


 
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Accidental TV Theme Weeks

  1. Maybe it's just that I'm a big fan of the radio show, but I enjoy that Fibber catches his portfolio on its way down. On the whole, though, not nearly as amusing.

    My favorite "theme night" was the TGIF block in 1997 where Salem the Cat caused all of the shows to travel back in time. The "Boy Meets World" was the one where Cory dreams its the 50s, Tom Bosley is his dad, and Anson Williams is his best friend, if I remember correctly.

  2. You mentioned on Twitter that this was a rare South Park episode to not be based on a reality show, but I think Hoarders on A&E is mostly responsible for putting hoarding in the public consciousness at the moment.

  3. Other shows that have touched on hoarding recently were Bones and Parks & Rec (last season) and Raising Hope (just a few weeks ago).

    • I'm ashamed to admit I was only vaguely aware of "Hoarders" (A&E has so many reality shows I can't keep track) but yeah, I was giving Trey Parker too much credit.

      And yes, I just caught up with the episode of RH where Plimpton is a hoarder — if only they had held that episode back a couple of weeks.