Nightmare Dollhouse

Ellen mentioned being hooked on Mad Men and seeing connections to A Doll’s House. I have a perhaps more tangential and certainly creepier connection to a show I can’t seem to stop watching: A&E Network’s Hoarders. The new season premiered last week and featured Phyllis whose particular inappropriate possessions are dolls. Acres and acres of dolls. While her home is nothing like the environment we’re seeking to create, I was compelled by Phyllis’ displacement of her feelings of loneliness and abandonment onto these objects. (The doll “hospital” room is something right out of a b-horror movie.)  Narratives of consumption and neglect in this show are extremely gendered. While male hoarders make the occasional appearance, it is women we see regularly displacing their traumas onto things, building mounds of matter as protection from the outside world or to bury/suffocate pain. Perhaps this chaotic house of dolls is the fate of a Nora who didn’t leave (or who was left)?