Hoarders is a rarity in reality television; though it's both entertaining and riveting, it's also shockingly real, something that any casual reality television viewer can confidently say is not the norm for the genre. It's an attribute that works both for and against the show, in the sense that knowing how real the episodes are makes them simultaneously more interesting and more difficult to watch, considering the subject matter.
Hoarders follows real people with real problems, so watching their plight to overcome their addiction to hoarding—an inability to throw many things away because of an imagined future use or exaggerated sentimental value—becomes almost too heavy for the series to be considered reality television at all. At the same time, however, this same fact is what makes it so intriguing and consistently good season to season.
This past season (the show's fifth) saw a multitude of memorable episodes, including Claire and Vance's house of books (they slept in little nooks between their stacks of literature), and Verna claiming that her hoarding was a form of art rather than a psychological issue that needed to be resolved.